(Closed) Do Photographers have to be Certified in FL?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
3049 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

This is something that I’m sure an actual photographer can answer. But I do remember my photographer saying she was certified (and to tell my parents so they don’t think she’s just doing it for fun). You may want to ask why your photographer is not certified. Maybe there is a particular reason, or maybe he/she is a part of some other photographer’s group. Like I said, I don’t know one way or the other, but it’s worth the effort to find out definitely! It could be a non-issue.

Post # 4
Member
1405 posts
Bumble bee

Being a certified professional photographer has nothing to do having a local business license.  A CPP is a certification designed to assure the general public that you are in fact a professional.  It has more to do with knowlege, talent, and skill.  It’s a written exam and series of photo submittals that are passed by an administrative panel.  Not many professionals hold this certification, it’s not a requirement, kind of something extra you do if you want to give the public some assurance.

All you really need is a DBA which is a “doing business as” license from the town you practice in.  The town he resides in should have that info.  A tax ID number also means that they are in fact a business that is setup to report income.

I wouldn’t harp on this stuff, even someone with a registered business can go bankrupt or close up shop and reopen under another name…….where are you going with this?

Post # 5
Member
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@USER876: I’ll second that.

I know many long-standing, award-winning pros who do not have their CPP, b/c it is absolutely not required. It’s not a bad thing though, and I see people going to sit for the exam recently just to differentiate themselves from all the sub-par newbies out there.

He should need a DBA. Not sure what else he needs in Florida.

Hope this helps.

 

Post # 7
Member
1405 posts
Bumble bee

@Rock Hugger:  go to your local town hall.  I think your best bet is to ask for references from say a sample wedding he showed you and contact them.

 

Post # 8
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

@Rock Hugger: If you’re this concerned perhaps you should go with a photographer that’s more established.

 Honestly, as long as you have a permanent address for him, a contract, have viewed full galleries of his wedding work (not vacation or portrait work), everything should be fine. Established photographers are also capable of flaking out- it’s the chance you take with all vendors. This is why contracts are important.

Post # 10
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

Florida photographer here chiming in.

Photography in Florida is not regulated the way say, contracting or hairstyling or teaching is. All of those require a contracting license, hairstyling license, or teaching license, for example.

Any photographer owning a business in Florida should have a state sales tax license.

They need a business tax receipt from their county.

They may need a business tax receipt from their municipality.

A tax ID number is needed by the federal government (not Florida) if operating as anything other than a sole proprietor.

If he is an LLC, that would be filed with Sunbiz in the state of Florida. All corporations (including LLC’s) are registered with the state.

If he doesn’t use his own name (Bob Smith Photography) and instead uses a name like Sunny Day Images, he needs a DBA, or a “Doing Business As.”

Certified Professional Photographer is a completely optional program operated through an independent organization and not required.

He should also be carrying liability insurance, etc so that you don’t have to worry as much or rely on your wedding insurance.

Hope that helps with the Florida regulations! There are a lot!

Post # 11
Bee
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

@Rock Hugger: Good on you for at least making sure he is doing business as he should be. There are far too many “craigslist photographers” who are taking all their money under the table and not paying taxes (thereby allowing them to undercut legitimate businesspeople by a significant margin– and damage the market). You definitely want someone who is a legitimate businessperson to take care of you! Professional certifications and memberships are not nearly as much of a must-have as proper business protocol, contracts, and experience. Your photographer should also carry indemity, equipment, and liability insurance, if not more extensive travel insurance. in fact, some venues require it. It protects you as well as your photographer from having to pay huge amounts out of pocket in the event of an unforeseen incident.

We put together a list of questions/FAQ that we encourage all of our clients to ask of prospective photographers. Please feel free to use it as a resource if it helps: http://www.persimmonimages.com/policies/ (Note to mods: not intending to self-promote here, just give some help.)

Post # 12
Bee
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

@Rock Hugger: Good on you for at least making sure he is doing business as he should be. There are far too many “craigslist photographers” who are taking all their money under the table and not paying taxes (thereby allowing them to undercut legitimate businesspeople by a significant margin– and damage the market). You definitely want someone who is a legitimate businessperson to take care of you! Professional certifications and memberships are not nearly as much of a must-have as proper business protocol, contracts, and experience. Your photographer should also carry indemity, equipment, and liability insurance, if not more extensive travel insurance. in fact, some venues require it. It protects you as well as your photographer from having to pay huge amounts out of pocket in the event of an unforeseen incident.

We put together a list of questions/FAQ that we encourage all of our clients to ask of prospective photographers. Please feel free to use it as a resource if it helps: http://www.persimmonimages.com/policies/ (Note to mods: not intending to self-promote here, just give some help.)

Post # 13
Member
1405 posts
Bumble bee

@cherrypie:  i don’t thnik 7% (sales tax) is putting a dent in undercutting real pro’s.  Most of these newbie craigslisters don’t price for profit and operate at a loss because they don’t know better and feel the only way to get business until they are established is to be “cheap.”

Anyhow, best of luck to the OP, you are doing your homework hopefully it will pay off!

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