What should be in a wedding photography contract?
If you’re in the process of planning a wedding, you’ve probably signed a contract or two with vendors, including your wedding photographer. Contracts are there for a reason, and it’s not just for the benefit of your photographer. Your wedding photography contract is built to protect both you and your photographer, in the event that something goes wrong. Chances are, everything will be just fine, but when it’s something as important as your wedding photography, it’s nice to know you’re protected.
But what should be in a wedding photography contract anyway? Here are a couple of things that are pretty standard, and are likely found in any professional wedding photography agreement you come across.
First, the contract will probably outline the price and payment, likely including a non-refundable deposit. The reason you won’t get your deposit back in the event the wedding doesn’t take place as planned is because your photographer was saving that day just for you. This means if other clients tried to book it, they have turned them (and potential income) away. A deposit protects your photographer from losing income AND guarantees your photographer has your date set aside for YOU.
Second, you will probably see some kind of “act of God” clause that outlines what happens in case your photographer has an emergency. For example, if your photographer is in a car accident the week before your wedding, you need to know what the procedure for your wedding and your money is. This also will usually say that your photographer will not be held liable for anything that happens beyond their control.
Before signing your contract, even if there is a clause like this, be sure you ask your photographer what the plan is should an emergency arise and your photographer can't be there. It's best you are completely aware of what would happen on your end, to make sure you're protected.
Finally, your contract with your wedding photographer will likely outline information about the images themselves. This info typically includes a model release (allowing the photographer to use your image for his/her promotional purposes), copyright ownership and permissions, and when/how your images will be delivered (varies with each photographer). Again, your photographer should go over all of these things with you, so you know exactly what to expect at every turn.
Curious to know how my contract stacks up? Email me and we can discuss it.
Quick disclaimer: this is a reminder that I'm a photographer, not a lawyer and this is not legal advice! Instead, this is just my opinion on what I think most photography contracts probably have in them. It's always best to contact your attorney for sound, personalized legal advice.