Wedding Photography - Checklist and legal paper work

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by GerryDavid, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For those here that shoot weddings, preferably professionaly, I was just wondering what stuff you have for a photo check list, and what sort of legal paper work you use?

    Im interested in doing weddings on my own eventually so I gotta get some of this paper work going. I wont be doing it this year probably since most of my weekends are busy assisting a wedding photographer, but I got some free weekends in september and who knows, may be lucky and get one for then.

    The paper work that I can think of is:

    checklist of each shot:
    - different shots with the brides side of the family with the newlywed couple
    - different shots with the grooms side of the family with the newlywed couple
    - combination of shots with the brides and grooms family members with the newlywed couple
    - the wedding pictures themselves, during the service
    - the after the wedding stuff, like cutting the cake, first dance, etc

    And for the legal paper work, a contract saying that the photographer owns the copyright to the images, perhaps saying something like the photographer is free to sell the images to friends and family.

    perhaps another sheet saying that the photographer is free to take other pictures that are not on the check list if he sees interesting stuff, a yes or no sort of checklist for this.

    And im sure there are a few things here im not remembrering.

    Also, how do you handle the payment? Do you take a % up front and a % upon deliver of the images on cd, or wedding album or how ever you handle the closing of the deal? If so, what % do you take up front?
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of weddings :)

    If you post your e-mail address I will send you a copy of our wedding checklist and contract. As for the $$ questions...

    We take $200 up front to hold the date. This in non-refundable. We require that the balance of the payment be made 2 weeks prior to the wedding. This makes sure that nobody is worried about $$ on the big day. Our packages range from $700 to $2500 depending on what the bride/groom want for albums, coverage hours, etc. We provide the proofs for free, and also put up the images on the web for online ordering. This way they can share the pictures with family and friends right away but it's really simple to order. Our customers like that out of town friends/family can also order on-line.

    We offered a discount at first to get some business in. Then it's just word of mouth to keep your business up.
     
  3. Scott WRG Editor

    Scott WRG Editor King of Smoothness

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    Would you mind send this list to me as well, I'm supposed to be getting into wedding photography next season. Thanks.
     
  4. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    gerry_canada at hotmail dot com *sorry for the at and dot but this way spam bots on the net wont be able to read it as easily. And thanks for sending me the check list. :0)

    I like the idea of the $200 to hold the date. Then the rest of the payment before the wedding itself does make sense. This way your not trying to find them after and get payment. A friend does weddings for friends and other people as a favour and he's not a pro or anything. Some people even threatened violence instead of money to get the pictures. So I want to avoid those type of situations.

    What do you do if they dont have the money up front? Try to work something out or just cancel the wedding and keep the deposit?

    Thanks for the info. :0)
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    My contract clearly states that I will not begin any photography until I am paid in full for the wedding photography as agreed upon. It also states that I will "walk away" and keep the deposit if they don't pay. I've never had this problem, but I always point out that part of my contract when we are signing.

    There are wedding contracts and poses lists all over the internet. I searched, found a dozen of each, and made my own taking the parts that I liked from each. Of course, don't fiddle around with the legal wording of the contracts too much without a lawyer's help.

    Originally I wasn't such a fan of the poses lists. My style lends itself better to improvising at the actual location using the architecture, landscaping, etc... But the poses lists do help me make sure I know the bride's "must have" shots, and it also helps the bride understand how much photography is neccessary. Many people start out thinking that my estimates on the amount of photography they'll need seems like a lot, but once they easily check off a hundred or so pre-ceremony and ceremony shots, and then add in all the posed shots, they see where I'm coming from.
     
  6. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ksmattfish, how many unique shots/poses do you take at an average wedding? Not including insurrance shots of each pose to make sure you get a good one?
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It depends on what the customer wants. I do some weddings that I'm photographing all day and into the evening, and others where I'm just hired for a few hours to do some wedding party poses and the ceremony. I have some sample packages on my website that breakdown the shot list some; they average 40+ shots an hour. I'd say that I shoot 300+ photos in a "typical" wedding. I have yet to do a wedding that exactly matches one of my samples.

    With the exception of the posed pics, or anything special the couple requests, most is going to be documentary style, so I'm taking pics of the interesting parts, details, people, etc... As long as I know I got the shot I just take one pic each, although as the action unfolds I make take more, or take another shot with a different composition, etc... For the posed shots I always take at least 2, and often 3 shots each. Besides making sure no one is blinking, or whatever, multiple negs also provide a nice safety net in case one is damaged sometime in the future.
     
  8. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    lots of good advice here. I am not sure i wanna get into wedding photography. But i would love to take a look at what your checklist and contracts Allison.

    If you got time my email is diamondtron at starscream.us
     
  9. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Gerry & Havoc, I've sent the list and contract to you. Scott, I don't have an e-mail address for you.
     
  10. Jovian

    Jovian TPF Noob!

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    I'd love to see what you have too if it isn't too much trouble. You can get ahold of me at ADphoto at cinci.rr.com. Thank you so much for this! It's just what i needed!

    ~Andrew~
     
  11. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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  12. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    Great thanks alot :)
     

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