A Wedding Photography Contract Explained

When you book your wedding photographer, you should be sent a contract to sign. Whilst the word contract can be a bit scary, it’s really just a written agreement that protects both parties and makes it clear what is and isn’t included in your wedding photography package.
So what should you expect to see in a wedding photography contract? Here are a few of the things that you should find in the contract. If they are not there or not clear in your contract, then simply ask your photographer.

A breakdown of what services are included in the package and at what price.

Make sure that the contract lists what service the photographer is providing and at what price. Also check what services are not included in the contract, such as travel and accommodation fees. If there is nothing about extra charges in the contract, and you’re not sure whether you’ll have any extra charges to pay, it’s worth double-checking with your photographer before signing. No honest photographer sets out to mislead couples or add on extra charges on the sly, but sometimes miscommunication can happen. So if you’re not sure, just send them an email so you have all your answers in writing.


A “model release” clause.

This section gives the photographer permission to use the images in their publicity and marketing efforts. This could be posting them on social media, their website, blogging them or submitting them to publications and competitions. For photographers, being able to show our best work is crucial for us to book more clients and keep doing the job that we love. After all, you probably found us via Facebook or our website. We love being able to update our portfolios and blogs with new and exciting new images. If you decide to opt-out of this clause, there may be additional fees to pay.


A deposit and cancellation policy.

Wedding dates are often booked up to a year in advance. As photographers, we can only photograph one wedding on a given date, and many of us will only take on a limited number each year in order to provide you with the best service we can. This means that when you decide that you want to book us, we will ask you to commit to us by signing a contract and making a downpayment. The amount of the payment varies between photographers and countries. Some photographers will charge a percentage of the final price while others have a fixed booking fee which is deducted from the final balance. This deposit is in almost all cases non-refundable. It confirms to us that you are serious about booking our services and in return, we will no longer accept other enquiries for your wedding date.



As photographers, our images are protected by copyright law. In your wedding photography contract, you should have the rights to your images for personal use. This means that you can post your images on social media or print off as many copies as you like to give to family and friends. What it does not allow is for you to re-sell your images to magazines or other businesses, or for you to make changes to the images, such as posting them with added Instagram filters. Why? Because although we love Instagram too, we have worked hard to create a certain look to our images, and by making changes to them on platforms such as Instagram, it can misrepresent the brand we have worked very hard to create.


The Photographer’s Responsibilities.

The contract is designed to protect both parties, so there should be a clause that says that if the photographer cannot attend, the photographer will refund the money that has been paid, and will help you to arrange a suitable alternative.

Other Clauses

Other things you might find in the contract include an exclusivity clause, i.e. that you may only hire one professional photographer, a request that guests not interfere with the photographer doing their job, i.e. standing in front of the photographer, meals, travel, accommodation and other extra costs associated with the wedding (if relevant), image archive procedures and delivery times for the final products.
Want more wedding planning help and advice? See more helpful blog posts HERE



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