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

In part three of our series about 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 preparations list. You should have at least public liability cover for your business (if not, see these blogs…) and that cover is 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 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.

Wedding Suppliers and Styled Shoots – the legal issues? PART TWO: Intellectual Property

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 these 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 shoot? Don’t create a partnership by mistake…check this.
  • What are the themes or rules of the shoot? – you probably have a mood broad or a pintrest board – you can reference it here.
  • Who is paying for what? And when?
  • Intellectual Property – 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 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.

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.

Does this resonate?

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

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 supporters, the collaborators, 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?