On August 11, 2012 I publicized my first wedding photography emergency contact plan to three extremely trustworthy individuals, my husband and my parents. While the likelihood of having to put your emergency contact plan into effect is extremely slim, it is important to your business and your clients to have one. Every photographer should have some sort of an 'Incapacitation of Photographer' clause in their contract. An emergency contact plan should be created to outline the steps to secure a replacement photographer.
I strongly encourage that if you do not have an emergency contact plan in place, that you create one. Heck, I give you permission to borrow mine! Below are some items to include in your plan:
- Where your schedule can be found and how to access it.
- This will identify who needs to be contacted and in what order, depending on the length the emergency plan needs to be into effect.
- Where your client contact list can be found and how to access it.
- It is important to be able to contact the client to let them know that another talented photographer will be photographing their wedding day.
- How to find out who the second photographer is for your event and how to get ahold of them.
- I always shoot with a second photographer who is willing and able to take the lead if I became physically incapacitated.
- The contact info of photographers you work with regularly that can help find a replacement if needed.
- Do you have a group of photographers you email with, meet with, text with regularly? Ask them if they would be willing to be a contact to help find a replacement if you become physically incapacitated. Having a few contacts will help get the word spread that a replacement photographer is needed. This is just one of the areas the photography community rocks in, helping other photographers.
- Any Facebook groups that you are a part of in your area.
- There are an abundance of local, national and international photography groups that are very active. Don't forget to include the names of groups that can assist in the case of incapacitation.
- When to contact the client.
- I want to go be able to go to my client with the names and contact info for the replacement. The photography community works extremely quickly for this scenario. I wouldn't be surprised if my entire emergency contact plan could be initiated and completed in less than a half day.
My emergency contact plan is outlined below. Again, please feel free to plug in your own information. Just make sure to publicize this plan to a minimum of two trustworthy individuals who will take action if ever needed.
- Log into Tave to access my schedule and contacts.
- Username: USERNAME
- Password: PASSWORD
- Check to see what is on my schedule. I make sure that everything is posted with contact information, even those where I am second photographer. For weddings where I am the primary, I will even list my second photographers so that you have their contact information. They would be listed under the contacts second for the job.
- Contact the second photographers first and triple confirm they have all the information they need. If it is less than a week from the wedding, they should already have the wedding timeline with contact information for the couple. Explain the situation to the second photographer. My second photographers are awesome and will also assist in finding a second photographer. Stay in contact with them regarding replacement.
- Contact these photographers and explain the situation and what days/locations coverage is needed for. If any of them or the other photographers listed below are available as a replacement, they will be primary photographer. I have an extremely close relationship with these photographers and know their style is as close to mine as it can get.
- PHOTOGRAPHER 1 - Cell Phone - Email
- PHOTOGRAPHER 2 - Cell Phone - Email
- PHOTOGRAPHER 3
- PHOTOGRAPHER 4
- PHOTOGRAPHER 5
- PHOTOGRAPHER 6
- PHOTOGRAPHER 7
- PHOTOGRAPHER 8
- PHOTOGRAPHER 9
- PHOTOGRAPHER 10
- Log into Facebook to post a message in the groups below.
- Username: USERNAME
- Password: PASSWORD
- Facebook Groups:
- FACEBOOK GROUP 1 (Local to New York City/New Jersey)
- FACEBOOK GROUP 2 (National Group, Lots of people)
- FACEBOOK GROUP 3 (Local to Albany)
- Facebook Messenger Group:
- FACEBOOK MESSENGER GROUP 1 (Local to New York City/New Jersey)
- Upon securing another primary photographer (I wouldn't be surprised if it takes less than a few hours), immediately contact my couple. Explain the situation and that you have secured two great photographers for their big day. Explain that (as long as i have both my arms and am mentally capable), that I will continue to do the editing upon completion of the wedding. Give them the contact information of both primary and second photographer to the couple and confirm that they are in contact. It is so, so, so important that my couples have all the information they need.
- Now back to whatever it is you were doing :)
I hope this information was useful. I pray that you all have good heath and fortune and that you never have to put your emergency plan into effect.
Leaving you with a lovely view from a hospital room during off-peak (Someone was really watching over me).