Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Vendor Contract Points: Specifically Wedding Photographers

I received an email from a bride today about an issue she’s having with a photographer she’s thinking of hiring. She likes his work and his package rate is fine, but there are a few issues irking her:

1. After an initial package of prints and an album, he wants to charge $9 for each additional print and if a guest wants to purchase a print it’s $20 each. She was also concerned that this rate will go up over time.

2. He wants to use her photos for promotional use, on his site and pitching the images to blogs and wedding sites and magazines

3. He hasn’t been open to answering a number of her questions, including altering the package she’s interested in buying.

Here are my thoughts, which she thought may be helpful to other brides:

1. It’s common for photographers to charge a per print fee after the initial package of prints and your album. But you should find out the quality of the prints you'll be getting. Is he printing them on his home/office printer or is he sending them to a professional development company.

As for the rate, the rate in the contract should be a set rate and you can add a line that reads “rate not subject to change” if you’re concerned – just make sure both you and the photographer initial that section.

2. It’s common for photographers to use wedding photographs they’ve taken to promote their business either on their own site/blog and in promotional material as well as pitching their work to wedding magazines, sites and blogs. They own the copyright. There should be a line in your contract that informs you of this use and states that you grant them permission to use your images (shots that you and your guests are in) in these promotional ways. If you don’t feel comfortable then edit the contract to reflect what you do or don’t want. If he disagrees he’ll tell you.

3. If the photographer, or any vendor you’re thinking of hiring, isn’t cooperative and not answering your questions then don’t hire him. If you’re gut is telling you something’s wrong then you can walk away and keep looking for the right vendor.


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