As an attorney and a photographer I am constantly asked about what happens to your contract if a parent pays, or great aunt emmie pays. The main thing to remember here is that your contract DOES change when you add a third party payer to your services. You want to ensure that the clients are still the clients that you’re serving on the day-of the event, but you also want to ensure that the payment and fees portion of your contract is all in the hands of your third party payer.
Some things we talked about:
- When do situations like this happen?
- Legal Privity!? What is it and why it's important
- What is an addendum, why do you need it and what's in it?
Here are a few quotes:
- (3:45) “Now photographers and other wedding vendors like planners and florists and DJs are starting to realize the implications of having parents (or whoever the 3rd party payor is) sign AND pay for the services. Ultimately, it makes THEM the clients. Not the spouses who you are actually trying to serve on your wedding day."
- (5:25) "The doctrine of privity of contract is a common law principle which provides that a contract cannot confer rights or impose obligations upon any person who is not a party to the contract."
- (11:17) "You need to ask EVERY SINGLE TIME who is paying for the services. Its as simple as putting it in part of your workflow every time and within every contractual situation. Ask them if anyone else is part of the “decision making” process or if anyone else is “helping with payment” for the services."
- (14:28) "Then you have a Third-Party Payor sign onto the contract and add in this addendum to your existing contract that specifically outlines exactly what their roles and responsibilities are under that contract."
- (14:55) "The Third Party Payor is NOT the client you are serving on the wedding day or prior to or after the wedding day. They are only signing on for payment purposes. Its essentially a gift (in monetary form) from them to your clients."
- (20:17) "All of this to say: be as specific as possible with your client contracts. "