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Lesson 27 from: Wedding Photography

Joe Buissink

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Lesson Info

27. Contracts

Next Lesson: Contracts Q&A

Lesson Info


I wanted to start with kind of like, going over a bit of my, uh, the agreement, my contract, um, I know you all at home, you're going to hear me read some of this stuff. I don't know if it's up online or not. I don't think it is right there not seeing the contract. I'm just going to read it. They can have the car if they've purchased you knows what I mean. So right now, it's it's a short one, it's. Not that long. Like I said earlier, mine tends to be about, uh, four pages. It's not a big deal. It has a standard terms and conditions. And the first page is something that I came up with and the second page and it basically says that the agreement is made as of this date between myself or defining the moment I called the company and then the client with the provision of photographic goods and services. And I talk about fees and deposits. Okay, uh, the company declined. Shall pay company x amount of dollars for the package. He has a consideration for providing the photographic goods and ser...

vices described in paragraph two that you'll see later. Client has paid company a retainer. Let me tell you why I really call it a retainer. In the state of california I want you to check a with an attorney and be in your state because it changes from state to state it's been told by my lawyer who helped me come up with this thing that the use of deposit the word deposit is for services that are about to be rendered and let's say services aren't rendered the contrast canceled you have to return the deposit okay, a retainer is something that someone gives you to hold a date you know you're a specified amount of time it retained the retainer holds that day, and if it cancels, it can actually keep part of that retainer or all of that retainer depending on which court you're sitting in front of if they decide to sue you, by the way um so it's the wording is very iffy in the state of california, so I don't use the word deposit because you always have to give that back because here's, what happens to you if or to me anyway if they cancel the wedding two weeks beforehand? I haven't in my contract that to get the money back if and only if I can re book that date now I told you before, do I give the money back? I give part of it back if clearly I give it back if I re book today, what are the chance is that two weeks out I'm going to book that date with another wedding off equal or greater value let's go to that too it states of equal or greater value of the package that I just lost out on okay uh it's I'm not going to get book for that so typically I am according to my contract allowed to keep that retainer I usually floated back to them and say you know what? Why don't I just hang on to that and this becomes something that you can use down the road now down the road if it's three, four years what if my packages arm or well, it is against the amount of retainer they would have to give me so if this retainer was four thousand in two years it's five thousand she'll owe me a thousand dollars on that retainer but isn't that better than losing the whole thing? So it's happened more than once when the clients come back thank you so much and, you know, two years later I'm now getting remarried and I mean getting married again with a new person actually a nice guy this time you've heard that a few times um and I want to take advantage of your wonderful offer of holding that retainer and now applying it to this wedding and I absolutely will and I have so that's one thing that I wanted to point out and then on the second paragraph that says about packages and its services personnel designated photographer me assistant and a second shooter how many hours on the wedding date uh film developing and printing and film developing also includes anything that has to be digital so I noticed that all natives digital files raw may be purchased for an additional fee of two seven fifty all unclaimed uncollected negatives digital files may be discarded after two years of the event state I've been doing this seventeen years how much have I thrown away? Zero have all of it but if in two years for some reason there's a flood in my place and or a fire and they're gone discovers me right now do I only have it in my studio no I have d burn dvds it's ana drove oh hard drive system in separate places and then my client has one for safekeeping when they bother raw files they haven't for safekeeping so in essence in three spaces backed up additional hours beyond those included in the package will be charged to client as follows for designated photographer fifteen hundred dollars per hour or a fraction thereof that's my overtime right I get fifteen hundred dollars an hour even when I shoot a wedding for seven hours it's a ten thousand dollar wedding right so seven times one hundred fifteen hundred dollars is ten thousand five hundred whatever it is they get a little break okay and nowadays it's a little less than that too because this was since oh, a private toe ate this feast scheduling the contract it's a little less but what? We'll talk about that in the second theus assistant is one hundred dollars per hour and my second shooter is seven hundred fifty dollars per hour. What do I sell them when my time is up and she wants two more hours? I sell the second shooter and I come from this place, eh? I'm exhausted be really me shooting the guy's getting naked on the table because they're so drunk it's not going to ever end up in your book but see it's for your a little safety net just in case something goes down I want to get a photograph okay? You should hire my second shooter for that he's half assed much as I am and that's the sales pitch so you really don't need me at the tail in of you driving off in the limo if that's what you want covered that's something my second shooter khun do and I'd rather see you spend seven fifteen hour than fifteen