Every contract should protect both parties and you should know what's in your contract and what you and your photographer's rights are. Take a look at several different contracts to get an idea of what is acceptable to you.
Make sure your contract includes:
- The name of the photographer, studio and state where the contract is written.
- The bride and groom's names, address, phone number including cell number and e-mail address.
- Wedding date, time, location, address of ceremony and reception.
- Signatures of bride, groom and photographer.
- Details of what's included in your package – Number and sizes of your pictures, any additional items that you discussed such as; page color, finish, borders, captions, collages, how many albums and what will be included in each album, the cost of extra pictures, DVD, if the proof album is included.
- Your total cost of the package and how payments will be made. The contract should state the percentage due upon signing the contract, your wedding day and final payment. Ask if the photographer accepts credit cards, and if they have an installation plan.
- A backup plan in the event of equipment failure or technical difficulties.
- The number of hours the photographer will be with you on your wedding day. Discuss additional fees, such as, overtime and travel time.
- An alternate plan in case your chosen photographer can not show up on your wedding day.
- Statement of how your photographer will use your photos for their advertising.
- Details of your ownership rights of your wedding pictures and the photographer's copyright. If you are purchasing copyrighted photos, you will need a permission letter to copy your pictures.
- How your photographer will present your pictures to you – will they be on-line, in a proof album or other method?
- Whether you or your photographer has final editing rights.
- The time frame that your photos will be available on-line (if they will be on-line) and how you and your guests will be able to access them.
- The time line for the photographer to have your proofs (pictures) and album completed.
- Details of your responsibilities in the event your wedding is postponed or canceled.
- Number of days that you have to cancel the contract after the contract has been signed without incurring a financial penalty. The contract should state the method of cancellation, via phone or in writing.
- How any disputes between you and your photographer will be settled. Will your dispute go to arbitration or to court? Which court will have jurisdiction and who will pay the fees?
Ask a recently married person to look over your contract and determine if there are any issues that you may have missed.
Read your contract very carefully and know what every line item means. If you have questions, ask.