23 Things to Check For in Your Wedding Photography Contract

  • Publication date: 02/27/2023
  • Updated: 05/01/2023

A wedding is one of the most significant days of your life. On this day, the flashes of the cameras are targeted solely at the couple, and these images will be a reminder of such a momentous day for generations to come. As a result, couples frequently doubt when they should book a wedding photographer and how they should select the right one for their wedding. It is also critical to learn ahead of time what to look for in a wedding photographercontract. We’re here to help you find out!

How Do You Write a Wedding Photography Contract?

Ha Nguyen
Photo by Ha Nguyen

Today's hot topic is signing a contract with a photographer. Many people believe in actions rather than promises, preferring to establish crucial agreements on paper. A legal agreement with a photographer ensures the quality and stability of his work with customers.

Each agency that offers wedding photography services, or the photographer themselves, should provide you the possibility to sign a contract for the performance of certain services. The contract template is standard. A conventional contract can quickly be downloaded from the Internet and printed in 2 copies. A document of this type can actually be in any form, but once signed by both parties, it has legal power.

Why You Need To Sign A Contract With A Wedding Photographer

Taylor English
Photo by Taylor English

How can you come to an agreement with the wedding photographer while also giving them the opportunity to grasp what is expected of them? The answer is really simple. Sign a contract in which the parties' obligations are specified and all terms and conditions are documented in writing. This is the only way you can be confident that the photographer will be present at your wedding and that your money will be well-spent. Furthermore, the signing of a document testifies to the photographer's high professionalism and legitimacy of work. Beginner photographers typically lack this.

What do couples risk by choosing a photographer irresponsibly? What are the benefits of the contract? Read on!

What Should A Wedding Photography Contract Include

Laura Gordon
Photo by Laura Gordon

It's worth noting that wedding photography is becoming more common with the signing of a contract. Some argue that this cannot guarantee the resolution of issues. However, many arguments and problems can be avoided, allowing you to enjoy the happy memories of a valuable life occasion - your nuptials.

As a result, the wedding photographer's contract with the couple must include the following necessary terms.

The basic information

Before we get into the obligations of the parties, we should clarify who these parties are and when and where the event will take place. Make certain that all of the names are spelled correctly, or otherwise the contract will not be legally acknowledged.

What does the photography package include?

The number of working hours, how you will receive the edited images, and so on. Will it be stored in the cloud, on a USB flash drive, or in print? How many and how large are the photos? Is the price inclusive of a second shooter?

When will you receive the ready images?

The deadline for releasing the finished product is typically stated as no later than the day following the photoshoot. 

Photography style

Joel & Justyna
Photo by Joel & Justyna

The vendor chooses specific moments, settings, and viewpoints, as well as the style of photography. The photographer's choice of used photography equipment, methods, and techniques of photographing, as well as the necessity to involve assistance, is their personal option. Here you may clarify all of the controversial aspects about the finalized products' quality: what could be considered a defect, based on which the client has the right to claim compensation from the provider.

Photo editing

The photographer's creative process includes deleting captured material, editing, retouching, cropping, applying any artistic effects and styles, and selecting images for print. Discuss with him how you can modify this procedure. Check whether you will receive the RAW images.

The quality of the photographs

Photos must be in JPEG format and of excellent quality. A file with 2000x3000 pixels is usually sufficient to print high-quality images. When you receive images, make sure to look through all files. Copyright indications should not be presented in images.

The format and the minimum quantity of photos

Many professional photographers create various packages, for example basic, budget, and premium. The fee is determined by the length of time spent working with the couple and the number of images captured. It is critical to mention the planned amount of photographs as well as their format in the contract.

The payment procedure

It sometimes looks like this: 30% deposit, 40% on the date of the event, and 30% on the day of the handover of images. Clients will appreciate this arrangement, however, most photographers prefer to be paid on the day of the wedding. Anyway, all of this needs to be discussed with your vendor.

Force majeure

What happens if the photographer gets ill, for example? Should the money be returned? Will he get you a shooter of the same quality level? Is it possible to get the advance back? Be sure to specify all circumstances.

The right to possess and distribute photos

Kyla Jeanette
Photo by Kyla Jeanette

All rights to the photographs are owned by the creator. Check what is an additional payment (and if it is required at all) for a prohibition on uploading images anywhere on the web. In turn, if the client posts images, the author must be identified.

Responsibility of the parties

Fines are stipulated in this paragraph for violations of the above-mentioned agreements. You can avoid a variety of problems by doing so, such as increasing the cost of the finished work over time, delaying delivery deadlines, and so on.

In the same paragraph, the client's responsibilities should be specified: for changing the time and terms of shooting, for rejecting the services of a professional photographer after having signed a contract with them, and for delayed payment for work done.

Exemptions from responsibility for the parties

In the case of force majeure, such as injuries, natural disasters, weather anomalies, accidents, fires, mass riots, or military conflicts, the parties are relieved from liability for failure to perform their obligations. Other exemptions should be discussed individually.

What else to include in a wedding photography contract

Photo by @ninawernicke

It should be noted that the contract does not have to be drafted with the assistance of a lawyer, but all of its clauses must be as plain and understandable as possible.

  1. Where, when, and with what equipment should your wedding photographer arrive on your wedding day, and what should he photograph (if the newlyweds have any special wishes)?
  2. How many hours does the vendor have to be presented at the event?
  3. Is the transfer to and from the wedding venue included in the price?
  4. What kind of compensation is granted if any one of the parties violates the agreement's conditions?
  5. Is it necessary for the photographer to adhere to your wedding dress code, or can they wear whatever they want?
  6. Whether or not the photographer has the opportunity to take a break for lunch while shooting, and whether or not they will be allowed to dine at the expense of the newlyweds?
  7. Who is in charge of transporting the photographer and his equipment if the location of the shoot changes?
  8. What will be the parties' responsibility for damage to each other's property (for example, if guests accidentally damage the photographer's equipment)?
  9. Whether the photographer may use your images for advertising purposes in the future.
  10. Extra fee for additional hours of shooting.
  11. Non-Discrimination Policy.

The photographer must be informed of all aspects of the wedding day. The checklist of events is crucial for the professional to execute his job properly and not overlook any details.

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog