Wedding Photography Contract

Wedding Photography Contract

Wedding photography contract is a document that contains the information about payment list, harassment, privacy, policies, deliverables, and cancellation system, namely, everything a professional wedding photographer needs to provide photography services to his clients. I have more than 10 yeas experience as a wedding photographer and finally gathered wedding photography contract templates that are simple to understand both for the photographers and the client. Moreover, any you can download wedding photography contract pdf and doc formats.

Why Do You Need a Wedding Photography Contract?

The photography wedding contract is signed to protect your services and the people you cooperate with. It is also a potent tool to guarantee your orderers that you are a reliable partner, a responsible person and they know what to expect. A skillfully drafted agreement is half the battle of your successful business. You should sign a contract to cover yourself and grow your business successfully. Except wedding photography contract you can also see people using real estate photography contract, portrait, newborn and the most widely used – commercial photography contract. On 4:14 a famous wedding photographer Jasmine Star shares her opinion about photography releases, changes in wedding photography contracts and why you need them.

5 Reasons to Sign UP a Contract

  • Decrease the risk of potential lawsuit
  • Save your reputation
  • Make sure you get the credit for images
  • Outline the expectations and prevent miscommunication
  • Increase the client’s confidence

Here Are 5 More Reasons to Do It, as the Contract Can:

  • Decrease the Risk of a Potential Lawsuit

You should guard yourself against risks of potential lawsuits, that’s why you and your client should conclude a contract for photo shooting where you should specify all the working details. Wedding photography contract will become a powerful tool of protection in case of misunderstanding between you and your clientele. You can always invoke to contract's paragraphs to evade any juridical step. Read through the photography and the law regulations in the US to know your rights well. 

photography wedding contract

  • Save the Reputation

The wedding photography contract guarantees that your business and personal reputation won't be ruined in case of dispute with your client. The litigation or a bad feedback can undermine your public image and lead to damaging your business because you can lose your current and potential clients. Your customers must be sure that you tackle the tasks competently and meet the demands and expectations of orderers for quality service delivery.

sample wedding photography contract

  • Make Sure You Get the Credit for Images

Everyone heard about copyright and the necessity of protecting it. Wedding photography contract template will guarantee that your still images won't be used without your permission. Only you have the right to receive praise, reward or dispose of your pictures as you want. No matter whether it is a big company or a private person – your orderers must grasp and follow the rules specified in the wedding photography contract. Make sure that all the clients understand the answerability outlined in the treaty. Clearly inscribe everything in the agreement to evade misunderstandings.

  • Outline Expectations and Prevent Miscommunication

The wedding photography contract template clearly states all aspects of a transaction between a bridal photographer and the client thus it helps to prevent misunderstanding. The wedding photography contract outlines all details of the transaction and if it was signed it means that parties accept the contract terms. It's a kind of a roadmap for a client because all work stages are described in it. The wedding photography contract template will help the photographer to have all the data he or she needs to satisfy the client's requirements.

 wedding contract photography

  • Increase the Client’s Confidence

Your orderers will be confident that they are dealing with a professional when they see that all work stages specified in the wedding photography contract. They will trust you more inasmuch you are in charge of treaty terms fulfillment. Trust, quality, and professionalism are the basis for a good reputation and for a brilliant career promotion. Your efforts must be dedicated to only one goal – ensuring quality service for the clients. 

Free Wedding Photography Contract Templates

The wedding photography contract allows you not only to identify the important points of your work but also establish trust between you and your client. But it is quite difficult to form a competent and understandable wedding contract. To make everything clear and save your time, I’ve made 6 wedding photography contract templates that can be used as the basis or the starting point. 

Short Wedding Photography Contract

Short wedding photography contract contains all the main points related to the work of the wedding photographer, which will be enough to prevent awkward moments and misunderstandings. As the name implies, this contact is an abridged version of the general photography contract and is suitable for situations that do not require a large number of items. Download a free wedding photography contract in PDF or DOC fast and without extra payments. 

General Photography Contract 

General photography contract is a basic agreement for the wedding shootings, as it contains all the main points and can protect you or the client from unexpected problems. You can download the wedding photographer contract in PDF or DOC too. 

Wedding Photography Contract Extended

Extended wedding photography contract includes even more different points that can be useful when you have to work with different clients and second shooters. There is everything from the date of the wedding to the copyright policies. This sample wedding photography contract is perfect for weddings with a huge number of photography services since it covers the maximum possible range of it. Just download this wedding photography contract template and be confident about your rights.

Wedding Photography Agreement

Instead of using the "wedding photography contract", which can have some negative connotations, you can use a more tactful "wedding photography agreement". The special features of this agreement are a detailed timeline, a service guarantee, as well as a policy of the cancellation of services. This wedding photography contract pdf and doc can be downloaded in 2 minutes on your email. 

Fill-in-the-blank Event Photography Template

Closer to the point – this is how you can characterize this concise event photography contract template. Here all the main points are described in a fairly simple manner, so if you need a simple but high-quality version of the wedding photography contract – then this is what you need. This is the sample wedding photography contract that must be extended according to your services conditions. 

