Right from the start of my first wedding photography career I’ve had a contract between myself and my clients. At first, I cobbled together a contract from ones I’d seen in a magazine article but it soon became clear that I needed a custom contract for my business.
I drafted a contract highlighting the key elements I wanted included and I took it to a solicitor for the finishing touches. It’s worth mentioning a top tip at this point – If you don’t have a solicitor you can usually get a free half hour initial consultation and a cup of coffee as way of an introduction. If you are really hard up you can modify your contract, implementing the guidance you got from solicitor 1 before trying another solicitor for a further refinement and another complimentary cup of coffee. The important thing to mention here is do use the solicitor that gave you the best service in the future. Next time you move house or need professional advice for instance.
I’m no expert but I do know this… A contract needs to be fair and equal in all it’s elements. That is, if you are taking money from a client they need to receive product and services in exchange.
I was nearly forced to use the MPA (Master Photographers Association) contract by the company that provides me with my professional indemnity insurance until I explained to their solicitor why my contract better suited our business than the MPA one. He agreed it was a better, more balanced contract and all was well. Basically, I wanted to make provision for compensation in the event of a late cancellation of the contract by my client. After all, I’ve held that date free in my diary just for them and I refused any other work or leisure appointments as a result. This was worth money in my book and I set out to have a cancellation clause built into the contract.
Julie and I have photographed many barristers and solicitors weddings over the past 10 years and we have always implemented the small tweaks to our contract that they have recommend along the way.
Please feel free to be ‘inspired by’ the bits of our contracts that might suit your business and then get professional advice once you have a draft in place. We cannot be held responsible for the consequences of any errors or omissions. Please respect our copyright and don’t republish this article in part or in full.
The Lovegrove FAQs
The ‘Big Day’ DVD
Please feel free to comment and link back to your contract etc.