For as long as photographers have been taking photographs, they have been losing photos. It could have been due to camera failure, lost film or bad developing chemicals. Today photographers can lose photographs (image files) for a variety of reasons. Anything from a lost memory card to a computer failure can result in lost photos. Sometimes, the photographer might have just forgotten to take a specific photo.
No matter the cause, lost photos from your wedding deprive you and future generations of the ability to remember your special day, the day a new family tree was created. There have been some recent posts here complaining of lost or missing photos. Just as important as making sure your photographer has a backup plan should they become ill, you should also make sure your photographer carries Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O).
Wedding photographers who are members of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) are required to carry E&O as part of their membership. E&O allows your photographer to clean your dress, redo your hair/makeup and rent a tux to recreate a missing photo. In the most extreme case E&O will recreate your whole day including flying some guests to the venue when needed. E&O will pay to attempt the recovery of the computer hard drive or memory card.
In short, E&O insures your photographer is able to provide you with the memories you deserve. If your photographer is not a member of PPA, ask them about their E&O insurance. If you'd like, get the carrier's information before the wedding so you can contact them directly should your photographer become uncooperative. E&O insures you as much as the photographer.
Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer
Excellent post Howard. Many wedding photographers are also members of WPPI and get their insurance through Hill and Usher, which has special coverage options for photographers, including E&O insurance.
Carrying insurance one of those things that distinguishes professional photographers from hobbyists!
As a relatively new photographer, I just signed up for liability insurance through NASEP. However, they don't offer Errors and Omissions coverage. It's kind of nerve-wracking to think of it through a business perspective. I could get sued. But I DO take generous precautions when shooting a wedding, like bringing a back-up camera, spare memory cards, shooting on 2G cards instead of larger ones (in case one fails, I only lose 100 images instead of 400-600), etc.
In post-production, I immediately back up my images to an external hard drive and burn my RAW images to a DVD.
However, E&O insurance is still on my conscience, since anything can happen. I just need to find out exactly what these policies cover. Thanks for the post.