So many wedding photographers that I meet ask me about contracts, what should go in it or where do they get one for free? Yikes! Please don’t rely on a free contract that may be out of date for current law or not relevant to your location. UK laws are very different to the US so please be wary about procuring a sample contract from over there and thinking you will be covered in Britain. It is a sad fact that as a nation we are becoming increasingly litigious and this is spilling over into wedding photography. The publicity surrounding celebrities having legal spats with their wedding photographers and/or magazines may well be encouraging the everyday married couple to think that suing wedding suppliers if your ‘Perfect Day’ has a few hiccups is a good idea. Of course if a wedding photographer fails to turn up or deliver the images then yes legal action should be pursued. We have all seen horror stories about people photographing weddings and loosing the images or simply doing a terrible job (look on the Daily mail website if you haven’t) but as a dedicated professional, what are the clauses that should be in our contracts to protect us?
You can view and download my contract here as an illustration and guide as to what you could include.
My advice is to seek the help of an intellectual property solicitor to draw up an agreement for you. This could save you a lot of misery further down the line. Try to update that agreement at least once a year as the industry and your business evolves. Whatever you do, NEVER work without a written, signed agreement and the advice is to get both members of a couple to sign.