hundred um album consultations first hour's free one hundred dollars per hour fraction there after why you know how many times have I declined my studio for two solid days eight hours a day because she can't make up her mind I've had that so many times where they go well, I don't know what do you think should it be this one or that one? I don't know it's your choice which one do you like? You know I tried guiding and your bunny who's their tryst guiding them but they are so indecisive and I just I don't know I don't know what okay, so they know really quickly when it's one hundred bucks an hour they're very quick to go I'll take this one so I give in the first hour free and then charging for the other hours do I charge him for the other hours right away I don't I don't really keep tabs on it I just want them to know and if I see they're going in our three, I let him know so I just want you to know you know that per contract after like the first hour, I need to charge you for this time because I want her to go home use her family as a sounding board, her husband as a sounding board as what images? But she comes in because she's a little unsure and stuff and I don't mind talking to her about it, so I really don't stick to this thing either I want to go beyond the written word this is a bit of a guideline for me I'm not I really don't goddamn that's such a stickler that it's got to be to the letter I don't like to the letter I want to be a little flexible that's why the return of the retainer I'm going to be flexible on that let's apply to something else this hourly fee rarely do I charge anybody but we have lately had a client where she's been doing her album and you know you're welcome to connect collect uh correct me if I'm wrong but two years straight now she hasn't figured it out yet after two years we started the album process two years ago and she's still working on it and she calls every month or two months and starts to rework it and changes her mind so the whole layout that was there your body now is like going I can't believe this I said what she just called she's changing her mind she wants me to redo the whole thing that's money out of my pocket you know I pay her x amount of dollars per hour that she's been working on for hours and now she's changing her mind I no longer profit on this album whenever it finishes okay? So at that point when I saw this going down a few months into this six months later I said you're a bonnie let her know that were at x amount of dollars and we lowered it because she just can't make up her mind and we did we decided not to go at uh one hundred dollars and I think we went to fifty dollars an hour but she owes us thousands of dollars in overtime now for the album consultations but we've worked on it for two years on the picked our site so they could essentially pick from home and I'm sure they could come in with you but they've here's what we do we unpick tosh we asked them to make a favorites folder and start dragging images in all right and then you give me a folder with three hundred fifty four hundred images which is maybe half of what you got to begin with and you love them all I'm going to help you your money will go through this because sometimes they're duplicates and you just can't make up their mind which one she looks best in so your money or maryland my wife will look at and go you know what this one you don't need you already have one here there's two extras they're out so by the time we whittle it all down we suggest to them here's what we called it down to what do you think? And so we throw it back in their court we're down to two hundred here's how much it let's just say in one of the packages there's fifty images in in the book that's included part of the package because they asked for it like I said, I start out being fee based, but a lot of people say, well, now throw me a package that has a book in it, okay? Ah, very basic thing for me is graphic studio fifty images I don't talk about sides I charged by the image, okay, I charge because otherwise had sixteen to aside. Not enough. We're going to go per image and it's twenty five dollars per image above the fifty images. So she has this let's say in her package fifty images and we're at two hundred so we then let her know that's one hundred and fifty times twenty five dollars, that were over so roughly four grand somewhere in there that this is going to cost you beyond what you've already paid for in terms of the package fee. Are you okay with that? Whoa, no, I wasn't quite ready for that. Okay, so then we need to narrow down a little bit, okay, try by removing fifty of those because we find that the most comfortable spot for people is roughly one hundred fifty images for what I shoot in the book one hundred fifty how many pages? I don't know, I think there's probably thirty five, forty sides yeah it's a big one. Yeah, again, I I usually try the albums and the books that I show have one up to aside. Two, three, four up, sometimes and in the party page. And you flipped that open. Okay, cool there's. One that has sixteen images on it. You know, in the panel across both sides. I'm okay with that one side like that cause the party and usually gives you energy. When you see that it's a wow moment and then there's the occasional get this. I call it a visual pause. A blank page one blank side, nothing on it. So you flipping, you flipping and you're getting all and then ah, rest nothing. And then you flip it. A new thing I usually it's at the introduction of from getting ready. Space ceremony. Right. So is that whole stuff beforehand? And I find a nice base toe throw in one side, that's blank. So even this side might have something. The next side might be completely blank. Nothing on it. I don't do two sides blank. Just one sign, it's and I just call it a visual pots, and then we go into the next phase. So I find that people one hundred fifty is sufficient. Didn't really want any more than that. Okay. Um, so print orders. A fifty percent deposit is acquired so this is different it's a deposit because it's now