Wedding Photography Contract & Tips


It’s not always the photographer with the best equipment, the most professional portfolio or the nicest storefront that’s the best choice for your wedding pictures.  Sometimes, it’s the photographer with the outstanding eye and great business sense. If you’re lucky enough to find a great photographer that you really like and fits into your budget, you’re pretty far ahead of the game. However, you still need to make sure you get the best deal and all the services you’re counting on for your big day. The best way to do that is to know exactly what needs to be in your wedding photography contract.

1. Photography As A Business

When choosing a wedding photographer, keep in mind that you’re looking for a professional. There are many legal considerations involved in photography, and a professional photographer will be familiar with them. One of the biggest considerations is the contract you’ll sign with your photographer. This contract will outline every part of your agreement with your photographer and should be very thorough. Here are some things that absolutely must be included in your wedding photography contract.

2. Contractual Party Information

This part of the contract includes basic information on the parties involved in the agreement. This is usually a separate page that serves as the cover page for the contract.  It should include:

  • Your contact information and full name.
  • Your fiancé’s name and alternate contact information.
  • Brief description of services covered by the contract.
  • Location of your ceremony, as well as the date and time.
  • Area for signatures and signing date.

3. The Agreement

This part of the contract stipulates that both parties are agreeing to cooperate fully in order to carry out the contract. This section should mention both parties involved. The photographer carrying out the work and the paying party.

4. Financial Agreement

This part of your wedding photography contract includes information on the total fee for the services being provided. This should include an itemized listing of the services covered by the contract and their cost. If a photography package is listed, the included items should be broken down in a sub-list. This part of the contract should also include any information about deposits, booking fees and dates at which the contract becomes “locked in” and your deposit becomes nonrefundable.

5. Usage Rights

Your wedding photography contract should also state whether you will be granted usage rights for your photos, or if your photographer will only be supplying you with proofs and retaining the printing rights. Make sure you’re clear on what your contract says, especially if you’re expecting to have full usage rights.

6. Release For Commercial Use

Most wedding photographers will want to use your photos in their portfolios or in advertisements for their services. This permission must be granted by you and is usually found in almost every wedding photography contract.