Post # 1
I’m looking at starting to determine a photographer for the engagement shoots (this summer/fall) and then for the wedding next August. We have a tiny photography budget, so we’re hoping to snag a student, as we live in a large college city – one that is graduating from the photography school and is looking to increase their portfolio. We are 90% sure that there is no way for us to have a professional, nor are we looking for that type of thing. We would like nice pictures, but no booklet etc.
I don’t want to get burned on this. What sort of things should I be looking for in a contract of this type? Are there any red flags to watch out for? Has anyone else used a student photographer? What were your experiences?
Post # 2
I’m hiring a professional but here are a few things that come to mind when I look through my contract:
Price- make sure to have it in writing and how much of a deposit is required to hold them
Shooting Time – how long you want them to be at your wedding for
Travel costs (destiniation or if they live X amount of time away from wedding site/venue)
When your pictures will be ready (like 1-2 months after engagement shoot and say no more than 3 months after the wedding providing its not a busy season for them)<br /><br />
Printing rights – its one thing to watermark your stuff and post it online but you definitely want images you can print to display without them!
Meal at wedding – some contracts states that its required to feed your photographers but I personally would never think that this wasn’t ok due to the fact most photographers are with you ALL day long!
They may have something about damaged equipment such as drinks being spilled on the camera etc
Make sure you are CLEAR about the photos/vision you are looking for ahead of time
Cancellation – Some photographers have clauses about if you cancel, what kinda deposit you will loose if you have to cancel/change the date
Portfolio- studnets should have all kinds of photos from class to show you, maybe not wedding but at least you can figure out what you like and don’t like
Right now I think these are all I can think of but I know most Bees on here will be able to help you out! Good Luck finding your photographer!!
Post # 3
a person who takes your money without any experience, professional equipment, and insurance is not running a legitimate business. Even if you can’t afford 8 hours from a professional, you should look into getting ceremony and portrait time. I have read so many stories about brides hiring amateurs and regretting it.
Post # 4
Mez03: Thanks! I knew there would be a lot, haha, so having it as a list when I start to look is really helpful.
zarethacosta: I fully realize that I won’t be working with an amateur, but it doesn’t change our budget. The professionals that I have talked to refuse to go lower than 6 hours of photo time, and we simply do not have the money. This is why I am looking into what sort of information I should find on a proper professional contract that even a photographer just starting out would have.
Post # 5
gillykat824: I second everything that Mez03 said, but one more that I made sure was on my contract was the size/resolution of the pictures. A friend of mine got some pictures done by a professional about 2 years ago and they didn’t specify the size in the contract. When she got the pictures back they were all very small and she couldn’t print out any prints larger than a 5×7.
Post # 6
gillykat824: Oh another one I just thought of is how many pictures you can expect to get back, and how many of them will be edited.
Post # 7
gillykat824: It was really important to me to also have a clause stating all rights and privileges to the photos were ours. This means that we have rights to all photos after the wedding to print them anywhere we want and post them online!!
Alot of people forget to include this in their contract and subsequently cannot print their own photos without a written waiver from the photographer. This happened to my sister, she did not have the full rights to the photos so she had no say in where the pictures were posted online.
Also walgreens/cvs would not allow my sister to print her wedding photos without permission from the photographer because tecnically the rights belonged to the professional. Some photographers even charge you every time you want printouts of your photos since you have to go through them. ($$$)
Definitly something to include.
Post # 8
The rights and waivers clause still applies even if it’s an amateur photographer! forgot to mention that..
Post # 9
gillykat824: For what you’re looking for you should have : price, what you’re getting for that price, and turnaround time for when to expect your photos.
Outside of that, a contract won’t mean a hill of beans with an amature who isn’t running a legit business. I know that sounds harsh, but here’s the reason why. Professionals carry liability insurance and their reputation is everything. Gosh forbid something goes wrong, and we have a breech in contract our business insurance covers us and a payout to the couple. Having a contract with a student sounds good in theory, but you have to consider what it will get you? If they don’t follow through and you sue them, you won’t get anything.
Post # 10
In addition to everything Mez03 listed, most professionals will have a clause about back-up equipment or if they have to cancel (i.e. back-up photographer). Not sure if you’ll get this with an amateur, but it never hurts to ask.
Post # 11
I would be pretty surprised if a student photographer had a contract.