something that she's going to get that tangible in your hand I'm not trying to retain her for for you know she's not trying to retain me for hours it's a fifty percent deposit is required for any album work as well as for any reprint orders remaining balances are due at time of pick up so I have lost nothing yet in terms of the money's right from this album because now when she gives it to us when she's finally approved our album layout once the album layouts made she comes in she approves that she signs on the dotted line improved literally we have her sign that she approves this there's a reason for that all of a sudden after the approval on this isjust verbal and image shows up in the books I never said that I wanted that one I don't even want to know about that I want to make sure that you've approved of this layout are you forgot to do x y or z? No, I'm gonna show you the approval okay, so your money usually doesn't scanning and stuff of the layouts so we have a copy of the layout and then the signed approval um then the rest of this is standard terms and conditions then notice this travel accommodations clients must pre pay all travel car rental, accommodation and meals, then there's a specifics per diem client is to pay a hundred dollars per person per day for food, but people don't think about, but when you're doing these gigs that are out of town three, four days and you're paying out of pocket, I don't want to pay for that. Please, you have the client schedule your hotel in your flight and all that stuff, and they pay for it out of their pocket. Or do they give you the money? And you so I let them do what I tell him the parameters, so go ahead and find out sometimes they pay with their miles. I don't care how they pay for it and you know, if it's short distances, I fly economy, I'm good with that, but I fly delta, so I'm like this. I have a diamond member, which is crazy because it's what? One hundred fifty thousand miles in the year so I make it that much so I say, you know, it needs to be dealt and I get to frequent flier privileges from that because I bump myself the business most of the time because I can it's nice, so they pay for the economy, I get business because this has been nice to me. Hotel I make a joke out of it a nice bed and no bugs so does it have to be five star note but don't put me in the sleazebag hotel either so I just wanted a nice bed where I can sleep cause that's all I'm gonna really do there uh just a nice enough hotel that I'm not gonna have to worry about bedbugs thanks all right now the next one is the big the big one right the standard terms and conditions that's the big deal for most people uh there's termination by client uh these clauses are a pretty good termination by company most everybody that has a contract has this kind of stuff in here substitution sze but number four thank you mr spielberg is called the artistic style klaus when steven hired me to photograph this sixtieth birthday uh his attorney finally got back to me says stephen told me to tell you that you're missing this clause and he sent me my contract back with this clause in it he said he used to have this in his contracts when he worked independently uh for other film companies before dreamworks and it basically says this on its own behalf and on behalf of the subject client acknowledges that it is familiar with the photographers portfolio and is requesting services with knowledge of the photograph er's style photographer style that photographer's work is constantly evolving that photographer services are of you unique and artistic nature that the photos maybe different from photographs taken by the photographer in the past and that in creating the photos the photographer she'll use his personal artistic judgment to create image is consistent with his personal vision of the event which vision may be different from the clients and or the subject's visit of the event accordingly, client acknowledges that the photo shall not be subject to rejection on the basis of taste or aesthetic criteria thank you stephen it's an awesome claws they have because don't you think that after a shooting this many years that my eye still changing hey I have to worry if the photographer has been shooting ten years in the stuff from ten years ago in today look the same then I'm concerned then for me that's more cookie cutter style stuff but for what I hopefully I'm attracting on the people that noticed that you know my stuff is a little varied and it's all over the map in terms of hopefully a little art for them but uh that my eye changes every year so if they see my portfolio and there's images in here that I shot from four years ago, it may not be the same images that I get today and again because it's based on who I am and I am changing hopefully uh till the end of my days I'll be changing all all the ways there but the work changes his will right so they can't come back to me now with that clause and say you know what I saw that stuff he did five years ago in your studio it doesn't look like the same stuff that first of all I've had this happen a cop all times um you know what, joe? I didn't see any really emotional stuff that you shot at my wedding but not like the stuff that I saw in your portfolio and I I really don't want to come off and tell her honey that's really because there wasn't any you know your wedding was devoid of all of that your father hated your mother their divorce they can't stand each other your mother hated your stepmother I don't know what to tell you it was empty zero so I can't go there but what I'm saying is look, we're protected because we don't always get what they expect not always right there's going to be times like I wish you would have done this or I wish you to capture that because in their mind they have this thing of what they want photographed on it's not always that where they're able to do that so that klaus is a total great protection for look on on the basis of what I just said here you can't poo poo my images ok I mean clearly in a court of law if the work really stinks it stinks and