When we first started our business, we kept everything simple. Not because we chose to do it that way – we simply didn’t know.
Over the years you learn. A client holds you to a clause in your contract, you learn and change it.
When we first started with weddings, we had nothing in our contract about multiple photographers. After one wedding where there were dozens of family members trying to take pictures, we made a change. Because we couldn’t get one family photograph without someone staring at another photographer, and what usually took 30 minutes ended up well over 60 minutes, we added a posing fee if we were continually interrupted during posed images. We explained it to our bride’s and groom’s, and never had an issue from that point on.
Another addition – an Internet option. Having a model release that also includes the option of placing a clients images online was a big necessity – especially because we would put up to 100 images from every wedding into our gallery. In all our years of wedding photography, we only had one couple opt out of putting their images online. We never had an issue because we covered it during the contract.
Other things to include:
- Clients information, names, addresses, phone numbers, email
- Description of service, inclusions, time
- Place for signature and date – if it’s a multi page document, sign/initial all pages
- Payment policies, including how long prices will remain the same. If you book a wedding a year in advance, you don’t want to have to hold your prices steady for several years. 90 days after the first viewing of the images is sufficient.
- Copyrights and usage rights. What do you release to your client? What do they have rights to do with your images? Make it clear.