Contracts And Electronic Signatures
when Zoe comes to see me, I'm gonna sell to her with my right brain, I'm gonna tell her Jim's creative vision. Remember Jim's creative vision for her day, oh my goodness, I can see it right now. These guys are gonna be blue, you're gonna come down the aisle, it's gonna be on a purple aisle runner, It's gonna be fantastic. Your dress. It's gonna be we're gonna have lots of tulle and beads, and I will be standing here and then we 15 photographers all around you with our shutter set on silent and it's just gonna be great. So we're selling to her with our right brain being very creative. Um And we're gonna be thinking with our left brain about setting her expectations. So our contract is gonna mirror what we're gonna do, what's my workflow, what's my style and what's my personality? All of those things, including the deadlines that I'm gonna set for myself, are going to go into the contract and that's super important to understand because the way that I do things might be different than Ho...
wley does something, it might be different than how bob does something. And if bob has some expectations of his client, where do you think bob ought to put those expectations in the contract? Right. Because then we can go back to the contract and say I'm sorry. You know Betty Bride, I didn't say I do that because in the contract I told you I deliver my proofs within 30 days after the gig, not five days after the gig. And so we put that in the contract. And again it has a little bit of our personality in it. The contract of course, is going to get written before the booking, it's gonna get written before the booking. And on the next slide you'll see that the uh the contract gets written before the booking, it's gonna lay the groundwork for everything that's gonna happen between me and my client. Okay. It's gonna say how much he owes, what she's gonna get when I'm going to show up and we're going to have a meeting etcetera. So we've just had an appointment with a client. We're doing some business. So now we know what the client wants and we're going to dive into the next slide and I'm going to give her a contract, okay? And I have an actual copy of the contract we're going to look at. But in that contract it's gonna tell her what I want, right? It's also going to say in the contract what she wants. She wants me to go to the national park. She's agreed to pay the permit free and we didn't rehearse this. She came up with the national park thing. That was a tough one. There's a curve ball, but blue steel photography, we know how that works. You actually have to have a permit and and sometimes it's two or $300 but she's agreed to pay for it. Uh, she wants simple stuff. A couple of different angles. She wants a disc personal use. Maybe share it with her family and friends. Internet only no print. Okay, you with me. That's what she wants. Well, in the contract, I'm gonna tell her if you don't pay me, I'm not gonna work. Is there anybody that wants to work? If you don't get paid? There's a lot of photographers that are willing to do the work and hope they get paid afterwards. Now granted you have the images and you're not going to give them to him. But what if they decide they don't want it? Some brides and grooms will actually divorce before you have your proofs done true story. Some brides and grooms will divorce before you deliver the album, True story. If they're going to divorce you hope they divorce before you design the album because you get to keep the money and you don't have to deliver the product. I'm not going to give you your album. If you only need money, if you miss a payment, I'm gonna quit if you get divorced or postpone your wedding, I'm gonna keep your money if you cancel your wedding and still owe me a balance, you gotta pay me, you're going to involve me in scheduling your day because I don't like surprises. Who likes surprises? Not me. We're gonna meet 30 days before to go over things. I'd like to know your family names and your your wedding party names so I can call people by name. It makes me look professional and then you'll want come have their wedding with me. Um, this is my favorite just because we've talked about it. I don't have to do it. If it's not in the contract, it's not part of our deal. We're not going to modify the contract orally. Only in writing. I may not get all the images you want and that's okay. Tons of photographers that do these shot lists. Lord La via no shot lists. We're not gonna do shot list because the shot list is a list of some of the shots that I'm gonna forget to do Right. Don't do a shot list. Don't create evidence to be used against you. If you're more than 15 minutes late, I'm on the hook. I'm not on the hook. My longest late running wedding is four hours. I had a bride start four hours late because she had her hair done four times. Uh, but then she wanted me to deliver everything and by gum I delivered about as good of a wedding as I've ever delivered. Um, and she was a little bit out of the shape because we didn't get one shot of her or some relative. Um, and you know, I went to the contract and said, look, you were four hours late in the contract provides, I don't have any liability if you're more than 15 minutes late, much less four hours After the wedding, I'll get you your proofs within 30 days After I send you the proof, she'll pick your album faves in 20 days. If you don't pick your album, faiths, you start to lose 10% of your print credit. Whoever thought of that, you start to get penalized for not holding up your end of the deal. I've had never had anybody. I've had brides wait a year to send their album images in. And then they say, I want some more prints. I'm sorry you lost your print credit because you're a year late picking your album. Okay. They always understand. If you order add ons, I'm gonna charge you for it. What else? Oh, if I get sick, I may substitute a competent photographer. If I have to talk about me owning the copyright. Copyright and you're getting a limited license. Love This one. Just because I give you a limited license doesn't mean you can give your DVD to your Mama and your friends if you want to do that, I'm gonna charge you extra if you use the picture I o uh model releases included in there. If you hire a videographer, I can push him off the stage. Mhm. I apologize to my video friends that are watching. If you hire a videographer will work together. But I'm the boss. If I pose it. Uh Nobody else should be taking pictures. I generally don't care if other people take pictures of the wedding. This is a big battle that's being fought in the industry right now. People griping about other people taking pictures as long as they're not standing in front of me. I don't care. I'm getting paid. If they want to shoot, let them shoot. I always try and take pictures of them standing in front of me if they are standing in front of me so I can show the bride. I didn't get that shot because your uncle with his rebel was standing in front of me. Missouri law will govern any disputes. You have to sue me in my home