Do I need a wedding photography contract?

Do you need a wedding photography contract? Yes. Of course you need one. Why? Read on to find out.

It’s all well and good that you have found the wedding photographer of your dreams. It’s brilliant that he is free on your wedding day and fits right in the budget. What he says sounds great and now all you have to do is wait for your wedding day. When this is the case, why need a contract?

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Well, when it comes to professional art services, nothing is as tricky as wedding photography. Unlike other types of photography, there can be no retakes. The photography has to happen when the moment happens. It cannot be recreated. The emotions cannot be replayed. Once lost, it’s lost forever. When such is the scenario, there is so much that could go wrong. Camera equipment failures, bad lighting and illness are just a few of the factors that can turn a tediously planned day into a total disaster.

However, that will not be the case if you have a wedding photography contract.

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Contracts formalize and legally bind two parties that have verbally agreed on a set of terms and conditions. This is specially important if you are working with somebody you don’t personally know. It’s also a mark of a professional conduct on the part of the wedding photographer to have a clearly worded contract in place. Of course, the contract needn’t be notarized to make it binding. In today’s times, a detailed email with the acknowledgment of both parties does the job. A few wedding photographers have gone to the extent of issuing a printed memorandum of understanding and require you to sign on it.

So, one of the few things you have keep in mind is making sure that the contract is clear, reasonable and earnest. And, how to we do that? The following is meant to be used as guidelines to make sure your signing the right contract:

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1) Basic details: The contract should state the names, the dates, location and the complete contact information of both parties. It should also state the package if its only photography or only cinematography or both.

2) Duration: Though Indian weddings are notorious for going on for hours, the couple and the photographer has to come to a consensus on what is a reasonable professional service. Indian weddings can happen round the clock and the more details of the exact time there is on the contract, the clearer it is.

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3) Deliverables: The contract should clearly state what the couple will get at the end of the service. In other words, details of what the package includes such as number of photographs, number of pages in the coffee table book, dvds etc should be mentioned. It should also state the time period for the delivery.

4) Price and terms of payment: The total cost including taxes, actuals and extras should be mentioned. The modes and terms of payment should also be stated.

5) Copyrights: Photographers would like to use your pictures for their portfolios and websites. Make sure this is part of the contract so that neither party treads on this tricky path later on.

With this information, you are well protected and ready to enjoy your big day with no fear absolutely. Your pictures are safe and in the right hands.

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