Wedding Suppliers and Styled Shoots – the legal issues? PART THREE: Safety and Risk

In part three of our series about wedding suppliers and styled shoots, we are taking Safety and Risk. EXACTLY what you lovely wedding creatives want to chat about in a styled shoot collaboration…… NOT.

Let’s just quickly recap what we have learned so far- the first blog dealt with clarifying who is doing what and how the collaboration is going to work, assigning roles and reminding of responsibilities and the aims of the shoot. The second blog talked you through the delights of intellectual property and social media tagging.

This third part leads us to the one topic that wedding suppliers, and indeed most small businesses, groan inwardly most loudly when mentioned…. Safety and Risk – or put another way, insurance and health and safety. They are so important and usually the very last thing that small businesses think about (until it’s too late? …. editor) when getting all excited about the gorgeousness of a styled shoot.

Risk and Insurance is relatively straight forward but none the less essential to make sure you have ticked it off the styled shoot preparations list. At least, you should have public liability cover for your business (if not, see these blogs…) That cover will be based on the activities you undertake as part of your business, usually with prospective couples paying for your services. Check with your broker or your insurer that the activities of a styled shoot are covered by your current insurance policies. Making a flower arch to be displayed at a reception isn’t a million miles away from making a flower arch for a styled shoot, but its for a different reason and in a different context. Make sure you are insured yourself for the work you do in any styled shoot project.

Secondly, make sure the others in the project are insured – if you trip over someone else’s camera bag and break your leg – does the photographer have cover for your injuries? And thirdly – does the location that you are using for the styled shoot have or need insurance cover for its users and or occupiers  – if you fall down some tricky steps or off a ladder whilst assembling the shoot at a venue– are they insured for any losses you may incur?

Finally, on the topic of falling off ladders – I really recommend a simple Risk Assessment of the shoot. For example:

  • Are you going to be working at height? Or need to install anything at height?
  • Are you lugging very heavy items from your car to the shoot site?
  • Are you going to be using vehicles? Are you on a highway?
  • Are you going to need lighting and other electrical stuff and is it PAT tested?
  • Using candles or naked flames? What are your fire risks?

It does NOT need to be ‘war and peace’. A simple proforma of the likely hazards and risks will do and there are plenty of proformas on line to use…I personally recommend a chat with Harrier UK who are very wedding and events savvy, and the sort of H and S experts that talk plain English and aren’t ‘jobsworth’ about this very important stuff – they are user friendly and really good: so well worth a view….

BUT, I hear you cry, Legal Fairy Godmother – where do I start with this stuff??

A solution beckons. We at SGOL have created a template for styled shoots. It’s not a contract. It’s not even Heads of Terms – it’s a ‘Rules of the Game’ template to use as an aid memoire to guide you through the questions you need to ask and the agreements you need to come to prior to a styled shoot to help reduce the risk for everyone involved..

For the rest of February this is available as an exclusive offer to YLFG Facebook group members at (50% off ) a discounted price of £24.99 by emailing us at heather@stanfordgouldonline.co.uk and requesting your copy of the template.  It can be used multiple times by the same buyer but is subject to its own T and Cs which are sent on request.

If that sounds like something you could use – get in touch.

Intellectual Property- Wedding Suppliers & Styled Shoots – the legal issues? PART TWO.

So last week we looked at some of the issues around styled shoots and setting the rules out when collaborating with other suppliers. This week we are concentrating on one of the most contentious areas of styled shoots – and one of the most complex – intellectual property rights.

So I could give you a really complex precis of the law on intellectual property rights but I’m not sure how helpful that would be, but I suggest if you want to know more , this is a good basic guide: https://www.gov.uk/intellectual-property-an-overview

In practical terms here are the key issues to think about in a styled shoot context:

The photographer will own the images that are taken at the shoot. He or she will need to give each other supplier involved a license to use the images – and this license may be conditional. Typical conditions would be:

  • Non-exclusive – so others could also use the images as well under similar license arrangements
  • Non-transferable or non-sub-contractable– so you cannot grant a license  to someone else to use them without the photographer’s consent.
  • Within a territory – so this may be England and Wales, UK wide, EU wide _ be careful here with Brexit changes afoot… or world wide .

Photographers providing services to wedding couples often grant licenses to use their photographs to their  clients which are NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE – but clearly in a styled shoot arrangement, this IS PURELY for commercial use so make sure the license terms are clear about what that may – or perhaps may, not entail. For example: the license may give you broad rights to  use on your social media feeds but you may have to get different permissions from the intellectual property owner if you want to submit the photos to Hello magazine.

