photography contract

non-refundable retainers, photographyIn theory, it's hard to understand. But once you've actually suffered a major financial loss due to a wedding cancelation, it starts to make more sense from a business perspective. Let me explain.

Our contract terms have always been to collect 1/3 of the payment at the time of booking. It is a significant amount; and I am making a significant commitment to the client. Doesn’t matter if a “better offer” comes along (or I change my mind, or I win a free trip to Europe, or J.Lo wants me to photograph her 4th wedding) I am committed to the original client and their date. It works both ways, and the non-refundable retainer is the client's way of making that same commitment to me.

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It is said that we live in a very litigious society. This means that, on any given day, just about anyone can be sued for anything. It may not be fair, but that's just the way it is.

As a photographer, you should take steps to minimize your legal exposure. This will prevent Murphy's law – if anything can go wrong, it will – from taking over your professional life. After all, you'd rather spend your work days running your business, not in small claims court, right?

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