The contracts that Wedding Photographers and Adventurous Elopement Photographers use have some pretty big differences. The nuances are important because every contract should be tailored to the services you’re specifically providing to each client. If the contract does not give detailed information on what you will be doing, your business is vulnerable to legal issues not specified in your clauses.
Let’s break down the key differences of each contract so you know exactly which contract fits you best!
The Adventure Elopement Photography Contract
An elopement photographer likes to go to remote locations with their clients, go on rugged terrain, hike a few miles (or more!) into the ceremony location, and assists clients with lots of the planning services prior to the elopement day on top of providing photos.
- The Adventure Elopement Photography Contract includes clauses related to the communication and planning of the wedding: scouting locations, helping clients obtain permits, working with third-party vendors, and other various tasks.
- The contract also has additional clauses regarding the cost of travel fees, compensation for planning and outside communication for the event, and location and scouting.
- The contract further has language regarding third-party vendor responsibilities and liability, which explains that while you’ll assist with finding outside third-party vendors for your clients that they are ultimately responsible for booking them and the liability and risks incurred to work with them.
- The biggest clause in this contract that is NOT in the regular wedding photography contract is the assumption of risk clause. This clause ensures your clients understand the risks of injury that may happen during the elopement and has your clients voluntarily accept that risk and liability (aka hold you harmless).
- Other clauses like the inclement weather clause are ones you will also see in the general wedding photography contract, but are more specific in this contract because they have different parameters to better fit the situation. The Adventure Elopement Photography Contract’s inclement weather clause requires the event to continue if it is storming and raining so long as it is safe to be outdoors, and explains how the photographer will make the final decision about moving locations and/or dates due to weather and not the client.
The Wedding Photography Contract
The Wedding Photography Contract handles what we like to call more ‘traditional’ weddings—the ones with large venues, wedding parties, big families, guests, dancing, sit-down dinners, tons of vendors, and cake!
- The Wedding Photography Contract has clauses related to complimentary meals for you and your assistants during the designated meal times, short bathroom breaks during the event, and responsibilities of the clients and wedding party to ensure they are on time for specific photo ops.
- This contract also includes information about location limitations so that your business is covered for any limits placed upon you by the venue such as flash photography restrictions, where you can stand, etc.
- The contract further includes all the clauses you’d expect to be in it such as a model release clause, exclusive photographer clause, copyright clause, artistic style clause, confirmation of day-of photography schedule clause, and safe working environment clause.
- The Wedding Photography Contract does NOT have an assumption of risk clause because it's not necessary to include. This type of photography does not have extreme activities involved that you need to protect yourself from.
Here’s TLPs take:
The differences between these contracts may seem like simple changes but every single word in your contract is important. A wedding contract WILL NOT cover the clauses specifically needed for an elopement, and vice versa. If a wedding photographer uses an elopement contract, not only will the clients be agreeing to erroneous terms but your business will be held accountable for roles that are not attached to your clients' needs. The correct contract saves you legally AND shows clients that you are knowledgeable about the intricacies of your services. If you are wondering what to do if you do both elopement and wedding photography, the best route is to have two separate contracts and use them for each purpose. TLP has bundled them together for you at a discountHERE.
Just remember, when choosing between either contract you should ask “What services am I providing? What risks should I protect my business from? What are my specific responsibilities to the clients? and What do my clients need to be informed about and what risks should they assume?” Overall, remember that more traditional-style weddings with large venues and large wedding parties should most always use the Wedding Photography Contract and more adventurous, intimate ceremonies in remote locations that include risky and strenuous activities should be covered by the Adventure Elopement Photography Contract.
THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract or specific legal situation.