Wedding Photography Contract - Part 1
Wedding Photography Contract
A wedding photography contract is super important for the modern photographer who offers their services on a professional level in the wedding industry. Unfortunately, verbal agreements don’t hold up in court, so if you’re client turns around and says that you promised to do something but you didn’t live up to your word, we’re afraid that it’s their word against yours. It’s always best to have any form of business agreement written up on paper, always have a copy of what was agreed for your own sake. We’re sure that no one on either side would want this outcome, however miscommunication can happen and a possibility every photographer should safeguard against. Having a piece of paper that dictates terms you and your client both agree to can be the difference between you continuing work as a wedding photographer and having to switch niches (or even careers). So, today we’re going to talk about the importance of a wedding photography contract and what you should be including in yours!
The Importance Of A Wedding Photography Contract - Having a wedding photography contract not only covers your back as a freelance professional, but it also makes your business look legit. In business, image is absolutely everything, no matter the industry. So, the same applies in the freelance side of life. Having a contract also shows your clients you’re a professional and that you understand the importance of ensuring things run as smoothly as possible. A contract gives everyone involved better peace of mind, which is a second reason why it’s in your interest as a wedding photographer to draw up a wedding photography contract to present to your clients.
What To Include In A Wedding Photography Contract? - Here’s a quick list of the basics to include in your wedding photography contract:
- Basic information
- Hours of work
- Terms of payment
- Deliverables agreed
- Delivery dates
- Image rights (for both parties)
- Policies regarding other photographers
- Failure to comply clause
- Cancellation and refund policy
TOP TIP: Contacting An Attorney – While we hope that this article will provide you with a rough idea on what should be included within a wedding photography contract, it doesn’t hurt to contact an attorney and run your contract by them so that they can ensure it’s fair, that you have included everything you need and that you’re using appropriate legal terminology so that the contract is carried out correctly.
Basic Information To Include – ‘Basic information’ sounds a little unclear, so we’ve put together a list of exactly what we know should be included within a wedding photograph contract:
- Your name
- Business name
- Business address
- Email address
- Phone number/ office landline
Client Information -
- The name of the Bride
- The name of the Groom
- Email address(es)
- Phone number(s) for both the Bride and Groom
- Plus, any other contact information of other family members/ parties that are involved heavily in the wedding.
Hours of work - It’s so important to get this in writing! You need to be firm and consistent about the time that you intend to start your work and the time that you intend on finishing. These times must be agreed upon by both yourself and your client(s). It should be written explicitly so there is no room for confusion or misunderstanding. Failing to include this vital piece of information could land you in a little bit of bother, so make sure that it’s something you discuss with your clients in future!
Price listings - You should clearly state which services you are offering your client and how much you expect in return for providing such services. Breaking down the costs really helps the client to understand exactly what they’re paying for (which will actually help you to land more business). To get a rough idea on how much to charge, have a look online and get a rough idea what the general going rate is for certain services and you can make a decision on what to charge through a little research and of course chatting to like minded photographers in the industry if you have contacts. Of course, don’t worry if you’re short on contacts at first, that’s normal and in time they’ll grow and you’ll have a contact book full of numbers!
Terms Of Payment - To avoid stress and having problems when it comes to the payment time, it’s important to have your payment terms in writing. These terms should include:
- How much the client owes
- Deadlines for expected payments
- Payment forms accepted, and how they can make them
- Policy for non-payment and policy for bounced checks and insufficient funds
It’s recommended that a 25% deposit should be given to you as the photographer when your services are booked. This deposit should not be refundable, just in case of any cancellations or trouble that you may run into. At the halfway date to the wedding, a deposit which amounts to 50% of the charges should be paid to yourself. It’s much better to get the payment out of the way before the big day, otherwise it’s kind of awkward at the wedding when you’re asking about payment. So, during that stage of the process and before your clients wedding day, you should have already received payment in full.
Deliverables Agreed - Your wedding photography contract must include what the client is paying for and what they can expect to receive in hand for this payment. As the photographer, you need to ensure that you clearly state what is included. Having everything in writing can save you time, money and hassle, so we think it’s best to be clear about what you’re offering your clients.
Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here.