Legal Advice for Photographers – Protecting Your Business Without Losing Your Heart with Rachel Brenke

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The founder of TheLawTog shares her most valuable legal advice for photographers, and how to keep a personal connection with your client in the cold world of contracts, copyright and liability protection.

Introduction (2:18)

Which time management strategies do you recommend? (3:03)

Schedule your own and family activities first. Then schedule different days for different businesses, or different aspects of your business. And don’t forget to give yourself grace!

What do you wish you knew when you started out? (4:25)

Look at others you respect to see what is working for them, but then adapt it to work for you.

How to make the most of the legal advice for photographers that you get in groups (6:02)

See it as just a discussion group with different opinions. As an entrepreneur, you have to discern what is applicable and research for yourself

What are the essential legal items to do first in your business? (7:13)

Legal Liability Protection (business structure, insurance, and contracts) and Copyright Protection.

Why is liability insurance so important (8:52)

If there is a claim against you, it’s one of the first things that can protect you, because you can hand it off to the insurance company to settle. If you end up in court, it can also cover your legal fees.

Which preventable messes do you see most often with photographers? (10:06)

Not having contracts. Contracts set the legal relationship, outline expectations, and create a bar from which you can exceed customer service expectations.

How to create a contract that is legally binding (12:37)

Don’t go straight to a lawyer. Research what the top issues are amongst photographers are, and write out your own workflow. You can also purchase a template from TheLawTog. Then find a contract attorney who can review it, and who ideally specializes in intellectual property law and is qualified to five legal advice for photographers.

What if a client refuses to sign your contract? (15:13)

Say goodbye.

Advice for trademarking your logo and business name? (16:08)

A unique brand name automatically creates a value to a consumer, and helps you maintain your reputation, as someone with a similar name can spoil your reputation.

Legal advice for photographers representing someone else’s work as their own (19:15)

If you’re a new photographer, don’t steal images. You can be sued for both copyright infringement, and breach of contract if you deliver images different to what you presented.

If you are an established photographer, register your photos (In the US), and then pursue people and corporations who infringe so it sets a new standard for the industry.

Should you always retain copyright? (22:54)

Certain types of commercial photography may want copyright transfer, while portraits photographers usually retain copyright. But there may be situations where it’s beneficial to sell copyright and just retain portfolio marketing rights.

What is your legal advice for photographers whose clients edit their photos before posting on social media? (25:38)

It is not worth destroying a whole relationship over something that will probably not adversely affect your business.

Are there right and wrong ways to get testimonials? (28:43)

Yes, in the US, if you give a benefit to a client in exchange for a review, you have to legally reveal that every time you use the testimonial.

How do you extract your unique story to connect with clients? (34:52)

Figure out who you are trying to reach – then visualize them in everything you do, from social media posts to deciding which business opportunities to pursue.

Why is it important to share more of your personal life? (37:25)

The technical specs of what you do is not what will sell – it’s the messaging and the story and connection that attracts people to you.

How to connect with The LawTog (39:32)

What’s next for Rachel Brenke? (40:10)

Travel and teaching

What are you creatively curious about? (41:01)

Learn to play the violin

Taking care of the legalities of your business is just one part in creating systems that make your business work for you. Head over to “From Frazzled to Focused – Creating Photography Workflows and Systems with Iris-Works Founder Meredith Gradle” for some valuable guidance.

Discover more about Rachel Brenke

Rachel Brenke is not your average entrepreneur. As a business consultant, intellectual property attorney, disabled Army veteran wife, mother to five, rescuer of puppy dogs and founder of multiple 7-figure brands.

Her mission to help women have a real business so they can have the real life they desire. This includes physical, emotional and financial freedom.

Rachel’s digital brands have gained more than $4 million dollars in revenue -serving 18,891 entrepreneurs in over 50 countries. She has also built brick-and-mortar businesses

These revenue numbers don’t include the brick-and-mortar business success she’s achieved in a variety of industries.

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