Wedding Photography Contract 101: What Every Bride Should Know

It’s only natural to want to get to all the exciting stuff when you finally find a photographer, but taking a closer look at your wedding photography contract is the first essential step.

This contract is a binding agreement between you and your photographer, so it’s important to make sure you are happy with the details before you go ahead and sign. A contract is also there to protect the photographer, ensuring the couple follows through on their commitment to pay for their services. 

Why Your Wedding Contract Matters

You might think your wedding photography contract is something you can simply glance over, but this is the wrong way to go about it. There is nothing more frustrating than having certain expectations but later finding out they were not outlined in the contract.  

There are two main reasons why it is important to have a contract in place with your wedding photographer:

  • Misrepresentation of Services. A photographer can make a lot of promises and without a contract, you have no foot to stand on if they don’t deliver. 
  • Misuse of Photos. While most photographers use photos for their portfolios, a contract ensures you know if and how your photos will be used. 

When you don’t have a detailed contract in place, you can’t prove that a photographer didn’t follow through on the agreed-upon services and terms. 

What a Wedding Photography Contract Should Include

While every contract will be slightly different, here are a few specifics that should be included in yours:

  • Wedding Day Details. Make sure the contract includes the date and location of your wedding as well as the names of the bride and groom.
  • Photography Package Details. Include the specific wedding photography package you decided on as well as any other extras that were agreed upon.
  • Payment Terms. Will you be paying a deposit? And if so, what is the percentage? Are there any non-refundable retainer fees? Make sure all the payment terms are outlined in your contract.
  • Deliverables. If your photographer has agreed that your photos and album will be available six weeks after your wedding, ensure those details are in your contract. Other deliverables to outline are the number of hours you’ve booked your photographer for and whether any overtime is allowed or available as an option. 
  • Rescheduling. There is always a chance that your photographer may cancel or reschedule and vice versa, so make sure you know what these parameters are. 
  • Copyright Details and Model Release. If you think there is a chance you might be sharing your photos with publications and websites other than Facebook and Instagram, make sure your contract clears this. You should also review the details of how your photographer is allowed to use your photos and whether you’re happy with them. 
  • Meals and Extras. Lastly, make sure you understand whether you need to provide your photographer with a meal and if their price covers any transport costs. 

These are the most important aspects to consider when reviewing your wedding photography contract. Once both you and your photographer have a signed copy of your contract, you can start getting excited about all the beautiful memories that are going to be captured!