What other conditions might there be? It’s a good idea to agree the way to tag or acknowledge the photographer when publishing  by agreeing the wording and the hashtag or the account to be tagged – this sounds obvious,  but there are instances of the wrong account being credited which is never good.

So what about the content of those photos? Obviously the issue of tagging the correct supplier account and the hashtags they use should also be agreed.

This shouldn’t require pages and pages of legal speak and notes – a simple bullet pointed list of likely situations or scenarios should be drawn up and then agree what can or cannot happen. Set the expectation again with something in writing. You can NEVER hope to cover off every possible things that might go wrong, but deal with the obvious risks.

And for help on this sticky problem, read on below……..

The question that often next arises is ‘Can you protect the designs the photographs show, the original and unique goods you want to sell, the creative and artistic products that you hope a styled shoot will show off so well, from copying or passing off as another’s work?’

A creator of goods will own the original design, they may also have copyright, and if copies were made of an original idea – in principal the owner of the original idea may have a claim for damages against the creator of the fake. However you might need some substantially deep pockets for this type of ligation (it ain’t cheap) and evidence of your original creation ( which means drawings, prototypes, evidence of design, the evolution of the products and the original creative inspiration)  if you want to pursue someone for copying ( breaching your intellectual property rights) or passing off. Take advice from an IP expert on these points if you think you have a potential claim.

A cease and desist letter (what’s one of those?editorhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cease_and_desist) may be a good starting point. There are lots of google results for templates if you search these terms but take care it is one for a UK based claim (not a US one – the law is different) and it’s not a panacea of all ills, and needs to be used sparingly.

BUT, I hear you cry, “Legal Fairy Godmother – where do I start with this stuff??”

A solution beckons. SGOL have created a template for styled shoots. Its not a contract. Its not even Heads of Terms – it’s designed to be written Rules of the Game – a simple template to use as an aid memoir to guide you through the questions you need to ask and the agreements you need to come to prior to a styled shoot to help reduce the risk for everyone involved..

For the rest of February 2020 this is available as an exclusive offer to YLFG Facebook group members at a discounted price of £24.99 by emailing us at heather@stanfordgouldonline.co.uk QUOTING ref YLFG and requesting your copy of the template. Non members can also get a copy, priced at £49.99. Email us for details.

It can be used multiple times by the same buyer but is subject to its own T and C’s which are sent on request.

If that sounds like something you could use – get in touch.

Wedding Suppliers and Styled Shoots – the legal issues? PART ONE: Heads of Terms

Styled Shoots – the legal issues? Social media is full of fabulous creatives conjuring up amazing themes and ideas for styled shoots for wedding suppliers – a brilliant way of collaborating in a fun way with your fellow suppliers and showing off your wares.

Sometimes these styled shoots will be tasked to recreate an agreed themed scenario where couples can see your goods actually being used (great visual stimulus for couples to buy your lovely stuff) or perhaps a styled shoot could be an artistic license for the suppliers to create something fantastic and unworldly to appeal to not only potential customers but to create ’art for art’s sake’ style visuals for their own creative and marketing purposes.

Because these styled shoots are proving to be such great fun, and provide brilliant material for marketing for those involved, there has been a significant increase in them in recent years. They are a popular way to spend some of the low season time creating collateral for blogs, imagery for websites, magazine submissions and social media posts. And that’s all great – but what happens when there’s a mismatch between the parties’ expectations and what in fact was delivered? Or – and let’s hope not – something goes wrong on the shoot day. What are the legal issues?

My experience is that styled shoot collaborations are pretty loosely defined and rarely documented. No creative wants to curb their creative style to get a contract style document in place, do they? But is this rather short sighted and highly risky? I’d say “yes it is” and this is the first of three parts of a blog to explain why.

Getting something in writing (however simple) and setting out what the individuals in the shoot are providing and who’s paying or contributing to the costs is – in my view – an absolute minimum requirement. Recently I’ve been approached by a number of suppliers who were promised to be reimbursed expenses on a shoot but haven’t been paid. Most suppliers provide time for free, but some suppliers will be incurring potentially high expenses (think about a florist costs, for example) to bring their designed kit to a styled shoot, when no end user is picking up the tab.

Write down what was agreed – even if it is agreed NOTHING is payable.

