Course Extra-: This is an additional chapter of “The Complete Guide to Starting a Photography Business.” – Running a photography business is not only about taking good pictures and sourcing for clients. It also has a legal hang of it and if you do not handle the legal part of photography business properly, you are likely going to get yourself into trouble more often than you think.

In order to successfully build a successful wedding photography business, you must ensure that you contract a lawyer to help you draft a contract for the business. The truth is that, if you don’t have a contract in place that your clients are supposed to sign before commencing any job for them, you will be exposed to litigations and that might lead to the collapse of your business.

The fact that people can change their minds whenever they want to, makes it mandatory for them to agree with your terms and conditions and also to append their signatures to your contract before carrying out their job. So, what is expected of you to do if you want to stay safe as a wedding photographer is to work with your attorney to draft a contract for your wedding photography business. Here are 10 legal clauses you should include in your wedding photography contract;

10 Legal Clause to Add in a Wedding Photography Contract

1. 70 Percent of the Agreed Fee Must Be Paid Before Commencing the Job

Once it comes to money issues, as a business man or woman it is very important to put structure or policy in place that will help you to not clash with your clients. That is why it is very important to ensure that 70 percent of the agreed fee must be paid before you can go ahead to start executing any job.

2. Both the Clients and Photographer Must Agree on the Numbers of Pictures (Shots) to Be Taken

Although, you have a free hand as a photographer to take as much shots as you want, but it is important to agree upon the number of capturing that will be available in the photo – book or photo album. So, do guarantee that this clause is in your contract to avoid undue argument.

3. The Client Should Make Provision for Pre – Wedding Photo Shot Session

Part of what must not be missing in your wedding contract if you want to deliver top notch services is that the client should make provisions for pre – wedding photo session at the venue of the wedding event. This will give you a good experience of what you are to face on the D – day.

4. If a Wedding is called off Less Than 5 Working Days before the Wedding Date, the Initial Deposit Will Not Be Refunded

When it comes to your refund policy, you just have to be very clear from the outset with your clients. So, ensure that it is clearly stated in your contract paper that if a wedding is called off less than 5 working days before the wedding date, the initial deposit will not be refunded.

5. Refund, Excluding Administrative Fee Can Only Be Made if The Wedding is Cancelled Nothing Less Than 7 Days before the Wedding Date-: Part of your refund policy should also address the total refund that is due to your clients. That is if they cancel their wedding within the accepted time for them to qualify for a refund.

6. Any Additional Services Rendered Aside from the Agreed Service Will Attract Additional Fee

Ensure that you clearly state in your contract that any additional services rendered aside from the agreed service will attract additional fee. For example; if the couple wants you to cover their special thanksgiving services or if they are in need of your services beyond the agreed hours (time frame) you should be able to charge them additional fee.

7. You and Your Co – Workers Will Be Entitled to Food and Drinks during the Wedding

Make sure that you and your co – workers have access to food and drinks during the wedding party. It is not out of place to include this clause in your wedding contract. If you do not, you may be surprised to find that there may be no provision for refreshment whilst you work.

8. Permission Should Be Issued Before the Wedding Pictures Taken By You Are Used for Commercial Purposes

Ensure that there is a clause that covers copyright issues in your contract. For instance; permission should be issued by you before pictures taken by you during a wedding can be used for commercial purpose. You will be amazed to know that pictures taken by you can be sold to advertising agencies without your consent.

9.The Required Hour of Work Must Be Agreed Upon and Additional Hours Will Attract Additional Fees

Sometimes wedding events don’t go as planned; you might be required to work for longer hours than what you bargained for. In order not to fall victim to this, ensure that part of the clause in your wedding contract addresses the working hour issues. Ensure that the required hour of work is agreed upon and clearly state in your contract that additional hour attracts additional fees.

10. The Balance of the Fee Charged Must Be Paid At Least 24 Hours Before The Pictures (Photo Album, Soft Copies, Photo – Book, Framed Pictures et al) Can Be Delivered

As was earlier stated, if you don’t want to have issues with your client when it comes to money, ensure that you clearly state the time frame that the balance of the agreed fee must be paid before the job is delivered. For instance, you can state in your wedding clause that the balance of the fee charged must be paid at least 24 hours before the pictures (photo album, soft copies, photo book, framed pictures et al) can be delivered.

Please, don’t forget to work with an attorney or a legal team to help you review the clauses in your wedding photography contract.