The business of photography is like any other business and sometimes things can go wrong, your camera crashes, memory card fails, natural disasters, you get sick, you have an accident, bipolar clients and until you drop the memory card to the sea as you leave the boat where the wedding took place. Any of these and many other things could happen and turn your perfect work plan into the worst of your days.
A photography contract formalizes things between your client and you. The customers will appreciate the formality and the fact that you are professional enough to offer a contract that offers protection for all the parties involved.
Contact and Event Information
The first element that every photography contract must have at its inception is the basic identification and contact information of the client and the photographer. The information must be from both, remember that this document is for you and the client and legally must clearly identify who the parties of the agreement are. This information may be pre-printed or may be in writing at the time of signing the agreement.
From the client, you must include name, address, telephone number, email address and space for name, signature and date. On your part, you should basically include the same information. It is also important to include the type of event, place and date of this.
Hours of work, the hour of beginning and the exit are important details and can affect the final price agreed. It is important to include in contract how much of your time is required. If you leave it open, you will be at the mercy of what the client wants to do that day without the right to change your fees.
Another important element when writing your photography contract is the total cost of the photographic work. Of course, this will depend on the type of event and each photographer, who charges for a fixed amount, others for hours of work and others do with a combination of the two, a fixed price for a certain period of time and from there by hour of work this is how typically most of the photographers do.
It is always important to be as specific as you can. Remember to include all the possible scenarios. For example, what if the client asks you to re-work the post process of a photo or decide to add ten more photos to the package deal. You should include these considerations as part of the photography contract.
Terms of Payment
How and when you will be paid including the terms of payment in a photography contract will save you major short and long term headaches. One of the great difficulties of today’s professional photographer is having finished the wedding album, invested a large amount of time and expensive materials and not being able to charge the customer for the due work. Do you know how many wedding albums have been made and when they are going to be delivered and the couple is divorced? You would be surprised by the answer.
The payment term is simply the manner in which the payment will be made, who will do it and when it will be made. Typically, the photographer requires a deposit. If you want to request it, the contract must establish how much the amount will be and when is the deadline to deliver it. You must also set the return policy in case of cancellation by the client or the photographer.
The contract must also establish when the final payment will be made. In my contracts unlike other photographers who establish the final payment with the delivery of the photographic material, I specify the final payment on a particular date or the delivery of the photographic material whichever occurs first. In this way, I forcefully oblige the customer to make the payment on a particular date. In order to validate this date, a penalty is established in my contracts for each day paid after that date. In this way, my clients run to get the photographic material on time.
Another important element is the delivery time. You must establish this time considering the amount of work hours that the material to be delivered requires and always add an additional time period for the contingencies. Always the customer will feel satisfied to know through your contract that you commit to deliver the material in a certain time.