I hasten to add this DOES NOT mean a 20 page contract with 56 appendixes and 3 months of contract negotiations… use what lawyers call Heads of Terms (HOT) – its like the highlights of an agreement without all the lawyer style clauses that create the mechanisms of the contract. An aide memoire if you like, of the really important bits:

  • Who is in the styled shoot? Don’t create a partnership by mistake…check this.
  • What are the themes or rules of the styled shoot? – You probably have a mood broad or a Pinterest board – you can reference it here.
  • Who is paying for what? And when?
  • Intellectual Property – outline the do’s and dont’s – and social media etiquette when sharing – more of this in week 2’s blog…
  • Risk assessments and Health and Safety issues – more of this in week 3’s blog…
  • Insurance considerations – we will cover this in week 3’s blog too…

A special styled shoots contract offer will follow next week

Brilliant News

You don’t even have to think about how to do this, because SGOL has a template Styled Shoot Heads of Terms Template for you AND a special offer to members of the Your Legal Fairy Godmother Facebook group for a limited time. Email me if you just can’t possibly wait another week for this legal revelation and you want details – or tune in next week to find out more.

Same Bat time, Same Bat channel (for all children of the 70’s ……)

Image courtesy of Captured by Megan Wilson https://www.meganwilson.net/contact/

Finding collaborators and supporters for success.

I was having a cup of tea with my teenage daughter this week, chewing the cud and chatting all things work, life, love and the universe. She mentioned that she was feeling a bit of a confidence crisis coming on – a few things were making her feel overwhelmed by the tasks ahead and the challenges she needs to overcome. This lead us to talking about the importance of collaborators and supporters.

She wonders if she will make it… she needs some collaborators and supporters.

Much ‘Yorkshire’ (other brands are available…editor) later, and we have talked about how she will be brilliant, of course, but she needs the positive messages and confidence building that we all need from time to time.

When I mentioned impostor syndrome, she looked blankly at me. Never heard of it – yet that’s exactly what she is feeling.

Does this resonate?

Do you ever catch yourself in the mirror and think – “Good grief, how am I pulling this off? Why has no one noticed that I’ve no idea what I’m doing?”

I listened to the fabulous Victoria Knowles-Lacks last week talking about her amazing ups and downs in business and the lessons she learned about resilience, personal goals and planning, and the day to day challenges of running a business. Even the most competent looking of us, can feel vulnerable.

And how interesting that its so often the stuff that you don’t know when you start a business, that can take the greatest toll on our time and resources. Not the obvious, easy to access advice, but the tough stuff, the complex stuff, the stuff that we rarely talk about, the stuff that’s hard and difficult and often needs expert help. Like money advice, technical and strategic advice, and – dare I say it – legal advice.

So often, it’s the team you pull in around you: the collaborators and supporters, the freelancers, the network, the fans and champions of your business that get you through. Working collaboratively – whether formally or informally, through service providers, professional services, networking contacts or just mates who are ‘in the trenches’ of small business work with you, taking each other’s experience and support and skills and knitting them into something positive and helpful  – can be powerful.

For the next few weeks, in our FB group Your Legal Fairy Godmother we are chatting about collaborations – so come and join us? Membership of the group is only open for a short while longer. Check us out?

Legal Advice for Wedding Suppliers: Thinking of putting up your prices in the New Year?

A new decade requires a new slogan. We’ve had the Nineties, the Noughties, the Twenty Tens …

What are we to call this decade? The Twenty Twenties (worse slogan ever: editor) the Roaring Twenties? (I think that may have been done already: editor) Boring Twenties? (Let’s hope not: editor) Soaring Twenties – (that’s more like it…..! )

So, to soar, you need to create more business, and more profits, so you need some strategy and some planning. A review. It’s not going to just happen without some graft, is it? Do you expect a slow start to the new decade or will the phone ring off the hook? I sincerely hope it’s closer to the latter than the former, but either way this is the time to get your administrative and operational ‘ducks in a row’ for this season : and there’s no shortage of blogs and articles and podcasts telling you why this is important. Here’s one of my favs at the min.

One strategic option: putting up your prices is a common thought for businesses at this time of year – especially out of season and before the flurry of activity that this post-Christmas engagement season brings. You need to put up your prices BEFORE that flood of enquiries (and conversions hopefully) really starts. Once you have quoted and hooked the client in on a price – there’s little room for manoeuvre.

You can only put up your prices for existing clients if your current T and C’s allow for it – or the customer agrees (you really want to ask that question?)

