At Oliver Charles Photography when we are asked by a couple to photograph their wedding we always ask them to sign a wedding contract. Wedding contracts are really important as they protect you from liability. They are a legally binding contract and cover eventualities such as cancellation, illness, image copyright and issues of complaint.
As a couple booking a wedding photographer for the first you want everything to be perfect. After all, you have enough to think about already! Wedding contracts provide clarity, stating in black and white exactly what is expected from both parties and how any possible problems will be addressed.
We often receive calls and emails from couples asking us about our wedding contract so we have put together this easy to use guide on what to look for when signing your wedding contract with your photographer.
1. Basic information on you and your wedding day
The first section of your wedding photography contract is (or should be) nice and simple. Here there will be information such as the date and time of the wedding, details of the bride and groom, and wedding venue information.
There should also be information regarding any booking fees or deposit, as well as an agreed date for the remaining balance to be paid. For example, at Oliver Charles Photography we ask for a deposit from our customers once they have agreed a date with us, with the rest of the money to be paid at least one month before the wedding date.
We also include a special requests section in our contract. For example, we recently photographed a couple releasing a pair of doves before their wedding vows.
“We really appreciated the attention to detail of the wedding contract provided by Oliver Charles Photography. We were a little unsure at first but when we read it through it all made sense. It put our mind at ease and we knew exactly what to expect on the day”.
We then include a detailed set of terms and conditions in our wedding contract. This is where things can get a little boring. However, an understanding of this section is important so read this area of your contract carefully.
The terms and conditions of your wedding contract should include the following:
2. Special requests / coverage
Photographic coverage will be determined by the photographer. No one photograph will be deemed more important than another. Special requests are not binding instruction, although every effort will be made to comply with the clients wishes.
3. Notification of any changes
Any changes or additional requests must be provided in writing by the client.
4. The Photographer
On occasions and without notice it may be necessary for the photographer to be substituted by another. This may be due to issues such as illness or accident.
Note: At Oliver Charles Photography we have operate within a network of trusted photographers.
All images provided will be at the discretion of the photographer. Image sizing will be set for best viewing by the client.
All images are protected by the Copyright and Design Act 1988. At Oliver Charles Photography our clients have the rights to print as many of their images as they like. However, clients can not sell the images to third parties for commercial purposes.
7. Negatives / Digital Files
Negatives / digital files are the property of the photographer. The client can not use the images for monetary gain.
The photographer is granted complete artistic licence in relation to the poses photographed and locations used. Due to possible weather conditions and other external factors it may not be possible to capture all images requested. E.g. if the weather is very bad it may not be possible for certain outdoor shots to be taken.
9. Force Majeure or Act of God
The contract is subject to alteration or cancellation by either party due to factors beyond their control. E.g. If there was an accident caused by heavy wind or rain that meant either party could not attend.
The client allows the photographer to display any images taken in their studios, portfolios, website or advertising. No other use of the images will be made by the photographer for other commercial reason except with written permission of the client.
The client may cancel this contract at any time by giving written notice but in doing so will forfeit any monies paid. If cancellation is less than 4 weeks before the date of the wedding the client shall pay a sum equal to a percentage of the contract value. Note: This percentage amount should be agreed before the contract is signed but often varies depending on your photographer.
12. Limitation of liability
In the unlikely event of a total photographic failure or cancellation of this contract by either party the liability of one party to the other shall be limited to the total value of the contract. Neither party shall be liable for indirect or consequential loss.
Any complaints should be raised by the client with the photographer in writing within 28 days of first becoming aware of the matter to be complained of.
All there is to do next is to double check the contract with your partner, address any questions you may have with your photographer and simply sign and date the contract. HOORAY!
We also recommend making a copy of the contract for yourself for your own records.
Thank you for taking the time to read our guide ‘What is a wedding contract and what should it include?’ If you require any additional advice on wedding contracts please do not hesitate to contact the team at Oliver Charles Photography.