The Wedding Photography Contract

So you've finally chosen your photographer - good for you. Now it's important to get every detail of what you discussed in the interview down on paper, and in hard copy for your record keeping purposes. The photography if your wedding is one of the most expensive, and one of the most nerve-racking details, because it's so important, so be sure not to leave anything open for debate.

It's very important to make sure your wedding contract contains exact information of the details you discussed. There more vague, the more room for legal trouble later if you're unsatisfied. The details you want solidified are as follows:

  • The exact name and address of the photographer
  • The name of the studio for which the photographer works
  • The date of the wedding
  • The photographers arrival time
  • The number of photographers and photographer assistants in attendance
    • Their names and contact information
  • The number of hours the photographer will be working, including pre and post wedding work
  • In case of illness or emergency, the name and contact information of the photographer filling in
  • Dress code
  • Clause for equipment failure

Perhaps the most important part of the wedding photographers agreement is concerning the ownership of the prints and negatives. Financially speaking, make sure the following is also included in the contract:

  • The exact cost of the package chosen by couple
    • Any major details about the package purchased
  • Deposit given at time
  • Terms for completion of payment
  • Deposit requirements and refund policies in terms of cancellation by either party
  • Ownership of prints until balance is paid in full
  • Ownership of the copyright of prints, and how photographer will use prints in the future
  • Ownership of negatives
  • Turnaround time for prints

Additionally, if you discussed any kind of special shots, scenario or backdrop preferences, type of film - these should be included. If your photographer agreed to complete your checklist, this should be noted in the contract as well, including a hard copy of the checklist. Include exact information about proofs: how many, who keeps them, what size are they, etc.

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