If you missed Part I, go check it out now! If you’re all caught up and ready to go, then read on, my friend!
4. Will you be fed during the wedding day?
It seems silly, but food is serious business to me. If I go too long without eating, I get shaky and light-headed… not the type of person you want shooting the most important day of your life. Yes, I bring my own emergency snacks to every wedding, but having a few minutes to sit down and eat a real meal can really refresh you for the rest of the evening.
What I do: I request that for any coverage longer than 5 hours, my second shooter and I must be fed a meal. I tell my clients that it’s best for us to be fed immediately after the Bride and Groom so we’re done eating around the same time. There’s no time limit for this meal, because I always have my camera by my side, ready to go… but couples typically don’t want photos of themselves stuffing their mouths.
5. What if your couple never approves their album?
Some couples are super on-top of things and want to get their album designed, approved, and in their hands as quickly as possible. Others… not so much. What do you do when your couple doesn’t approve their album in a timely manner?
What I do: I understand that not everyone is as on top of things as I am (I’m not trying to brag… I’m seriously just one of those people who likes to get things done and off my plate). For that reason, I give my couples a generous grace period where they can take their time, settle into their new life, look through their album design a hundred times, and get back to me when they’re good and ready.
That said, after 12 months, they’re paying an archive fee (because holding onto that many photos and keeping that album design active isn’t free!). After 18 months, our contract is considered complete, and I’m under no further obligation to the couple. It may seem harsh… but I don’t want to be tracking down clients and revising albums that are 2+ years old.
6. What happens if the wedding day is running behind?
As much as we want to think our timeline is flawless and our clients are punctual, wedding days are notoriously hard to predict. So what happens if your designated hours are up, but the couple still hasn’t had their first dance or their grand exit (which they reeeally wanted you to photograph)?
What I do: My contract states if the day is running a little bit behind, I have no problem staying up to 30 minutes late to catch the last bit of “action”. After that, I’ll find the Bride and Groom and ask them if they’d like me to stay longer. If they say yes, they’ll be charged an hourly overage fee, which must be paid before they’ll receive their digital files or album. Giving a little leeway makes you seem flexible and understanding, without letting them walk all over you.
I hope these were helpful (and that you’re looking through your contract right now)! Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, so do your own research and talk to one while drafting or revising your contract.
Don’t feel like you can afford hiring someone to draft a contract for you? Then write it yourself, and just pay them to proofread it and make suggestions. Even better… maybe you can trade photography services for their lawyering skills. You never know until you ask!
*All Photos by Kelly Benton Photography.
Kelly Benton lives with her husband and two adorable dachshunds in Northeast Indiana, where she works from home as a Wedding Photographer. When she’s not photographing over people’s love, she’s a wannabe-rockstar triathlete with a penchant for funny movies and craft beer. Check out her blog or connect with her on Facebook.