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wedding photography contracts

Wedding Photography Contract Essentials

Be sure to include these key points in your written agreement.

Photo: Lauren Fair Photography

After you’ve picked the perfect photographer to shoot your wedding, you have one more to-do in order to book them: the written contract. Getting all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed will help prevent any miscommunication and ensure you get the photos you want and the services you’re paying for. As you carefully read over your contract, make sure all of the following standard info is included. Once you know all your bases are covered and the information is correct, sign on the line and have your photographer do the same. Then make a copy of the document for your files, so you can easily consult the contract as your wedding approaches.

  • Name and contact info for you and your photographer
  • Name of the photographer(s) who will be shooting your wedding (and the number of assistants, if applicable)
  • Correct date(s), exact number of hours, starting time(s) and specific addresses for every location your photographer will be expected to go, from the rehearsal dinner to the morning-after brunch
  • Subjects to be covered, including getting ready, ceremony, cocktail hour and reception
  • Detailed shot list you’ve agreed to
  • Timing for breaks (like your band or DJ, your shooter will need to be fed and to take a break—schedule it during dinner to avoid missing any amazing dance floor shots, or if you’re having a second shooter, ask them to alternate breaks)
  • Number of cameras that will be used and which formats (digital, film or both)
  • Number of proofs you'll receive, and how you’ll receive them (digital or hard copies)
  • Date your proofs will be ready and how long they’ll be available to view online
  • When and how you'll receive your order (albums, prints) once you place it, and any other package or delivery fees and details
  • If shooting film, number of rolls to be shot, whether in color and/or black and white, type of film and cost per additional rolls (if needed)
  • Copyright details -- who owns the rights to the photos, and if there are any restrictions on posting or distributing the photos on social media or elsewhere (include stipulations for where your photographer is allowed to share your photos, especially if you’d prefer that they aren’t used for promotional materials or submitted to magazines without your permission)
  • Non-disparagement clauses that prevent you from leaving negative reviews online (it’s so important to see if these are included—some couples are coming back from their honeymoon to lawsuits because they didn’t read the fine print!)
  • What you would like the photographer to wear (optional)
  • Total cost (itemized, if possible)
  • Overtime fee, if applicable
  • Reorder price, if you decide to order additional prints later
  • Deposit amount and date paid (usually when you book)
  • Remaining balance and due date
  • Cancellation and refund policy

-- The Knot

See More: Wedding Photo + Wedding Video