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The Legal Responsibilities of a Wedding Photographer Explained

Article by Lee Glasgow

Choosing the right event photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in regards to a wedding. Since there are no do-overs when it comes to capturing memories, learn what’s involved in selecting a wedding photographer and what his legal responsibilities are.

How to Select a Photographer

Decide on the style of photography first. Whether you like documentary, edgy and bold, fine art or portraiture, you need a professional to match. Talk to friends on their experiences with wedding photographers, read recent reviews and make sure that potential candidates have a positive social media presence. When looking at blogs and websites, evaluate recent wedding photos carefully to see if they match your preferences. Set up interviews with a candidate and ask to see full wedding albums of their work.

Choosing a Package

During the interview, ask the wedding photographer about the shooting fee and types of packages offered. If you want to go as inexpensive as possible, inquire what’s included in a standard package and how many hours of coverage the base price includes. If you have a bigger budget, ask about prices for extras and special effects.

The Contract

Obvious items to specify in the contract include dates, times, photo details, costs, names and contact info for all parties. However, you also need to add copyright details and a refund and cancellation policy. The former specifies if you can share the photos on social media and if the photographer can use them for promotional materials.

You also need to watch for non-disparagement clauses. These inhibit you from leaving adverse reviews about the photographer online. If you ignore the clauses, you could end up at the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Legal Responsibilities

You can only hold a photographer responsible for actions that are covered in a written document. This is called contract law. Since the photographer often provides a standard legal document, it’s important that you read it carefully and ask for amendments before signing it.

Ethical Responsibilities

Good photographers also abide by ethical responsibilities that aren’t covered in a contract, but you can’t legally hold them responsible to anything that isn’t mentioned in writing. In order to find the right person for the job, do your homework during the hiring process.

Sometimes things can go wrong, despite having everything in order. If your photographer breaches the contract, contact him about the specifics, try to work things out and keep records of all communication attempts. If you don’t get satisfactory results, send a certified letter to announce legal intent and consult an attorney.