Post # 1
We get married in October in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It is just Fiance and I. We have the choice to either go with the onsite photographer or choose one of our own. Since photos are one of the most important things to me, besides who I marry (!) we opted to choose our own. The on-site photo company does a lot of shots that seemed very staged to me and we just didn’t love them. Plus they are extremely expensive for the few photos we get.
We found a photographer. He has been very open with communication and very friendly. However, as I got ready to reserve our date through a payment it dawned on me we didn’t have a contract or agreement. I emailed him and he politely responded that he never does agreements but that if I requested one, he would be happy to provide it.
Fiance and I wondered if this is usual for weddings in other countries? The amount we are giving for a deposit is $100. It’s not a penny but it’s not a few grand, either. However, if he did this to 100 couples, HE would profit quite nicely. He is from Belgium and has been living in Jamaica for 20 years.
I did look him up and there are quite a few websites that list his work or compliment him and nothing negative so far. The website is: http://www.jamaicashoots.com/Wedding_photographers_in_Jamaica.html
Anyone find this odd? Or have you had this kind of experience and it worked out just fine?
Post # 3
I’m sure it doesn’t mean he’s illigitimate…but it’s not good either (mostly from his side – he’s running a business and not protecting himself!). I’d ask for a contract. Or alternatively, you could offer to save him teh hassle and write up the contract yourself. Whoever creates the contract is implictly favored, so I’d probably jump at the chance.
I had a Destination Wedding and hired my own photographer in Mexico. She sent me a contract to sign and return along with my deposit. That said, she’s actually an American living in Mexico, so she’s obviously used to the same type of business practices as me.
Post # 4
Well if he’s happy to have a contract I’d take the contract for peace of mind.
Post # 5
just answer that you feel more comofrtable having everything in writing
Post # 6
As long as you have an email trail with both parties agreeing to the terms, it’s an implied contract.
Post # 7
He sounds legit if you have found external references & reviews. Still though, I’d want a contract either way. We booked a photographer in Mexico for our Destination Wedding & while his contract was super simple (only half a page) it did the trick for us. He was mexican born & raised but went to photography school in the US if that makes a difference.
Post # 8
@musician32992: Interesting. We never considered that it was implied, but that makes total sense.
@BeckyS0: Yes, it does…thanks! We’ve noticed in Jamaica, things are not as formal as they are here in the US. They just aren’t as concerned about much. Which is fine but we were wondering if it’s that we are American and used to those practicies that we found it odd, or if we were being a little too nervous.
Even if he were to do something, it’s not like we could or would pursue action.
@bebero: I have done that. I’m awaiting the response. 🙂
Post # 9
I think a contract or a letter of understanding should be present if you re giving someone money for services that you are not closely related to. I think that it protects both sides and I don’t think you would be asking too much of your photographer to sign before the event. For example, what if he gets food poisoning and can’t be there? Will he provide a back up or will you be out a photographer? Even if this is not a lengthy document, you should both go over the details and ‘what ifs’ that contracts typically cover.
Post # 10
@Coral99: I would be worried…without a contract you’ve got no protection at all.
Post # 11
I’d get an iron clad contract. Imagine if you ever had to sue him and it had to hold up in another countries court. I wouldn’t want to just fall back on an email trail.
Post # 12
@Coral99: I would still request a contract but if you have the email proof you’d still have an implied agreement which would legally hold up in court.
Post # 13
We decided to go with another photographer. He never answered back, despite my asking twice for a short contract, protecting us both. I’m not going to say he had bad intentions, I just think he didn’t want to put in the effort and moved on to someone that is ok not having one.
Post # 14
I am getting married in Negril and we have also decided to hire an offsite photog. The first thing she mentioned was after the deposit we have to sign and fax back the contract. I’m glad you ended up finding someone you were comfortable with! It took me contacting 3 diff ones in Jamaica before I found the one lol.
Post # 15
Just keep in mind that even if you do get a contract, it’s the contractual laws for the country the photographer is a citizen of. You may still have little recourse if something bad happened unless you wanted to take them to court in their country.
Post # 16
@LoveLikeCrazy: It took me about 6. No one ever answered back. The one we found is great and we are excited!
@continuumphotography: Luckily the photographer we ended going with is based in the US and Jamaica. And the contract was signed here in the US.