county in my home state, which is Green County, Missouri time's important, um, blah blah blah. Who wouldn't want to have all that in their contract? I also have in my long form contract. After you register the disk, I send you the one that says you have to feed me the same food that everybody at the wedding reception is eating. Now. Why is that important? My East Coast photographers um, will confirm that it's a different culture once you get east of the Mississippi River sometimes and they tend to send the photographers to the kitchen at the hall, uh, to eat cold pizza or whatever else they decided to put out for him and we work hard and we burn a lot of calories doing what we do. And there's nothing that will kill the creative vibe faster than being sent to the back to eat with the help. We're going to include everything in the contract, Every amount that they're going to show you how many shooters there are when the payments are due, Whether you got the deposit or not, I spell out all the descriptive out. You're getting a graph e book. It's gonna have 40 pages. It's gonna be printed on photo paper. You're gonna get a metal cover. It's gonna come in a white box. It's gonna have 26 by parent albums printed on smooth paper with a laminated cover. So when they get that, is there any question as to what they were supposed to get? What happens when I forgot what we talked about in the booking appointment. About what cover they were going to pay for. If I don't put it in the contract, I may forget because remember am I organized? I'm using the contract to help me stay organized because I'm writing it down right away. So put everything in their air on the side of too much detail. Okay, so check it out on the copyright section. The studio is the photographer hired to photograph the wedding. The studio owns the copyright. If a D. V. Is provided, you get a copyright authorization to make limited reproductions for personal use only. And you can't give it to 3rd parties. If there's any copyright violations, they're charged at 15 times the published rate as liquidated damages. And they acknowledge that it's subject to the copyright laws and prosecution. So that's how I deal with the license to my images. Now. I also Do a nice bit. I mean I probably average five or 600 bucks a gig in print sales on picked ege. After my events. And I put in the paragraph the picked ege link and the fact that guests and family are supposed to order off picked Ege and not be provided with copies of the images off the disk. And that's I tell my clients that's how we keep our prices low. All right. Let's get back into the presentation. Um This is my airtight wedding contract. I've got a light version or the long version. So some people freak out if there's something to sign that's more than one page. So I've convinced it. So it's all on one page. So you have no excuses for getting a contract sign. Every time. Here we go. Let's get it signed quickly. Because until they sign it there shopping, we want them to hire us not someone else. And once it's signed, they're not going to change their mind. They're not gonna back out. We're gonna get the deposit and put it in our witch account business account. Do not put it in your personal account. Do not make your car payment with it until after it's run through your business account, right calendar, The wedding date. This is your lawyer calendar, the wedding date. And listen, I believe in being honest with you all I put this in there to remind me of this. You see this notify your shoot second shooter of the date. All right. A quick note about electronic signatures. There's a ton of slides on this. I went a little bit overboard. Everybody says signing online, signing online. Well, yes and no. The electronic signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and people apparently in the federal government, they like these acronyms. C. E. S I G N. E. Sign the E. Sign Act. It says a state can't refuse to recognize an electronic signature just because it's electronic, but it doesn't say a state has to recognize an electronic signature. It says they can't refuse to recognize it because it's electronic, but doesn't say they have to. Now, A lot of states have also adopted their own state eastern requirements, but the federally sign requirement requires that the it has a consumer consent provisions and you have to get consent to do business electronically before getting the electronic signature and it has to apply to business that affects interstate commerce. Here, here's an example suppose photographer A. And client be exchanged a contract that's executed by typing an e signature on the document. The east side doesn't prohibit enforcement doesn't require it without assurances of. Now, this is required by the E Sign Act attribution, which is some kind of electronic proof and certificate that it was actually signed by client B some kind of non repudiation code in the text, that they can't change it, certain data integrity and reliability things. It's unlikely to withstand legal challenge. So you have to make sure that there's these other elements of the E. Sign Act are satisfied if you're doing it electronically. Now there are um there are some programs that say that they have all those security bells and whistles built in but you need to at least be aware that just because something signed electronically if these other underlying things aren't met it might not be enforceable boudoir work. Custom forms for custom work and I include a boudoir contract. Um boudoir is, in my estimation of potential hotbed for future litigation. 50% of all marriages end in what 50? How much the percentage for just relationships beyond that where marriage is not involved and end in a break up is much higher than that. So the odds are that whoever is getting the little black book or a little red book with a little bow around it that I've just charged $1, for they're gonna break up or they're gonna get divorced. Now when he's got that book, there's this this these nasty people are doing this revenge posting where they take the private pictures of the person they now hate and they post them all over the internet, right, well that clown doesn't have any money who's going to get sued? The photographer. Um and then if the photographer accidentally misuses the image, they're sure to get sued. So I have a boudoir contract that when I do have situations, I don't do this very much at all. Um when I do have this come up, I use a specific contract for it. The recently it was a lawsuit filed over the publication of a boudoir photo. It was reported in the Orlando Orlando sentinel, where husband and wife Sudha photographer because the photographer, eight years after she took it, used it in a studio how to book how you know boudoir photography. She used the image in a book. She claims she had a model release. The couple said it was meant to be private. Now you've got a lawsuit and you're in the newspaper. This is not good for business, this does not help your brand. So use the boudoir photography agreement and you won't have trouble.