School Photo Session Meltdown

By RVNA In Articles January 3, 2014

Photographer Mike White specialized in school portraits. He traveled to dozens of schools every fall taking student photos. The students and faculty loved working with him because he was positive, professional, and knew how to make even the grumpiest kid smile.

East Ridge Primary was one of his favorite schools to visit every year. He enjoyed working with the kind staff and the gregarious children, who knew how to ham it up for the camera. Mike was especially looking forward to this year’s school picture season. Since business was going well, he reinvested some of his earnings in new camera equipment and lighting. Mike was sure this year’s photos were going to be his best yet.

While the photographer’s away…

As usual, the staff at East Ridge Primary let Mike set up his photography equipment and backdrop in an unused computer lab. This worked for him because he was out of the way and had space to work.

Mike ran his lights, backdrop, and camera equipment across the room, taking care to tape down cords so children wouldn’t trip and fall. He took all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

Set-up had gone quickly and smoothly, so Mike had an hour before the first students were scheduled to get their pictures taken. Having forgotten his lunch at home, Mike decided to dash out and grab a bite to eat. He left the room and shut the door, leaving his equipment behind him.

After lunch, as soon as Mike returned to the school parking lot, he knew something was amiss. All the children were lined up outside and there was a fire truck and two police cars in front of the school.

The kids will play

While Mike was gone, three boys had snuck into the classroom where he had all his equipment. They thought it would be funny to take some candid photos of themselves to see what Mike’s reaction would be when he found their pictures on his camera.

One of the boys turned on the special lights Mike uses. And in the process of the pranksters taking pictures of themselves in various silly poses, the lights were knocked over. The heat of the lights quickly melted the carpet and caught fire.

Luckily, the boys escaped uninjured and managed to pull a fire alarm. Firefighters arrived and were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to other classrooms. But the damage to the room was extensive. The computers and equipment in the lab, valued at $150,000, were destroyed. Also, there was extensive smoke and water damage and the room had to be gutted and rebuilt from the ground up, costing another $75,000.

Fortunately, Mike protected his interests with the photography insurance program exclusively available through R.V. Nuccio and Associates. The insurance company defended Mike and paid $225,000 on his behalf. The court found Mike negligent in that the equipment was accessible and not secured.  Mike learned firsthand the importance of photographer-tailored insurance. If he hadn’t secured the proper coverage, the claim would have wiped out his business and possibly his personal assets too.

Industry-Tailored Protection

Mike protected his interests with the photographer insurance program exclusively available through R.V. Nuccio and Associates. Need coverage for your business? The RVNA Professional Photographer’s Insurance Program provides everything you need in one convenient place (Property Plus, Liability Plus, and Crime Plus Insurance). Underwritten by one of the largest, most respected carriers in the country, this tailored coverage package provides specialized “A” rated protection. Endorsed by the National Alliance of Special Event Planners, R.V. Nuccio and Associates is the only online nationwide insurance source for photographers, offering the most customized protection at the most competitive rates.

Note: This case study is based on real claims scenarios. However, the story has been fictionalized to protect the privacy of those involved.

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