Model Release Template 

The model release is a contract with the person you photographed, giving you the right to publish, distribute, sell and perform other actions with photographs that do not discredit the honor of the person.

This wedding photography contract template gives you the right to use images in any non-defamatory ways: photo retouching, demonstration of these photos at the exhibitions, publication, sale. Without it, you cannot do anything with the photographs depicting a recognizable person.

The model release is signed by two parties (the person being photographed and the photographer) in the presence of a witness confirming the fact of signing the contract. 

There are two possible ways of photo usage:

  • editorial (with no benefit)
  • commercial (a photographer gets some benefits)

Wedding Photographer Contract Tips

What paragraphs can be included in the treaty? A wedding photography contract template regulates the business relationship between you and your orderer. 

It is a legal paper which must become an integral part of the booking mechanism. You can find various wedding photographer contracts on the Internet. Before choosing the type that satisfies your demands, make sure it includes the following issues:

10 Clauses You Should Include in the Wedding Photography Contract

  • Basic information
  • Location, dates, and times
  • Cancelation terms
  • Emergency plan
  • Meal & breaks
  • Payments details
  • Deliverables
  • Copyright information
  • Second shooter/assistant details
  • Policies on Other Photographers

Basic Information

The general information must be given in the first part of your wedding photography contract template. This information contains:

  • Personal Info: full name and contact data - telephone number, e-mail etc.
  • Info About Your Business: name, office location, postal index, e-mail address, telephone, and fax numbers.
  • The Client’s Contact Data: telephone number, e-mail etc.
  • The basic data must also include a brief description of your still picture service, working days and hours. Such info as a place, time and date of the shooting is also added to the covenant.

Locations, Dates, and Times

Time, place and date of your shooting must be specified in the wedding photography contract template. The detailed information about the place and time will help you to understand clearly where and when you should shoot. You should remember that even such an information as place and time is of a great importance. Be attentive, as the location of an engagement photo session may different from the place of a wedding photo shoot. Define what time you will arrive at the ceremony to avoid any misunderstanding. 

Payment Details

One of the most significant paragraphs of your wedding photography contract is the details about payment. Your goal as a business proprietor is to get profit, expand your business, find new orderers and raise your annual income. The payments details such as the sum of money and defined timelines must be clearly written in the treaty. 

Indicate the scope of services your orderer has chosen, their price and payout timelines. Your wedding photography contract must help you to trace payments transactions in order to reach your professional goals.

We also advise you to inscribe a non-reimbursable booking levy in your treaty. It is a common practice because you mustn't work in vain. This will be a good protection in a case if your client decides to revoke the order and you don’t have another wedding photography order in your schedule.

Cancellation Terms

Hence, another question arises. How to act if the client canceled the order at the last minute? You can't plan another bridal photo shooting and this affects your income. That's why you should clearly define the cancellation terms in your photography wedding contract to protect your business without and not be afraid to lose the income.

You must be protected when the client cancels the order or postpone the date of bridal shooting. The wedding photography cancellation contract template is your guarantee that you don't lose your time and money.

Sometimes life offers up the surprises and you can't execute your working tasks on the chosen day. See our next advice to know how to act in this situation.

Emergency Plan

The cases of emergency must be clarified in your covenant. Your clients must be sure that in case of an extraordinary situation, you have a backup plan and you don’t leave them without a photog. It’s very important for your professional reputation. You must also think about unpredictable scenarios and how to solve them. Answers to "what if" questions are important when a person wants to model the situation.

  • What if it's raining cats and dogs and the bridal rite is alfresco?
  • What if the photos were lost?
  • What if my orderers ask me to stay longer than I was planning?

All unforeseen scenarios must be written in the photography wedding contract in order to avoid misunderstandings. You and your orderer must be on the same wavelength. Your clients must be sure that everything is under your control and they don’t need to worry about the wedding photo shoot.

Meals & Breaks

This item seems to be inessential but, in fact, it matters a lot. Hungry and tired photogs can hardly be able to take nice and interesting still pictures. A sour face of the tired photographer will suit for the Halloween party, but not for the wedding event. The wedding ceremony shooting can last for hours that’s why you will need some food and short recesses to recuperate in order to be able to work productively. Add wedding photography contract meal clause and stipulate with your orderers the necessity of short recesses and small snacks.


All discussed details must be included in the wedding photography contract template – the enumeration of services your orderers have chosen, their price and the time you require to bring the bridal pictures to your orderers. The list of issues can be expanded and added to your wedding contract template. If you intend to provide supplementary services, don’t forget to add them to the event photography contract template too. The smallest details must be taken into account and included in the wedding contract. It will decrease the number of questions from your orderers and increase the chances that your clients will be impressed when they see the final results. High estimation of your works will attract new orderers.

Copyright Information

The copyright protection of your pictures is a very important issue which must be specified in your treaty. Each photo artist must attest to the author of many published still images by providing the link to their original file. It's crucially important to expound your orderers the algorithm of the correct photo sharing.

