Wedding Photography Contract - Part 2
Wedding Photography Contract
In our last blog post, we began discussing the importance of a wedding photography contract and what you need to include in the contract as a freelance professional to cover your own back, as well as the clients! So, this is the second part to the article, which means we’ll literally be jumping straight back into that topic without any further introductions, but you can check out part one of the article here: Wedding Photography Contract Part 1.
Delivery Dates – The thing that you need to remind clients to remember is that photographs of this nature take time to process. It’s not like taking them on a smartphone and they’re at your disposal instantly. This is why having delivery dates stated in the wedding photography contract is so critical. You must declare these dates (or at least give a rough estimate date) to your client, so that you’re both in the loop of what’s going on and they’ll feel like they’ve had a very professional service. The wedding photography contract is the place to settle these details. It’s fair to say that the images will be edited to a certain degree, but perhaps your clients do not realise how much time needs to go into the images to make them what they become. Briefly discuss the process with your client. This also sometimes eases their anxiousness over why it’s taking so long to receive the images.
Also, you’ll need to tell your client how they will receive their images. If the photographs are going to be sent as a digital file they’ll need to know exactly what to do so that they can download the images. If they’re going to be sent physically and already printed someone will need to be home to sign for the package, so you need to be clear about what the client should expect.
Image Rights - To avoid legal issues with the misuse of client photos, include the rights of the images as agreed to by both parties. You’ll need consent from your clients if you wish to use the photographs from their wedding/ photo shoot as part of your advertising methods for your business. Some of your clients may not be happy for their images to be shared as part of an advertising tool, so you’ll have to respect that, but for all of the clients who don’t want you to share their images, there will be clients who don’t have a problem with it.
Policies (Regarding Other Photographers) - It’s fair to say that at weddings, everyone in the building seems to become a photographer. About two dozen smartphones are out, capturing the same shot. A lot of people will follow your lead and may notice that you’ve got a great shot lined up and try to capture the same image that you’re being paid to take. However, this may cause a bit of a problem, because it has been known that guests at the wedding actually block the photographer’s view by standing in front of the camera, trying to capture the same photograph as you! Most annoying right? To avoid such instances, you should clearly state certain rules in the wedding photography contract that will make your job a little easier. For example, you could make a policy that no one else can take pictures during the ceremony. However, that can feel too awkward for some people. To avoid friction, discuss this issue thoroughly with your client ahead of time, and write in your contract how you would like to handle it on the day of the ceremony and/or reception.
Failure To Comply Clause – What if something unforeseen happens and for some instance, you cannot shoot the wedding that you’ve been hired to capture? You absolutely MUST (this is a big deal) have some sort of a backup plan. This clause will help you protect yourself from legal issues up to and including getting sued and losing your business. You don’t want to end up dishing out thousands due to failing to provide the services which you claimed to provide. Now, not to put you off, but this has happened to a lot of photographers. We’ll give you three guesses why... because they didn’t put enough time into a wedding photography contract that covered the failure to comply cause.
You could state in your contract that if an act of your making prevents you from carrying out the agreement, you will refund 100 percent of the money, but you will not claim further liability beyond that. Or, you could state that you will have an emergency backup photographer. Whatever you wish to have as your policy, write it in the wedding photography contract, and be prepared to stick to it.
Cancellation & Refund Policy – It's sad, but some weddings unfortunately don’t make it to print. This is exactly why you need to have it in writing what will happen in the event the wedding gets cancelled or rescheduled. This is known as a cancellation policy. By stating your means of action in the wedding photography contract, you’re protecting yourself but you’re also making it very clear to your client what they can expect from you. You also give your clients the peace of mind that if anything happens that prevents the wedding on the date agreed to, they’ll know precisely what it will cost them.
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.