It’s only natural to get to excited when you finally find a wedding photographer. But taking a closer look at your wedding photography contract should be an essential step in hiring them. This is a binding agreement between you and your photographer. It’s important to make sure you are happy with the details before you sign. It’s also there to protect the photographer, ensuring that you follow through on your commitment to pay for your services.
Why Your Wedding Contract Matters
You might think your wedding photography contract is something you can simply glance over. This is definitely the wrong way to go about it. You have certain expectations that you want to have met. If they’re not, it might be because it wasn’t specified in your contract. And feeling frustration is the last thing you want when planning your wedding.
There are two main reasons why it is important to have a contract in place with your wedding photographer:
- Misrepresentation of Services. A photographer can make a lot of promises. Without a contract, you have no leg to stand on if they don’t deliver.
- Misuse of Photos. Generally speaking, photographers can use photos they’ve taken in portfolios. but having a contract in place ensures that you know how your photos will be used.
When you don’t have a detailed contract in place, you can’t prove that a photographer didn’t follow through on the agreed-upon services and terms.
What a Wedding Photography Contract Should Include
While every contract will be slightly different, here are a few specifics you should include in yours:
- Wedding Day Details. Make sure your contract includes the date, time and location of your wedding. The photographer also should have the names of the bride, groom and any other important family members and guests.
- Photography Package Details. The specific wedding photography package you decide on should be included, as well as any other extras.
- Payment Terms. Will you be paying a deposit? And if so, what is the percentage? Are there any non-refundable retainer fees? Make sure all payment terms are clear in your contract.
- Deliverables. If your photographer has agreed that your photos and album will be available six (6) weeks after your wedding date, ensure those details are in your contract. You should also include other deliverables, such as the number of hours you’ve booked your photographer for, if any overtime is allowed, etc.
- Rescheduling. There is always a chance that your photographer may have to cancel or reschedule and vice versa. Make sure you know what the guidelines are and confirm they are in the contract you sign.
- Copyright Details and Model Release. If you think there is a chance you might be sharing your photos with publications and websites, other than Facebook and Instagram, make sure your contract clears this. You should also review the details of how your photographer is allowed to use your photos and whether you’re happy with them.
- Meals and Extras. Lastly, make sure you understand whether you need to provide your photographer with a meal and if you will need to cover their transportation and hotel costs.
When reviewing your wedding photography contract, these are the most important aspects to consider. Once both you and your photographer have a signed copy, you can start getting excited about all the beautiful memories you get to capture.