No back-up plan for Photographer, deal breaker?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Did you have a backup plan?
    I'm a photographer and yes I do. : (6 votes)
    15 %
    I'm a photographer and I don't. ( please give reason) : (2 votes)
    5 %
    bride and our photog did. : (16 votes)
    40 %
    bride and our photog didn't/ never crossed my mind. : (16 votes)
    40 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    3442 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    There was a clause in our contract that stated if an act of God occured that kept her away, the contract would be terminated & the money refunded. However, that would only be for something absolutely horrible, like death of the photog. She has back-up photogs in the event of illness.

    One thing that did freak me out was that in our contract is stated that if something crazy happened and the pictures got lost or damaged unexpectedly, we would be left with no picture (as they would be distroyed) & also get no refund. This was definitely scary, but my photog gave us a great discount & she is very reliable, so the possibility of this seems very very slim.

    Post # 4
    Member
    631 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    My contract is similar in terms of limiting liability to money paid. I do let my clients know that I have a great network of folks to call on and my SO and sister both have the info needed if something happens and I’m not able to look for a replacement myself but aside from that I can’t do much more. I can’t possibly guarantee that I’ll find someone to replace me. For instance, say I get in a car accident the morning of the wedding during a popular wedding month and despite reaching out to my network of 200+ photographers no one is available. My contract limits my liability in that case – basically protecting me from being sued for all I’m worth for not being able to be there. This is standard in the industry – no one can guarantee a replacement for you. The same goes for a venue that burns down the night before the wedding. Their liability is limited to what you’ve paid. I would just check with the photographer and make sure they have a decent network of backups so the chances of finding a replacement are higher, but it’s not something that ANY photographer or other vendor can GUARANTEE. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    631 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    @Madelin:  absolutely. That makes perfect sense. It’s possible that this photographer doesn’t have a great network of folks in their area to call on when in a pinch. That’s certainly something you want to feel good about. It’s an important part of business to connect with others who will fill in for you in a pinch but even when you have that there is no guarantee. I’ve has dates booked where literally every photographer I know is also booked so it’s just not something I guarantee. But any photographer who cares about their reputation is going to do everything they possibly can to be sure their clients are covered with a photographer of equal or greater value than them. I would keep looking. 🙂

    Post # 7
    Member
    480 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Our contract says that if for some reason he can’t make it (illness, act of God) then another photographer of equal or superior quality will cover the wedding.

    Post # 8
    Member
    134 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    No photographer can really ” guarantee ” you a back up. They can just do their best. That’s a pretty standard clause. Anyone can hand you a big line of reassurance. If their network of photogra phers are really any good they will be booked that day too. what happens if your decorator dies that day? 

    Post # 9
    Member
    134 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    @Madelin:  other photograohers are so confident because they know its very unlikely that it will happen and they are saying what they need to in order to book you. My photographer is the head of her local PPA chapter and even she wouldn’t guarantee a replacement. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    134 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    @Kat:  okay, thats not right. If you have no wedding photos you should get a refund. Your photographer should have errors and omissions insurance that would cover them in that case 

    Post # 11
    Member
    395 posts
    Helper bee

    I am a pro photog and while I know many many photographers most are very busy and have their own schedule. My family/friends have a list of people to try in the event of emergency but I make no guarantees. My contract limits liability to payment returned. It’s really all any photographer can guarantee realistically. In the event of my illness of death we’d do our best to replace but I agree that anyone saying it would be easy to find a replacement is glossing over the truth. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I too have a good network I can call into action but equally, I couldn’t possibly promise a replacement photographer. Nobody can in busy season and any photographer just sitting around twiddling their fingers waiting for a call would be unlikely to be of a standard I’d want to see covering my assignments.

    So I can guarantee to return payments already received and I would go beyond the call of duty to cover the day  – as a press photographer we tend to be ridiculously determined like the day I covered a news story with appendicitis! – but I honestly don’t think any professional photographer can guarantee a replacement and I’d be slightly suspicious of anyone claiming that they can. 

    In your case, @Madelin I would be cautious about a photographer who hasn’t got a network to call on at all though. This suggests they are very new to the business and while everyone has to start somewhere, you’d expect an exceedingly competitive price if you want to take the risk. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    395 posts
    Helper bee

    This is one reason couples may want to look in to wedding insurance. In the event that anything goes wrong it will pay to redo any parts of your wedding that may go awry. 

    Post # 16
    Member
    395 posts
    Helper bee

    @Madelin:  I have to say as a wedding photographer the word ” guarantee” never comes out of my mouth. Period. You might as well just say ” please sue me”. I’m sure with 2 weeks notice I could 99% find a replacement but they would not likely be of equal quality, otherwise they would have their own wedding booked. I’ve never missed one minute of one wedding in five years knock on wood but I wouldn’t want my whole business going in the hole over one emergency. 

    Wedding insurance costs depend greatly on the price of your wedding. I believe they insure you per your budget. 

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