Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

photographer contract questions

Contract wording can be scary, but our photographer contract states if by some uncontrollable reason he can't make it he will do all in his power to find another photographer, if one can not be found all deposits will be refunded. Scary I don't want a refund I want a photographer. I love his work, but this makes me think I should go to a company who has many photographers. Is this normal wording?

Also, it says pictures will be completed within 2 to 12 months after wedding. 12months seems like a long time. Again, is this the norm?

Thanks in advanceSmile

Re: photographer contract questions

  • Mrs.KristenMrs.Kristen member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Yes, That is typical in a photographers contract. Even if you went with a company with a number of photographers each ones style may be different. You are happy with this persons work then stick with them. That is a clause in case of an absolute emergency and most people never have to use it.
    12 months does seem like a long time- two things, ask how long they normaly get images back to their couples, on average and go to your local board and see if someone has used them before and how long they took. GL!
  • edited December 2011
    The first clause you mentioned is totally normal.  In fact, I think it's generous.  She's basically saying, if he gets ill, has a family emergency, or is injured, he'll make his best attempt to find you another photographer, and if he cannot, you get your money back.  Of course no one wants him to be unavailable, but if it happens, you at least want him to offer you an option.  Many photographers simply say that in the event they are incapacitated, they will refund you. 

    The second clause I find weird.  2-12 months is a HUGE range.  2-4 is very common, 4-6 is less common, more than 6 months is ridiculous, IMHO.  Some photographers will give digital proofs on a blog sooner, and then wait until 1 year to release the full digital copies to you...but waiting 12 months just to view your photos is unacceptable as far as I'm concerned.  I would ask him to strengthen the clause to say 2-4 months, unless expressly agreed in writing by the client that a futher delay due to a specific circumstance (to be named) is acceptable.
  • roseygbroseygb member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Yes the first clause is standard I think in the industry - if you're hiring a professional they're going to have a network of other photographers to call on, and its in the best interest of their business to find someone equal or better if something bad happens. but the 2-12 months is insane. Not normal at all. I wouldn't let it say anything longer than 6 months, to be honest. Major red flags on that one.
  • Ri23taRi23ta member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, that was my gut feeeling. Glad I asked!
  • atomicphotoatomicphoto member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    The first clause is standard amongst pro photographers. The fact that he is willing to attempt to find a replacement photographer is a good sign.

    The second clause is one that can vary from photographer to photographer. There is no set rule. There is no standard. Everyone does things differently. Ask what the average is for the images to be ready, but also ask if this timeframe is including the time for albums and prints and such. Some will separate the timeframes for different items, perhaps he just listed on large timeframe including everything. That being said there are plenty of high end photographers that have one year turn arounds. I would only be concerned if it was over one year.

    (from a pro photog's perspective) 
  • edited December 2011
    If this helps: the deposits portion is very common. We do a portion of the total payments returned. We've never had to do this. Our first choice is to take the total payments and purchase a photographer similar in style for a wedding with bridal approval. Our last choice is handing money back and hoping that you can find your own photography replacement.
    However, editing time - not acceptable. We do 5 weeks tops. It's tough and it can mean long nights, but our couples do not wait longer than a month and a half. I'd suggest bring it up with your photographer. Never book from a company that does many different shooters. You never know whose work you are looking at or who is editing your photos. 
    Just my advice.

  • vaia814vaia814 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    How about copyright and ownership of the images?  I imagine it's typical for the contract to say that the photographer can use the images for whatever purpose she likes in the future including selling them to a third party? I found that part the most disturbing. Not that I imagine that we are so beautiful that she'll put us on a billboard or anything, but it's still kind of creepy. I don't suppose I have much of a choice about that part? Anyone have thought on that? Thanks!
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