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Contracts and deposits with photographers

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#1 Melidell

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    Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:05 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I've tried searching the forum but haven't found anything that really addresses this, so here goes..

    I'm just in the process of finalizing my contract with a photographer and I want to be sure I'm not missing anything. Does anyone have any tips for things that should be included that the average person (ie me )who has never had to make a contract with a photographer might not think about?
    This might be a dumb question as well, but is it customary to pay in full before your wedding? Without getting into details about what people have and have not paid, do you usually finalize payments ahead of time, or does that vary? Where does that leave you if something goes wrong with your pictures (not that I think it will).

    Any insight would be appreciated- I just want to make sure everything is clear and fair for both myself and my photographer, as the pictures are very important to me.

    Loving married life!

    #2 TammyB

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      Posted 05 October 2009 - 08:22 AM

      It's totally normal to pay the entire cost of your wedding ahead of time. I ususally ask for a deposit that will cover the travel expenses for myself and assistant (also what is required for me to pay by my travel agent) the remaining balance is due 45 days before the wedding (again that's because it's required by my travel agent)

      As long as your contract states that would happen in case your photographer is unable to go to your wedding for an emergency or whatever, I wouldn't worry about it. I 'am sure everything will be fine.

      #3 vlynnw

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        Posted 05 October 2009 - 08:35 AM

        The way my contract us set up which I actually received the final one this morning is that I'm paying 50% at signing and 50% when I get my first sample CD. Also though I'm working with a photographer that I'm taking to Mexico with me so that may make it a little different.
        Veronica & Adam - May 6, 2011 - Dreams Tulum

        #4 Ana


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        • Wedding Date:April 1, 2009
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        Posted 05 October 2009 - 08:42 AM

        make sure you have all the details in the contract, such as: # of hours he/she will photograph, how many pics you will get at the end (prints, DVD, slideshow) etc..., timeframe for when you will receive your prints, will they be edited or raw...and so on

        #5 islandbride317

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          Posted 05 October 2009 - 10:06 AM

          I agree with the other girls -- make sure all of the details are spelled out in writing and that there are no "grey" areas in your contract, and you should be fine. And, as far as payment is concerned, I was asked to put down a percentage of the final cost as a deposit, and it is up to me whether or not I pay the remainder before hand or on our actual wedding day (which, since I have other things to pay for in the meantime, I plan to pay the balance in advance, but when we get closer to the wedding).

          As long as you maintain good communication with your photographer, and ask any and all questions you may have so that you are 100% clear on how things are going to work, you should have a pleasant experience (but just make sure that all details are covered specifically in your contract/terms of agreement before you send the full amount... because once they check is in the mail, it can be a lot harder to find a leg to stand on if something is missing or "off" with your contract!)

          Good luck!

          #6 NaM

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            Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:40 AM

            Our photog already had a contract template and they just tailored it to us: hours, 2 shooters, editing time, #of prints, etc. They also had an "incase of.." clause, incase the photo gets sick we get another one and things such as.
            We paid 50% at time of signing and the remaining 50% is due 30 days before the wedding but we paid early to get it out of the way.

            Good luck!

            #7 lnf_munchkin

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              Posted 05 October 2009 - 12:49 PM

              Thanks for the info Ladies!

              #8 Melidell

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                Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:52 PM

                Thanks for the responses everyone! I'm happy to hear that what we have is a pretty standard deal- I wasn't sure how this is usually done. I'll double check the contract to make sure everything is covered, but I think we're good.
                Loving married life!

                #9 O'Driscoll Photography

                O'Driscoll Photography
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                  Posted 06 October 2009 - 04:15 AM

                  Some great info. already given here. Sounds like you should be good to go.

                  My clients pay half up front to reserve the date, and the balance is not due until 30 days prior to their wedding date. BTW, this type of a payment schedule is standard practice in the industry.

                  Hope this helps.

                  Happy planning! :)

                  Best wishes,

                  #10 purpleshells

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                    Posted 06 October 2009 - 05:58 PM

                    My photographer is literally PISSING ME OFF....its always under their terms! I asked if we could pay the last $250 upon arrival of album, photos, etc.... he says,no bring your laptop at the resort and i will transfer the photos onto it and that will be your "security" I said,um,no,their will be no retouches, album, prints, etc....that does not sound fair....he wants us to pay everything now and just.......hope he gives it all once completed ........The fact that he does not want to deal with us is making me not trust him and making me want to go elsewhere.....by the way we do have a contract with them saying that we r paying their 2 tickets for blablablabla.....but still.......reading these replies....... I feel uneasy with him now.......

                    HELP!! What should we do??

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