From the perspective of most wedding photographers the contract that they sign with the bride-to-be and groom is very important. It sets out the terms on which they’re undertaking a job and it sets boundaries as regards what is wanted from them from the couple and also what’s reasonable and what is not.
Some photographers will try work without a signed contract. When they do this they are taking a risk and they should understand the level of risk. If the event is a wedding then it’s not something that can be repeated if mistakes are made. The chance is that the cameraman can be brought to court if the client thinks that he has not performed the work in the correct way.
Some things that a contract should define:
– How many hours are to be worked
– What is the date and start time of the event
– What are the deliverables from the shutter-bug
– What’s expected from the customer
– What are the payment terms
– Is a substitute shutter-bug permitted
– What happens if the client fails to meet the payment terms
– What will occur if inclement weather or other unforeseen events forestall some photos being taken.
– Under what conditions is the client, or the photographer permitted to cancel a contract and what penalties are concerned if this occurs.
The contract should be signed and dated by both parties, the first should be kept by the photographer and a copy kept by the couple. By setting everything out clearly in this manner, many disputes can be avoided. If disputes do arise and action is taken to court, then the contract should supply a clear framework for the court to decide a plan of action.
Always consult a pro lawyer when making a contract or duplicate one from an existing pro photographer that you know and respect and have a counsel review it for any issues before using it in your business.
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