New clients need your revised T and C’s with your new price structure NOW – and you must include it in their proposal for your services. Here’s a handy video from me on the timing of using your client contract and when you need to provide it.

You don’t have any???

Get yourself over here for the options for template T and Cs we have… and for bespoke solutions you can check us out here.

If your T and Cs need a general spruce up or a proper legal look over to ensure that you are good to go for the new decade we have a fixed fee service to help you and lots of tricks and tips for legal questions and conundrums on our FB page Your Legal Fairy Godmother – free membership at the moment, but the doors are closing before the wedding season kicks in proper, so join now to access great advice and our usual display of selfies and pics for our events, products and general travels through the wedding suppliers world.

Bring it on 2020.

My Blog’s mic drop 2019

I’ve spent my afternoon planning next year.

Looking at who is important, what is important and where we are going in the next 12 months.

Its been exciting to see the progress of the last year – SGOL’s new and improved template offer is, in no short measure, responsible for some of that! And the fabulous Chrissie of Black Hare Marketing – without whom, none of this is possible.

THANK YOU X

Its also exciting to see what’s already in the pipeline for next year…

We have training lined up with wedding suppliers, commercial network groups, GCSE students and creatives in Nottingham – it’s a diverse bunch! And there’s new products and collaborations coming soon too, to help with your risk management, a review of GDPR and a membership offer I think will be too good to miss.

If, like me , you are yearning for Friday 20th December (What? part timer…….editor) and the rest and recuperation that Christmas brings – gird your loins and lets do this for another working week, people. If you need some inspiration…..click here.

Then let’s rest and add ‘the undone’ to the ‘to do’ pile and raise a glass to the next 12 months.

Thank you for joining us on the SGOL blog, and a very Merry Christmas to you all

With love

Heather xx

…OUT

The Business Proposal Podcast – Bring out the dancing lobsters: as sponsored by Heather Stanford Gould

The Business Proposal Podcast – Bring out the dancing lobsters: as sponsored by me.

Looking to fill your ears with helpful brilliance as a wedding creative?

Want to hear how wedding creatives can support and help your business?

Get your lug ‘oles round The Business Proposal Podcast: New Season by Ellie Kime and Rachel Waring

Here’s their brand new episode –

Why it feels like your marketing efforts are failing….Join us as we toboggan down the slope of self awareness together, and discuss why your marketing efforts might be failing (despite you working really hard on them). It sounds like the most depressing episode ever, but actually we think it’s rather uplifting, and we hope you do too. Special guest stars include Adele, Cecilia the cat, and Ellie’s allergies.

And once you have absorbed and LOVED this, there’s so much fantastic material from seasons one and two as well – covering everything from Building Hype around your Brand, How to Set Up your Workspace, and Diversity and Inclusion in the wedding sector. So, there’s absolutely something for everyone.

Check Ellie and Rachel out at https://www.thebusinessproposalpodcast.com/

And you can find all the past episodes of this podcast  here.

Ellie says “The Business Proposal Podcast is a podcast for wedding creatives, by wedding creatives. We’re demystifying the wedding industry one episode at a time, providing support and advice for the industry as it’s a very unique one with its own set of challenges. This season we’re covering everything from trends to wedding fairs to marketing failures to the importance of community, and so much more. All with a giggle and a cuppa…hopefully!

Subscribe today to have something actually worth listening to on your daily commute or over a Sunday morning cuppa?

I am absolutely delighted to be partnering with this brilliant programme and hope you enjoy the content.

Virtual Assistant – top legal tips for your contracts.

Virtual Assistant – Stopping and starting work when you are not paid

That’s simple, right?

You would think so, wouldn’t you?

Not paying for a service must surely entitle you to stop providing it?

Of course, there’s a lawyer’s answer to that and its not that simple, I’m afraid.

It is possible (and a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, as a dispute resolution solicitor,  I had a case that was based on this point…) that if you simply down tools when you are not paid, you could end up liable for losses that your customer incurs if you have simply stopped – WITHOUT THE CORRECT CONTRACTUAL TERM TO ALLOW YOU TO DO SO.

So, to explain this: an example:

A Virtual Assistant undertakes to do administrative work for a client – this includes instructing suppliers to progress with a project. The Virtual Assistant doesn’t get paid by the client, so stops work and does not issue the instructions to the suppliers. As a result, the project is delayed, and the client incurs a loss. In theory, unless the client contract – your T and C’s – allows the Virtual Assistant to stop when they are not paid, and only to resume when they are, the client could claim that loss against the Virtual Assistant in a breach of contract action.

