Once a client has picked that perfect wedding photographer to capture their big day, there remains yet another to-do for booking them, which is a wedding photography contract. It is an agreement which will protect a wedding photographer from liability. This agreement clearly outlines the expectations for both the wedding photographer and their clients. Having all the t’s marked off and i’s dotted will go a long way in avoiding any miscommunication and make certain that the client gets exactly what they want and the services you’re spending for. 

Why is a Wedding Photography Contract Important?

This binding agreement outlines almost everything related to the event’s photography, with both the photographer and client signing off the contract regarding it all. A good, basic wedding photography agreement will make sure fair treatment for both the parties, with provisions if there’s last-minute cancellation or defective equipment, as well as give an edge to everyone involved. 

Clients can be concerned about signing off an agreement, therefore it’s essential to emphasise on how much a contract can be advantageous to them. When a photographer meets clients, elucidating how this binding agreement serves as a guideline for them to refer back, the photographer can ensure that they deliver all the client wants. 

This is a chance for clients to specify exactly what kind of wedding photos they would love, besides other particular directions they have for the photographer. Think of a wedding photography contract as a script which one and all can follow so that the day goes seamlessly as possible. Any time if a question arises regarding the services offered, the wedding photographer can simply pull out the handy guideline and utilise as a checklist. 

This agreement protects the photographer and clients. On an off chance if things didn’t go the way as it’s supposed to be and the photographer has to resolve a financial dispute feud at the court, then a contract serves as a solid reference guide which they can refer to. After all, if the client alleges that there is a breach of contract, it’s important for the photographer to be able to enumerate everything they’ve given, as part of their defence. 

Over and above, a wedding photography contract offers clients a much firm reassurance that they’ll receive a return of their investment. Wedding photography Sydney isn’t something that costs next to nothing and clients who are perturbed by the amount of money that they shell out for a wedding photography package will feel much secure if there’s a binding agreement in place. 

A lot of them have little idea of what a wedding photography contract is all about. Both the content and length will greatly be subjected to what kind of services that a wedding photographer provides. 

Here is a quick list of non-negotiable essentials of a wedding photography contract. You can explore them in detail beneath: 

  • Contract Page
  • Agreement 
  • Payment
  • Rights and usage
  • Model release
  • Cancellation policy
  • Deliverables timeline
  • Payment method
  • Overtime hours 
  • Selected package details 

Take a look at some of the non-negotiable inclusions in a wedding photography contract.

Contract Page 

This is the basic contact information of the photographer and the client who makes the agreement. Think of the contract page as a cover page with inapposite information encompassing:

  • Name of the bride and groom, including contact details.
  • Contact number and email address of anyone who is involved whom the client thinks that the photographer should be in touch with.
  • Details of service availed(for instance, 6 hours of wedding photography coverage plus unlimited photographs by the photographer.)
  • Location, date and time of the wedding ceremony, wedding reception and other.
  • Place for date and signature.

Agreement 

This states that the agreement was made by the photographer and client who completely aim to work together within the agreement stipulations. 

Payment 

Here you specify the total cost for the services availed. Wedding photographers can also protect themselves with a non-reimbursable save the date deposit. 

In certain cases, this helps to break down the charges by the line item, so that the client knows what they are actually spending. 

It can also be advantageous to write separate pricing as well in the agreement if the client chooses to have extra items as well- such as another album or more photographs) once they’ve already paid for all. 

Rights and Usage 

Will you provide your client with a CD with all of the wedding shots? Or will you merely provide proofs and keep the printing rights? Make sure to add this in the writing as well or else you are subjecting yourself to potential losses. 

Model Release 

Whether you’re just as most photographers, you may want to utilise the wedding photographs for promotion or in your portfolio. Be sure to get this written consent in writing and ease things by adding it in the agreement. 

There are couples who don’t want their wedding shots used in the promotional material of their photographer at all. A lot of couples insist upon their photographs to be posted on social media, but some of them don’t need that, particularly if the shots entail children as well. Model release permission is something that both the parties need to converse about. This must be included in the agreement so that afterwards the couple is not distressed in the way their photographs are being used. 

Cancellation 

The contract cancellation provision entails the potential cancellation of both parties and not merely the clients. Certainly, someone might fall ill or a sudden calamity arises, which calls for calling off the wedding or postponing it, but it’s also possible that the photographer may fall ill or have an emergency that they can’t avoid. 

That’s exactly why even the most basic wedding photography contract should have a cancellation policy as well. A vast majority of clients willingly give consent to this, since it protects both the parties from the off chance that something may occur, as not expected. You don’t need to have another cancellation contract, instead merely a clause which covers mutual rescission. 

Suppose a wedding photographer needs to cancel the contract, on account of injury, illness or any urgency, then they can specify in the agreement that they’ll give back the retainer fee to the wedding party, but have no extra liability. 

Deliverables timeline

The work of a wedding photographer is just half-done at the end of the big day. The finished product is delivered after a couple of weeks, or sometimes months. This can turn out to be exasperating for some anxious couples, so it’s essential to make the deliverable timeline clear. Responses to questions such as how the photos will be delivered to us or when can we expect the wedding album is vital. Sometimes couples become too much absorbed in their postnuptial vacation that they let pass about the extra deliverables. 

Payment Method 

Although credit card payment is quite opportune, it’s seldom accepted by wedding photographers. The reason is that the additional fees can add up, which implies a loss of income for them. Owing to that, besides the agreed-upon pay, the payment requirements should be stated clearly as well. If the client covers the fee, does the photographer not have a problem with credit card payments? Do they accept only cheques?

Overtime Hours 

When both the parties sign the agreement, it can be a couple of months or even a year prior to the wedding day. But it can be difficult to nail down the exact hours since couples don’t have an idea of what day-of timeline is. This is the reason why a vast majority of photographers avoid full day wedding photography coverage in their agreements(excepting that it’s stated like- up to 10 hours of wedding photography). Ensure that the agreement includes both the pricing of extra hours if the photographer is supposed to be present longer, as well as details regarding how the photographer will work. 

Selected package details

Merely stating highlights package won’t do. The agreement should be clearly defined in order to avoid any sort of uncertainty. The wedding photography contract must include the list of inclusions with particulars like six to ten hours of wedding photography coverage, in lieu of full-day wedding photography coverage. 

Other Inclusions

If you want to be exhaustive, think of adding some other inclusions as well, for instance:

  • Wedding day timeline 
  • Product return
  • Booking and refund of travel charges
  • Condition on being the sole wedding photographer
  • Subjects to be covered including wedding prep, wedding and reception.
  • The number of cameras used.
  • Shot list(in detail).
  • How you will receive your proofs and its total number. 
  • Time for breaks
  • Non-disparagement clause
  • Balance remaining and deadline

Do your homework and research prior to writing a wedding photography contract to keep yourself covered. 

While you discreetly read through the wedding photography contract, see to it that all of the aforementioned information is covered. Once you know that all your bases are in place and the details are accurate, sign on the line and let the other party do the same. Then make sure that you make a copy of it so that you can refer back to it as the wedding draws closer.