Six Wedding Photography Contract Tips

Let this be clear, I am not a lawyer. For every wedding photography contract that you are making it is good to hire a lawyer to review it in order to make sure that it is up to date with the law in your current state and that there isn’t anything that is not covered and/or that there are no loopholes.

Having a contract for every work you do is quite important because with that contract you protect your rights and you have legal grounds to sue if there is any misuse of your work.

In previous articles (10 Photography Marketing Ideas Part 1 and Part2), we discussed the basics of photography  marketing tips and ideas to help you establish you photography business. In today’s article, we will learn how to continue making this business successful by writing the best wedding photography contract.

1. Copyrights in the wedding photography contract

Make that one explicit. Write down where and how and for how long that copyright lasts. Make sure it is written simply and you have covered all basis. A simple share on Instagram or Facebook can cost you a bunch. Make sure that you state what applies for the prints, as well. Scanning a print and posting it online is the same as if the original image was posted. Also stating that any unlawful usage will cost them certain amount of money or a lawsuit will keep your clients in order with your images.

Day One Hundred & Seventeen by Xobellefemme
Day One Hundred & Seventeen by Xobellefemme

2. Describe the services you do

Writing down every service you do (and possibly the monetary value of the service) is good for you and your client. Having that on contract gives them sense of security that you will complete your assignment and that they will get what they paid for. On the other hand it protects you from clients that always want more and threaten with lawsuit if you don’t comply.

3. Do not forget the taxes

Let that stand in your contract as well. It is good to know who is paying the tax for the service or if the tax is included in the price or not. This is also in favor of both parties and makes payment much more simple.

Los Zapatos Magicos by Katherine and Gustavo
Los Zapatos Magicos by Katherine and Gustavo

4. Clear payment procedure

Knowing that most payment for services (at least in my area) are done after the job getting done you need to have a clause in the contracts that obligates the client to pay within given amount of time. The time usually given is 7 working days upon completing the services. It is good to state that there will be certain interest rate (which you will specify by your law) for any delayed payment. This will also motivate your clients to pay on time and will automatically pay for the waiting time if they fail to do so.

Dreamy rings by Heeeeman
Dreamy rings by Heeeeman

5. Time, travel and living expenses

Not all weddings are in the area you live in. Often you’ll have to travel and stay somewhere while the wedding lasts (since I’ve seen weddings that go up to 4 days), so you should put that in the contract as well, so the contract states explicitly who is covering those expenses (check Useful Tips for Photography Pricing).
Time is also important, and your contract should state your rate for any extra time besides the fixed amount you have agreed upon.

Wedding high heels by Shoesmaster
Wedding high heels by Shoesmaster

6. Unpredicted circumstances

Have a clause in your contract that covers all bases on cancellation, rescheduling and similar things which aren’t in your control. For example medical emergencies, family medical emergencies and so on. It is good to have a network of photographers to which you can rely on in order to keep your clients happy, but also have your bases covered. This would be “you never know” part of the contract

The above wedding photography contract tips can be applied in other photography projects as well. You may need to add more details based on the project requirement. Do you have other items to include in the contract? Share it with us in the comments below.

And here are some related articles that can help improve your photography business:


About Dzvonko Petrovski

Photographer who loves challenging and experimental photography and is not afraid to share the knowledge about it.

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