Should the photography industry be regulated?
We’ve had a huge response to Mick Cookson’s article about Weekend warriors in the September issue of Professional Photographer. The issue of part-time or amateur photographers undercutting full-time professionals with cheap wedding packages is one that many photographers have an opinion about. One of the people who reacted to the Weekend Warrior debate is Richard Southall, who suggests that it’s time for the photography industry to be regulated.
He writes: “I welcome competition from any newcomer to the industry and I feel potentially that both clients and myself benefit from the fresh challenges and new creative bars which are raised by their entry. However, I want a level playing field and so do my compatriots. Over the last 10 years, photography has become far more accessible and affordable to new entrants and there is a perception (spread by some magazine editors of photo mags) that there are easy pickings to be made.”
Southall then suggests a list of possible criteria that part-time photographers or Weekend Warriors could be asked to adhere to in order to be recognised by a regulatory body:
“The things I would like to see through regulation are:
- They have Public Liability Insurance
- They have Public Indemnity Insurance
- They provide Employers’ Liability Insurance to anyone who helps them undertake a commission (2nd photographer/assistant)
- They are registered and have declared their part-time earnings to the Inland Revenue
- They pay type 3/4 national insurance contributions
- They are registered for VAT if their earnings are above the threshold
- They have notified their car insurers of their secondary occupation
- They’ve notified their landlords/mortgage company/council that part of their abode is being used for a part-time business and that they are complying and paying the additional monies due.
- They have given guarantees to their clients about safe, long term data storage solutions of their commissioned images
- They have produced and provided COSHH risk assessments of how they work safely and their affect on others in a public environment.
- They have the requisite health and safety equipment if required
- They have all their electrical equipment (lighting, chargers, computers etc.) annually PAT tested
- They have a stated policy on copyright and licencing of images produced
- They get regular Enhanced CRB checks (would you want anyone near your young children without one?)”
Southall adds: “I feel it is about time the professional trade organisations stood up and stated what they expected as the minimum core standard of a professional (part-time or otherwise), seek the appropriate legislation and then seek to monitor/certify/enforce that all practitioners comply.”
Do you agree with Richard Southall’s proposal? Have you got other criteria you think should be part of a minimum requirement enforced by a regulatory organisation? Or do you think the invisible hand of the market should be left alone? Tell us what you think in the comment box below.
Back to Categories
- Average Article Rating 1 Stars
- You must be a registered user & logged in to rate this.
Login | Register