Photographer Swipe Copy: What to do if you (or your clients) get coronavirus?

Author
Bryan Caporicci, Professional wedding photographer and CEO/Founder of Sprout Studio About Bryan

Let's say you don't like the idea of proactively rescheduling or cancelling all previous engagements – as outlined in “Photographer Swipe Copy: Taking preventative measures with rescheduling clients”

Again – you need to do what's right for you and what you believe in; this is not an opinion piece on what you should do.

But what happens if you end up contracting the coronavirus and become ill? Or what happens if your client does?

⚠️ What happens to your meetings and bookings if you (or your clients) get coronavirus?

📌Here's a flow-chart for how to deal with it.

If you can reschedule the engagement, do it. Follow the steps above.

If you cannot reschedule the engagement, can you get a backup photographer? If so, let your client know and send them an amendment.

📌 Here is a template for USING A BACKUP PHOTOGRAPHER you can use.

Hi, CLIENT NAME

I was looking forward to our upcoming SESSION on DATE. However, unfortunately, I have tested positive for coronavirus and am forced to self-isolate.

Not to worry – I have arranged for PHOTOGRAPHER NAME to photograph your SESSION in my place. They know my style and will approach your SESSION with a similar vision as I would. I trust them.

Afterwards, once the dust settles, we can discuss a partial refund. My #1 priority was making sure that you had a photographer at your SESSION; we can clean everything else up afterwards if that is agreeable by you.

Your health and safety, ours, and that of all our loved ones is the top priority right now. Thanks for your understanding. I wish you the best of health in the coming weeks. Please stay safe and be well.

**PS – we've already added this as an email template in Sprout Studio so that you can copy it into your account.

You can find it in the Email Templates section and add it from the Sprout Library button. Search for “Business First Aid – Backup Photographer.”

SIDENOTE – now is the time to reach out to photographers in your community and create a contingency plan for this. I would suggest contacting 3-5 photographers that you trust. Create an alliance in which you can help each other out should one of you should become sick.

📌 Here is a template for REACHING OUT TO OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS that you can use.

Hi, PHOTOGRAPHER NAME

In light of the recent pandemic and for the sake of public health and safety, I am creating a contingency plan for upcoming sessions.

If I become sick, am forced to self-isolate, and, therefore, cannot make a session, if my client cannot reschedule, I would like to have a backup plan.

Are you available and interested?

Here are my upcoming sessions:

LIST OF SESSIONS AND DATES

You included, I'll be contacting several photographers, so I have more than one backup if something happens.

I'd be happy to offer the same for you if you'd like.

Let me know if any of the above dates and times work for you that I can tentatively call on you as a backup photographer in case I need to.

Thanks, I wish you the best of health in the coming weeks. Please stay safe and be well.

Firstaid

If you cannot reschedule and cannot get a backup photographer, then you'll have to cancel the engagement. In that case, you'll need to send a cancellation agreement. Here is a template that you can use.

📌Here's a template for CANCELLATION AGREEMENT CONTRACT you can use.

Today's Date: [[todays_date]]
Photographer's Name: [[photographer_name]]
Client's Name: [[client_name]]Event Details
Event Type: [[shoot_type]]
Event Date: [[shoot_date]]
Event Time: [[shoot_time]]Package Details

[[package]]

[[payment_schedule]]

Terms and Conditions
This cancellation agreement made this [[todays_date]] by and between [[photographer_name]] (PHOTOGRAPHER), and [[client_name]] (CLIENT), contains the entire understanding between PHOTOGRAPHER and the CLIENT. There is no understanding between the parties verbal or otherwise than contained in this agreement. It supersedes all prior and simultaneous agreements between the parties. The only way to add or change this agreement is to do so in writing, signed by all the parties. If the parties want to waive one provision of this agreement, that does not mean that any other provision is also waived. The party against whom a waiver is sought must have signed the waiver in writing.In the event any term or provision of this Agreement shall be found invalid or unenforceable due to applicable law, the validity of the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby.

  1. The CLIENTs have certified that they have read and understand the entire cancellation agreement between PHOTOGRAPHER and CLIENTs. The CLIENTs have had the opportunity to review this agreement that the terms and conditions have been explained and the CLIENTs fully understand them.
  2. THE CLIENTs no longer require nor desire the photography services of PHOTOGRAPHER on [[shoot_date]] and fully release PHOTOGRAPHER from all obligations set forth in the prior agreement.
  3. THE CLIENTs are released from any further obligations to make payments as previously agreed.
  4. ALL PAYMENTS previously made by CLIENTs to PHOTOGRAPHER are liquidated damages, non-refundable and/or non-transferable as previously agreed to by both parties.
  5. A PARTIAL REFUND MAY BE granted at the sole discretion of PHOTOGRAPHER should PHOTOGRAPHER rebook the date for which the CLIENT originally retained the services of PHOTOGRAPHER.

In addition to canceling the engagement, you'll also have to refund any payments, if applicable. And yes, yes, that means you could be losing money here. It's, unfortunately, the reality of a crisis like this. But don't fret – we'll help you make that money back and give you a variety of strategies to increase cash flow once the dust all settles.

We are committed to helping you weather this storm. We want to make sure you stay safe and healthy, we want to make sure your business stays afloat and that you can recover from this once it's all done.

Firstaid

🔗 Please share this with your fellow photographers and visit this page for our index of articles, podcasts, links and resources that we've curated to help you get through this.

2 Comments

  • Why should you offer a refund? If the photographer you have organised to replace you is able to shoot to your standard, it's not necessary. If anything, a refund tells the client that they're getting an inferior product. You're protecting them by opting out, and no reasonable person is going to be upset.
    • Ally
      Hi Ellen! I agree it isn't necessary. I don't think Sprout intended to force that upon anyone and it is easily editable to match the needs of whoever uses the template. However, a discount doesn't have to be a lot. A product credit works too! I think there are definitely situations where this is a very good idea and is done in good faith. I was recently in a situation where I was contacting photographers I had never met and that my clients have never met. It is in my contract that I can send a sub photographer in my place. Yet I can see where some special situations bring more stress and disappointment to the client than I would like and so it is worth it to me to maintain a client relationship. Not necessary, but can be helpful!

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