The Importance of Contracts
Now this is some straight up business, right? Contracts. Very important. Although I will, I will uh begrudgingly admit that I when starting out did not get contracts all the time. And there have been a few friends lately that I have not had a contract for which is not a good practice. I recommend that you always have some sort of contract for your wedding. It is so important that uh you look into this and get this straightened out, even if it's just something in an email or on or on paper. That's very simple. That says I will be here at this time. I will get paid this much. I will be shooting for this long and you'll be getting this many photos. That is the bare minimum you need. I do think you need a more robust contract and there are resources that you can find online websites like uh PP I.com. They will have some photographer contracts or like I said, reaching out to other photographers and connecting with them, networking with them and seeing what contracts they're using. The main ...
principle of this is so that you do not get yourself into trouble down the line and this goes back to just straight up communication. You guys all need to be on the same page. What day it is? What time you need to be there, how long you're going to be shooting and what you're delivering and you wanna make sure that this is there because you need to get paid and you need to make them feel comfortable. I think on both sides, it's very important. I don't think any groom or bride or any sort of couple has ever not wanted a contract to make sure that you were going to show up. It is a big trust system and it will save your life in the end. If there's any sort of controversy, you can always refer back to this thing that you have all agreed on. What else to include in the contract. You need to also make sure that your cost is there. How much will you get paid? And when will you get paid in addition to, is there a deposit or is that just gonna be waived and you're gonna get it on the day of the wedding? These are little things that you should really include. Also things like if someone were to get sick or if something were to be changed or uh something that I started including was all the contact information for the couple. So both their uh names, numbers and addresses as well as the coordinator or an extra person or like a maid of honor or a groom or a best man. Something is an extra contact in case you can't get a hold to also who and where the photographer reports to at the start of the wedding often will be like, oh yeah, they're getting ready here or they're getting ready here. I'm like, great. Who am I being able to call when I get there? And where am I supposed to be? Precisely? What room is it that you're getting ready in? And oftentimes they may not know, but they will give you a phone number because you could be showing up to a hotel or a house, not know how to get in. And you're, you know, out of luck, you need to have a specific number on who to contact, who should I be reporting to as the day starts. The reason I stress this so much is that without doubt, something will go wrong. And I have had several weddings where there's been sort of a discrepancy of what we've talked about and we can just straight up refer back to the contract and everyone's like, oh, great. That's right. This is what we said. This is what we will do. A lot's going on and a lot of it has happened months before the day that you're shooting. So remembering those things and finding them out are really good. We'll talk more about uh, other websites in the future. But again, I think I talked earlier about a client management app. I use that actually holds my contract online. I can access it anywhere everywhere and so can the couple. And that's a really good way to be able to get to it quickly. A lot of times before that existed, I used to print out the contract and just keep it in my camera bag just in case just so we knew that if there's any problem on the day of the wedding, we could refer back to that and get to it quickly. So make sure if you have the means to speak to a lawyer and have them check out your specific contract or go online, find some resources and double check what contracts are being used in your area or talk to local photographers because they will have plenty of resources and maybe some will even share their contract with you.