you lose, but not based on well, it's not quite what I saw in your portfolio from four years ago. So really important. So that's a good one. And then limitations of liability in case of loss or damage. That's ah, very, um, good claws they have and an exclusivity company shall be the exclusive provider of photographic services at the wedding slash event client acknowledges that company requires and retains discretion as to how it services shall be provided. E g choice of poses, lighting lenses all that invited guest may photograph the wedding event provided they're not doing so for profit. They do not interfere with companies, performances of services and provided that they do not photographed, opposed arranged by company deposes aaron's, what company do I stick to that latter part? That last part I don't. I actually set up a shot where I let them shoot first. Feel free to jump in, shoot that thing. And when they come to me at the wedding, is it okay? And I get a lot of weddings now where the people that have the cameras that do you mind? I hope I'm not interfering. I like people like that, you know, they may be uncle bob's, but they asked me first, please, by all means do I feel threatened what are they gonna dio make prints and then self you know what I get now a lot of times looking I could do it as good as you look at my iphone shots but that's the nature of the beast today everybody's doing iphone pictures everybody right so what you gonna do worry about who's going to take food off the table you can't your guests photos are up that night before you even downloaded them into the computer so that's you know and I don't I don't mind because here's in my opportunity to while with them right I'm gonna blow them out of the water okay? They're up first I'm good with that please go it's almost one right after or if it's if I haven't shot the reception that they'll throw one up but one that I know that's like and in the end I mean you know you're gonna work your stuff a little more than someone who grabs it off the iphone so I'm not that worried about that and if if if that if their work is better than mine I better start worrying right copyright and client usage company shall own the copyrights and all works created here under and shall retain the exclusive right to make reproductions of such work okay sometimes that get tweaked the little by all the attorneys who's weddings I shoot every attorneys wedding I shoot guess what they do with my contract. They rewrite it. And then once the contract has been rewritten by one attorney, the next attorney looks at it. And he does what he rewrites it. What I found out from an attorney was this it's an interpretation of the law, and everybody interprets it differently, including us lawyers and the judges. So whatever you feel comfortable with, so sometimes I have to include in that the exclusive right to make reproductions of such works, I add, you're entitled to make you know for by sixes from your stuff, so I might add a sentence if that really bugs somebody. Client acknowledges and accepts that photographs taken here under maybe freely reprinted and utilized by company in a published promotional book advertising material, art exhibits or for editorial or any other purpose, whether for display within or outside of company's offices. Okay, cool. And sometimes I modify that a little. Not always. I will ask their permission for are you okay for me using this thing? This protects it, though, if I do, I have books out. Their wedding photographer from the heart was the recent one that was published in mind, but I ask permission. I first of all, you need to have, um, releases from all the people that are in the photographs for a book to be published, so in doing that, trying to get releases, I'm saying, are you okay with this? Because this clause is I can do whether you say yes or no, as long as you sign this contract, I'm free to do what I want, I ask permission um client shall not sell photographs, nor earth authorized their reproduction by party parties other than the company klein is authorized to reproduce and published photograph on ly in connection with print announcements of the wedding event provided, however, that client shall use its best efforts to require the publisher of such photographs to print an accompanying credit substantial ist follows depending on which image are selected and if more than, oh, our morse associate shooters is included in the package and then it says photo copyright two thousand ten by job all rights reserved. That kind of thing or two thousand ten name of designated second shooter for defining the moment that's, where I say that I give credit to my social shooters meals, I'm really bummed that I had to put this in, I'm really bummed it's been years that it's taken me to figure out, I I can't believe that I have to do this but you know how many times I don't get anything for eight hours, sometimes ten hours? There are no vendor meals. A lot of my gigs may not have in your meals that just blow us off so meals client shall provide. But do I stick to this thing? I'm just I usually suggested the coordinator and so client shit's, a complimentary meal to the designated photographer and his crew that's all arbitration, miss alina and that's. Pretty much it. So that pretty much is the very simplified contract that I have, uh, gets a little heavier hand it, uh, in the celebrity stuff and usually it's from their end as well. Their attorneys go over and add and subtract redline underlying do all these things, you know, so I let them do whatever they need to. And then it goes to my attorney, who I pay and that's what the thing is that you asked earlier because I have to pay my attorney to read that thing and redrafted and it's a bit of money. But I know that going into it now, so I charge a little more.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Joe Buissink - Wedding Contract.doc
Joe Buissink - Wedding Contract.pdf
Joe Buissink - 2012 Packages.doc
Joe Buissink - 2012 Packages.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Carlos Zaldivar

