Finalizing Your Wedding Photography Contract

Yumi Matsuo
So you found your photographer, congratulations! Now it’s time to finalize their contract, sign it, and put down your first deposit so the photographer can lock in your wedding date!
We understand contracts can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but this is one of the most important parts of your wedding process so make sure you're clear on all of the following contract obligations: 

Everything You Need To Know About Your Photography Contract

Cancellation, Postponement or Refund Policy
The contract should include the photographer’s cancellation, rescheduling, and refund policies. An example of a rescheduling policy would be an agreement that the photographer could reschedule within 60 days of the wedding if a change in date takes place.
Payment Policy Terms and Taxes
Sales tax laws vary from state to state and a professional photographer should follow all tax and commerce laws required by his or her state.
Limit of Liability 
The Limit of Liability is vital because it defines what the client can hold the photographer liable for if problems arise between the client and photographer.
Payment Schedule and Preference 
Make sure you're clear on when your payments are due and what payment methods are accepted. You will be required to put down a deposit once you sign your contract to confirm the photographer. 
Exclusivity and Usage Rights
When you hire a wedding photographer you should make sure that the contract or agreement addresses the ownership and use of the images to your satisfaction.
Pro Tip: It’s important to talk about photography rights. It's not uncommon for the photographer to own the copyright, which means they can share them wherever they’d like. You might not have those same rights. If you want to keep your photos off the internet or you don't want them circulated, you need to have this conversation. Often there will be an additional fee to pay. 
Copyright Law and Model Release 
A model release is a legal document describing how both parties (the photographer and the person being photographed) can use the image in the future. This agreement makes sure both parties are protected.
Hours of Coverage and Overtime Fees
When you and your photographer sign the contract, it’s normally months before the actual wedding. It’s almost impossible to nail down a specific number of hours they’ll be needed at that point which is why most wedding photographers steer clear of promising “full-day coverage” in their contracts. Make sure the contract includes how long the photographer will work and the cost of additional hours if they need to stay longer. 
Plan your wedding like a pro.
Join our newsletter: