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Your wedding or Family Shoot and Covid 19

Covid 19 Corona Virus Wedding

Working with Babb Photo – Your wedding or family shoot and Corona Virus

This is an updated version of the post I initially shared on 15th March 2o20. If you’re an existing client please refer to the section titled: What happens if you need to reschedule / postpone your wedding 

Everything has changed now, and we’re currently on lockdown.  There’s a ban on gatherings and we have no way of knowing how long this will remain in force.  As it stands, all of my work is now postponed or cancelled until July 2020, leaving me with no income. At the moment, whether or not my business will survive is an unknown.

You can read about the impact this is having on my business, as well as me personally, here.

Here’s what you need to know  if you’re postponing your wedding. Before continuing to read, there is some really great info about where we all stand legally in this post.

 

 

What happens if you need to reschedule / postpone your wedding

Under the terms of my contract, if you change dates this would be deemed to be a cancellation of your existing contract. You’d usually need to pay a new contract fee for your new date.

The reason for this is that there a limited number of dates where I can make my income for the whole year. Transferring a booking means I lose the income from one of the dates, usually because it’s not possible to rebook your original date and also because I lose the ability to take on a new client for the date you’re moving to.

Under the current circumstances, I’m waiving the requirement to pay any additional fees if you rebook a 2020 date. If you rebook a 2020 weekday, instead of a weekend, I’ll provide you with a £100 print credit to say thank you.

If you’re set on having a 2021 date, please consider booking a weekday wedding or a weekend date between January and March.

If I offer my 2021 dates to 2020 clients, that means that as well as losing almost ALL of my income for 2020, my income for 2021 will seriously be impacted too, as I won’t be taking new clients for prime dates.  The likely result of this is that my business will have to stop trading.

If you have your heart set on a weekend wedding in 2021, your existing contract will be cancelled (in line with the contract cancellation period), a new contract will be issued and a new fee would apply. It’s worth mentioning that you may be able to claim for your postponement on insurance. In order to be flexible about this, I’m offering the following discounts to existing clients.

  • Weekday weddings in 2020 – transfer of the existing contract to your new date at no charge + £100 print credit to say thank you
  • Weekday weddings in 2021 – transfer of the existing contract to your new date at no charge
  • Saturday weddings between now and March 2021 – transfer of the existing contract to your new date at no charge
  • Saturday weddings after March 2021 – transfer of the existing contract for a fee of £750 (the equivalent of my booking fee)
  • Sunday weddings after March 2021 – transfer of the existing contract to your new date at no charge

Payments would be due as follows:

50% of your outstanding balance 2 months before your original wedding date
The remainder of your balance 2 months before your new date

Charging the cancellation fees that are outlined in your contract under the circumstances feels uncomfortable but I’m a tiny business, with almost zero wriggle room to cover loss of predicted income. At the moment I don’t know if I’ll be able to pay my rent next month.

Other factors like Brexit, changes in the wedding market and a period of ill health two years ago that impacted on my marketing have already had an effect on my bookings, so it’s really hard as a freelancer to respond to this situation in any other way.

What happens if I do get sick – weddings

Nothing has changed in this respect, as I’ve always had a contingency plan in place to cover this eventuality. In my nine years shooting close to 300 weddings, I’ve only had to arrange cover once.  That was because I sprained my knee and couldn’t walk.

In all other circumstances, my usual approach has been to photograph the wedding regardless. That’s included shooting with a chest infection and on the day I found out a family member had passed away. I take my commitment to you seriously. Obviously circumstances now are very different. A huge element of the risk is infecting others and the virus spreading to vulnerable people. Because of this, if I’m sick with Corona or anything with symptoms like Corona I’d stay away.

I’d never stay away without doing everything in my power to arrange cover. I have a strong online network of photographers all over the country and I’m in various groups online with hundreds of members. This includes emergency cover groups and groups that have been set up specifically to assist with Covid 19 .

I know my couples have all booked me for my particular style and approach, so this would be a factor in securing a replacement. If I do arrange for someone else to shoot for me, rest assured I’d still handle every other aspect of your wedding. This would include everything from editing to aftercare. I’d also be sure to make sure I have a replacement confirmed before I let you know that there’s an issue, so as to avoid unnecessary stress for you.

What happens if I do get sick – family shoots

I am always overly cautious when it comes to photographing families and sickness. You don’t want your small people to get sick, or to get sick yourself while you’re in charge of them.

If I’m sick or if you need to call your family shoot off for any reason, we can reschedule to another date that suits us both. Id’ just ask that you cover any expenses that I’ve already paid (for example my train fair). I’ll do everything I can to be as flexible as possible about dates / when we do your shoot, including offering free upgrades to weekend shoots if this would work better for you.

If anyone in your household has any kind of illness, whether it’s Covid 19 symptoms or something else, please discuss this with me before your shoot. If, for example, I catch a common cold from a member of your family, that will affect my immune system and, as mentioned above, I’m trying to stay as healthy as possible so I am able to fulfil my obligations to all of my clients.

Finally…

I am committed to working with you to ensure that I cover your wedding myself. Where that’s not possible I’ll make arrangements for an amazing replacement who I’m 100% confident can represent me. If you have any questions about the above information or any other aspect of your wedding, let’s chat. I’m making myself available for Skype meetings with clients over the next few weeks, so we can discuss anything you’re worried about. If you’d like to chat over Skype drop me an email and we can set something up.

If you’re a family shoot client, things are a little more flexible but I’m still happy to jump on a call and chat through any worries.

As I say, things are still business as usual right now, and I’m taking all possible steps to protect myself and to ensure that I’m not putting you or any of your guests, friends or family members at risk. Until we know more…

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