Solution?

Add a clause which allows you to suspend services in the event of non-payment

AND (if you are savvy)

To demand payment upfront if you are going to resume your services.

Do your T and Cs include this? They should. Ours do……

Come and grab a template for Virtual Assistant services here for only £99.00 and this will protect you and give you some ammunition for those trickier customers. Add an hour of help from us for another £100.00 and you are good to go…

GDPR and sausage rolls – legal tips for wedding caterers.

What on earth does GDPR have to do with sausage rolls? Here are this week’s legal tips for wedding caterers

If you are a caterer, you may well look at this headline and scratch your head. How could making gorgeous Thai street food, or popping a pizza in the oven, or slaving over egg and cress sandwiches possibly have anything to do with GDPR, you ask…..?

Amazingly, I still come across businesses who have STILL not got themselves GDPR compliant at the simplest and most fundamental level, but food-based businesses have a double whammy to deal with.

  • Every business needs the GDPR compliant privacy policy and ‘contact us’ pages on their website

(Editor: what do you mean – not got around to it yet?! We still have the GDPR Starter Pack available if you are stuck.)

  • You might have some sort of privacy statement on your email footer.
  • You, of course, have amended your T and Cs to reflect the required layering too – see here if that means nothing to you…..

But you also need to take extra care because you are likely dealing with some special category personal data as well.

Special Category Personal Data means data concerning a protected characteristic such as a person’s sexual orientation, race, health or criminal history, for example.

You might think that just means medical records and other very personal information that a healthcare provider or a legal institution might hold – I’m afraid you’d be wrong.

Special Category Personal Data includes information about someone’s religious beliefs. If your customer data identifies party guests with specific dietary requirements that are associated with their religion, then that is Special Category Personal Data. Often, you will know the names of the guests with the specific dietary requirements and therefore you can identify the individual with the protected characteristics by their menu choices – for example halal meat requirements, kosha meal requests etc. You should ideally have reference to this in your Privacy Policy and you should certainly be very careful about how you store and share this data in your business and with other goods and services providers.

You need to show a basis for processing ( as you do for all personal data – you can have a look here for an earlier blog on this topic…) but an additional basis for processing special category personal data is required.

Check your T and C’s and your website – we can be a source of assistance Our templates for Wedding Caterers include this and you can get your privacy policy sorted at the same time.

We love to solve your headaches!

Top Legal Tips for Field Hire Venues on deposits

Top legal tips on deposits for ‘blank canvas’ style field hire venue providers

Field hire  or ‘structure only’ options for wedding venue hire should offer the perfect solution to the couple who really want to stamp their own mark on their ceremony, so what do you as the space owner and occupier need to make sure you cover in your T and Cs on deposits …?

Apart from the usual clauses regarding deposits and cancellation ( you can see some top tips on this in previous blogs) to comply with your customers consumer rights you may need to have some sort of 14 day cancellation period (sometimes called a cooling off period) from the point of the couple agreeing to contract to have the venue, which allows the couple to withdraw without penalty within that time frame. Sometimes venues ask for the deposit to confirming the booking to be made within 14 days of signing the T and Cs, some will take payment on booking and allow a clear cancellation period which states if you cancel within the 14 days the contract is concluded and the couple receive their money back. Either way such a clause is recommended – without it, the periods in which a couple may be entitled to cancel without penalty and have the right to demand back their deposit may be significantly increased. Here’s a good summary of the rules for some bedtime reading. The rules will be different if your couple came to the venue and signed up, rather than concluded a booking online. Be warned and take advice if in doubt.

If you have a customer who challenges the amount of the deposit or the amount you intend to keep if they cancel – make sure your T and C’s have stated why the deposit has been taken – to secure the date exclusively, and to allow you to prep the start of planning and work for the event. Put that explicitly into your Terms. If you don’t have it – we have a lovely new template that helps with this.

Have you additionally included a damages deposit – ideally paid later and closer to the event. It helps massively if this money is accounted separately – not invoiced as income, and held in a separate bank account, unless or until you seek to claim some or all of it. From this account, you can then deduct the costs of breakages or damage – and even the costs of litter and rubbish removal – IF you have spelt this out clearly in your contract (….like our templates do?…….editor)

For help, come and chat to us? Or grab one of our templates and be assured you have covered these issues off in your client contracts.