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6 Things To Include In Wedding Photography Contracts

Every wedding photographer needs a solid contract. Just click open Facebook and you’ll hear the horror stories of filters being slapped on photographer’s photos and clients ghosting payments. It happens, and it can happen to you. 

Having a contract to protect your income and artistic reputation is critical to every wedding photographer. 

Our attorney-drafted Wedding Photographer Contract & Model Release bundle has been in the shop for a while but it only occurred to me the other day that I’ve never explained the sections within the contract! So today, I’ll explain six critical elements to include in your wedding photo contract and why. (Stick around until the end for 10% your contract as a bonus!)

What to include in wedding photography contracts

Service Details

It may seem like a no-brainer, but your contract must include all the details of the service and coverage your client is purchasing. You’ll need to include an itemized list of all the services, products, digital images, and coverage times. Plus, details on the wedding venue and date. The more details the better!

And before you ask – yes, I know you probably went over these details on the phone or had them in your proposal. It’s important to include details in your wedding photography contract even if you provided them in your proposal. Your contract is the final confirmation of details and what you and your client can refer back to.

Fees & Payment Schedules

It’s not enough to have the total amount of the contract. Many new photographers make the mistake of only including the full amount of the contract without breaking down a payment schedule. This leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding. Be crystal clear in this section, even if you have to create a bulleted list of every payment amount and the exact dates they’re due.

The fees and payment schedule clause is also a great place to include information on how your client can pay you and any penalties for late payments.

Rescheduling & Cancellation Policy

Unless all your weddings are indoors, it’s inevitable that at some point you’re going to have a client ask to reschedule their wedding. Bad weather, problems with the venue, or acts of God. Whatever the reason – expect the unexpected with weddings.

That’s why it’s important to include both a rescheduling policy and cancellation policy in your wedding photography contract. Clients will need to know if there are any fees associated with rescheduling their date. (It’s rare you’re asked to reschedule if the venue is already booked, but it has happened!)

For cancellations, you’ll need to outline whether they get their deposit back or if there are any additional fees and expenses they may be liable for. After all, if you had to buy plane tickets and hotel accommodations, or hire a second shooter, to shoot an out-of-two wedding then you may not be able to get your money back.

Products Included

If your package includes any digital images, wedding albums, prints, or other products you’ll need to include that in your contract. This is important because your client needs to know exactly what deliverables they are getting. 

So for instance, if your package includes an album then you need to include all the details about the size of the album, the material, how many photos are included, who gets to pick them out, whether image culling is done by the client or you, etc.

If you do IPS after the wedding day, don’t panic. There’s no way to know what photos or products your client will want before that sales meeting. For any items purchased after the contract is signed, simply send over a product contract with the invoice so you’re still protected.

Delivery Details

Speaking of products and images, don’t forget to include a delivery clause. Every couple wants to know how soon they can expect to see their photos. A delivery clause is where you will give a date for when your couple can expect their wedding photos edited. Include details like how you’ll deliver their gallery, how many photos they can expect to see edited and how long their gallery will be available to make purchases.

I also recommend adding a narrow range of how many photos they can expect to receive, like 500-550 for example. This way, you don’t get stuck editing thousands of unnecessary photos. (No one needs 10 photos that accidentally show the bestest four-legged flower boy taking a potty break before the ceremony in the corner of the photo. Save yourself the trouble of being expected to edit all the photos you shot!)

Model Release, Ownership Rights, and Artistic Rights

I’m sure you’ve seen the Facebook posts about a photographer being horrified how their client put a filter on their photo and posted it to social media. Issues like this are often due to wedding photographers failing to have permission-type clauses. You should always include a model release, minor model release, ownership rights, and artistic rights clause in your contracts. 

These not only protect your rights, but also give you permission to post photos to your social media and website or ask that after-edit photos be removed from the internet. The only downside is that these clauses can be wordy, but trust me, they are always worth having!

What else should a wedding photography contract include?

About that… These are just six critical clauses to include in your wedding photography contracts. The truth is, I could probably think of 5-10 more things you could, and should, include. Most wedding photo contracts end up being anywhere from 4-9 pages.

A lot goes into contracts, which is why it’s important to get an attorney-drafted contract from a professional. Never try to write your own contract or (gasp) go without. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started as a wedding photographer or you’ve been a full-time professional for years. A good contract protects you and protects your income. 

If you need an attorney-drafted wedding photography contract, pick one up from the shop. All my contracts are professionally drafted and come with free notifications and contract updates if laws change that require you to update legal language. If you’re new, save 10% for making it this far into the blog with the code Welcome10.

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I’m Kara


Through my best-selling courses, thriving 1:1 tailored coaching experience, professional done-for-you business services, and powerful business templates, I inspire and empower photographers to take control of their businesses and realize that “Wow, I can do this!”

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Kara Hubbard, Business Coach for Photographers, Photographer Educator, Owner of Tografy, Ozo Coffee Branding

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Kara Hubbard, Business Coach for Photographers, Photographer Educator, Owner of Tografy, Whole Foods Branding

hi there!

I’m Kara Hubbard


Through my best-selling courses, thriving 1:1 tailored coaching experience, professional done-for-you business services, and powerful business templates, I inspire and empower photographers to take control of their businesses and realize that “Wow, I can do this!”
I do this by teaching photographers how to run their businesses and not how I successfully ran my own. I firmly believe that with proper business education and tailored resources anyone can build a life and business they love through the incredible art of photography.


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