Discuss this essential question with your orderers and clarify the procedure of picture sharing. Do it orally and in a written form by including this item to the photography wedding contract. This will prevent the conflicts which can occur if the photos were shared incorrectly.

Policies on Other Photographers

This should be mentioned in your contract for wedding photography too. It can be a real problem because nowadays even an amateur photographer can have a good digital camera with a good lens and he/she will, for sure, take it to the solemnization event. This can have some negative consequences. First of all, the quality of pictures can be lower because the photographer must do everything feasible to maneuver among all these extra “photographers” not to capture them in the frame. Secondly, the other people with cameras often complain that they can’t take a nice picture because you jump in front of them. The fact that you were hired to do that is not important for those would-be photogs. Thirdly, the shots of other people lessen the impact of your work. Undoubtedly, you are an incredibly professional photo artist and your pictures are on a higher level but you shouldn’t deal with competition during the wedding event.

Second Shooter/Assistant Details

Sometimes bridal photo artists use the assistance of a second photographer during the nuptials ritual. If it's your case, then you should include the responsibilities of your assistant in the contract for wedding photography in order to evade disputes and unpleasant situations. Your aide will definitely interact with your orderer and you won't be able to control this. A person who works with you must also be sure that his or her good name is legally protected.

You are also responsible if your client is not contented with your aide. Your over-all responsibility for second photographers, aides or other subordinates must be written in the photography wedding contract. They must know that they are patronized and that your business project is reliable and professional. A good relationship with the customers and employees is the best advertisement for your business.

Wedding Photography and Copyright Law

What is Wedding Photography Copyright?

Photography copyright means the totality of legal norms and duties, the purpose of which is the qualitative adjustment and protection of the belonging of photos to their creator. Authors can freely dispose of their photographs, while all others have no right to copy or disseminate the results of their intellectual work. Other people get the opportunity to use these photos only with the legal permission of the creator. Intellectual property products can generate revenue, but provided that the authors have consolidated their rights in the form of patents, trademarks, certificates or contract for wedding photography.

Who Owns the Wedding Photographs Copyright?

A Copyright Owner's Rights:

  • Reproduce the work
  • Prepare "derivative works"
  • Distribute copies of the work by sale, lease, or other transfers
  • Perform the work publicly
  • Display the work publicly
According to the current US legislation, copyrights to photographs belong to the photographer, he/she as the author has all the relevant rights. Copyright for a photo is divided into two groups - property and personal rights.

The personal copyright of the photographer includes the following: the right of authorship, the right to a name, the right to publish and protect reputation. Copyright protects both negatives, slides, digital images, and prints of them.

The photographer's property rights include the right of the photographer to prohibit or permit the use of photography through reproduction and distribution, as well as public display, replication, sale or free distribution of photographs. The right to change a photograph is also included in the ownership of property, i.e., its editing.

In practice, we have 3 variants when signing the wedding photography contract:

  • To forbid the reproduction of images without permission
  • To give the license to reproduce the photos or to publish them
  • To provide the full access to the images

What Happens When a Copyrighted Photo is Used Without Permission?

It is important for a photographer not only to know his/her rights but also to protect them. If you suddenly noticed your works, used without your consent, here are 4 ways to solve the problem:

  • Request a Photo Credit

You can demand the lawbreaker to give you a credit. To do this, you need to send him a letter giving the right to use the photo. You can also require him/her to add the link to your site. It may even happen that the lawbreaker will offer you a job.

  • Prepare a Cease and Desist/Demand Letter Yourself 

If you do not want copyright conflicts with a lawbreaker (for example, a lawbreaker can be a potential customer), then write him/her a letter with explanations. Explain to him that he must comply with the law by paying a license fee, granting credit or stopping to use your image. As practice shows, an ordinary letter has more influence than emails.

  • Hire a Lawyer to Send a Demand 

Hiring a lawyer, you greatly strengthen the importance of your claim. Letters from a lawyer are perceived much more seriously, forcing the lawbreaker, because of fear of going to court, to think about the legitimacy of his/her actions. However, this method involves some costs associated with a lawyer, so carefully compare the fee you have to pay a lawyer and the compensation you will get from the lawbreaker.

  • File a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit 

The most serious method, implying the assertion of your rights before the court. When applying to the court for copyright protection, you must prove that you are the author of the photos, and also that you own the property copyright on the photographs that were illegally used by the lawbreaker. As in the previous method, carefully compare the lawyer’s fee and the compensation from the lawbreaker.

All in all, drafting and negotiating contracts is basically a boring and unpleasant action, but the importance of contracts is difficult to overestimate. The wedding photography contract is your defense against lies, omissions and other troubles. This is also your guarantee, as well as the customer’s ones. The advice that we have prepared for you is just the starting point. To start a safe business, use our wedding photography contract template or contact a local lawyer since our suggestions are not professional legal advice.

Remember that a competently drawn up wedding photography contract is already half the success, so pay proper attention to this issue.



Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.




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