Joe, This is a amazing course so much information. I am a wedding photographer that loves your ways. Your self and Dennis Reggie are my favorite photographers. This course is the best. Thank you for sharing all of your great information. God bless you for being such a great person hope some day to meet you so that I can thank you for everything. I look up to you every day and have also read your book wedding photography from the heart. Your a great inspiration to me which makes me love being a wedding photographer from the heart. Thanks again for everything you share. Carlos Zaldivar, New Jersey Carlos Zaldivar Photographers-

a Creativelive Student

I feel like this course with Joe Buissink is a basket of gems. Several times already I have been tearing up, because Joe is validating each one of us, as artists and professionals. Being ourselves, selling the experience, and knowing what we offer artistically IS enough. Of course we have to do the work, know our craft, and have good business sense...But what has been the most valueable to me is the sense of joy that happens when Joe says something that I have felt myself, him sharing so much with us makes reaching our goals real, because he has been there.... when he said he pitched in Dunkin Donuts and still made it an experience..I cried, I have done that myself. (And booked the client:) I remember wishing I had a studio at the time, but now I day I will! To hear him say he tears up at clients weddings...I do that, and felt so silly, but now I feel proud! This is a morale boost...a shot of joy in my arm. Thank you Joe Buissink for offering up your help and advise and for being so willing to share yourself with us. You are inspiring so many...and Thank you CreativeLIVE!! To anyone who is not sure if they want to purchase this workshop...DO IT!!! It is a gem.


I always feel so grateful to have Creative Live in my life, which, in turn, has given me the opportunity to have this wonderful source of information, Joe is one of them, he made find myself as a person when it comes to dealing with yourself and with the client, he vibrates in every thing that he does, every step from beginning to the end, that is the essence, put your passion in everything you do, we love what we do, It was so touching when he said that he tears up with moments of their clients in their weddings, I do too and I thought it was wrong, show our sensitivity it only proves us that we are human, and we can break barriers created by wrong schemas letting us be who we really are and then we can be free to feel and create, and do what we like to do, thanks JOE, thank you also for all the technical information, is PRICELESS. Your course it was my Birthday present that I give to myself, and I have not regret, thank you.

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