What should I look for in a photography contract?

wedding questionnaire, client management, wedding photography, bride, groom

What should you look for in a photography contract – Wedding Edition

Earlier this month we discussed what you should include in a photography contract. We focused more on general portraits in that particular blog. This week are taking a closer look at what you should include in your wedding photography contract.

Wedding contracts will have a lot of similar sections that you see in a general portrait contract, but might have some differences on expecations in those various clauses. For example – your turn around time to deliver images is likely going to take a little longer for a wedding compared to a family session. There’s so many more images to edit! Your wedding contracts will also have some other clauses to help protect you and your clients on their wedding day that you might not see in a general portrait contract. Keep reading to learn more about some important sections to include in your wedding photography contracts.

Cancellation, Rescheduling and Refund Policy

If 2020 and 2021 taught us anything in this industry, it is the need for very solid cancellation, rescheduling and refund policy clauses in your contracts. This is especially true to weddings! Weddings took the biggest hit during the pandemic – with restrictions in place or changing and forcing wedding clients to reschedule their wedding or at times, even cancel.

But outside of the pandemic chaos, you are still going to have situations where a client may need to cancel, reschedule, or request a refund even after services have been completed if they end up being unhappy about something.

It is crucial to outline your policies for these in your contract so it is very clear to your clients. This helps protect you and your clients in the event of cancellation or rescheduling.

Meals and Breaks

Weddings can call for long days – so don’t forget that you need to take breaks and eat! You deserve it with all your hard work and those long hours! Your wedding contract should include expectations for taking reasonable breaks and having meal. You can even work into your contract expectations that your client will ensure a meal is provided to you during the reception if you would like. Your client will work with their catering vendor to ensure they have accounted for you to have meal during the wedding reception. Be sure to include clear information on when you plan to take your break and eat your meal so you and your client can work this into the wedding timeline. And don’t forget to include your second shooter – they deserve to take breaks and eat too!

wedding portrait

Damages to Equipment

Accidents happen! The bride’s uncle accidently knocks over your off camera flash or a kid pulls your camera down off the table. Photography equipment is not cheap and is a valuable tool to your business. If something breaks, you’re unable to shoot and do your job. It should be the couple’s responsibility to replace the broken item if the damage was from the result of a guest at the wedding.

Interference and Exclusivity

Everyone has a camera these days – whether it’s just the camera on your phone, a point and shot, or DSLR. Wedding guests love to take photos during the ceremony and reception, but sometimes they can interfer with your ability to do your job and get the shot. We’ve all seen it before – Aunt Suzy leaning into the aisle to grab a photo of the first kiss and subsequently is blocking your view the entire time. While many wedding clients are opting for unplugged weddings these days, you are still going to have clients who don’t implement that rule. What is your policy on guests interferring with your ability to take key moment photos?

You should include an exclusivity clause in your contract letting your clients know that you are the only professional photographer contracted to shoot their wedding day. This can also include your rules regarding guests taking photos during the ceremony, formal portraits, and reception.

Easily send out your photography contract and get electronic signatures!

Iris Works makes it easy to send and receive signed photography service contracts! Make life easier for your business, and your clients, by using an e-contract system like Iris Works.  In Iris Works, you can create as many photography service contract templates as needed and save them in your account.  The contracts for photography services templates can be easily sent to your clients for them to  electronically sign.

We now offer a free photography contract for all Iris users. Edit and redesign this general template to fit your business and specific needs.

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