Guidelines for drafting a Wedding Photography contract

By Flgroe Studios

What event is more special than a wedding? It’s a day for two people to publicly declare their love for each other. It’s a day to remember for everyone in attendance!

Of course, they’ll require someone to capture the memories for them. That’s where the photographer comes in. But before you lock yourself in, make sure you have a watertight contract.


1. Start With The Basics

It seems obvious, but it’s all too easy to get caught up in the anticipation. The day will run far more smoothly when everyone knows exactly what to expect. Make sure your client has all of your contact details on hand, and that you have theirs.
You will also want to take careful note of the date and the location. It is also a good idea to clarify the number of guests expected to attend – the fewer surprises you have, the easier the shoot will be.
2. Set Your Hours

Don’t let yourself get dragged around after the wedding party indefinitely. Be clear with your clients: let them know how long you’ll be in attendance before the big day arrives. Get all the important things shot with efficiency.

3. Set Your Price

No friends and family discounts here! Weddings can be gruelling, and you don’t want to undercut yourself for your hard work. Work out how you’re charging – fixed rate, hourly or a combination – then stick to your guns. Be firm with your clients and it’ll save fuss later on.

5. Discuss The Final Products

So you’re there to take the photos for the clients, but how many? How will they be presented? Sit down with your clients and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Work out how many shots they want and the amount of editing required, and whether they want videos or any other services you offer. This will also help you set your price.

4. Establish The Terms Of Payment

The last thing the married couple will be thinking about on their big day is paying you. Before you let them sign, make sure that the payment plans are very clear. This is entirely at your discretion, though it’s wise to make arrangements for late or cancelled payments.
6. Set Up Your Timeframe

It’s easy to understand why the couple would want their special photos delivered to them as soon as possible. Of course, it’s not that simple for the photographer! To put the minds of your clients at ease, set a precise deadline for delivery. Whether you work out milestones or deliver everything at once, this will keep the eager ones off your back during the process. Ensure you allow enough wriggle room should editing get complicated.

7. Be prepared

Unless there’s a sight-seer on staff, you have no way of predicting what happens on the day. Make sure the contract covers your bases. What happens if your camera gets smashed, or your car breaks down and you can’t make it? Don’t risk a legal claim – that’s what the fine print is for.
8. Copyrights

Ah, intellectual property. The clients have paid, you have photographed, and everyone has posted on social media. The best way to tackle this is to include a price for complete ownership of the photos. If your clients are private folk, they can choose this option. If not, your social media posts for the next week are sorted!

About the author: Jay MK is the founder and director of Flgroe Studios and manages a team of in-house wedding photographers and cinematographers based in Mumbai.


About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography