Post # 1
Hi there –
I’m not sure if this is right or weird or not, but we recently met with a photographer that we like, and he sent us a contract to look over.
In the contract, there’s an entire paragraph about the photographer’s right to withdraw from the agreement. Here’s the language:
“The studio’s discovery of new information, changes or other factors intending to circumvent its policies could result in its withdrawal. Non-cooperation, changes of locations, facilities or times available, missed appointments, bad or returned checks or late payments are examples of contributing factors. Should the studio initiate the withdrawal, fees and deposits will not be returned…”
This makes me nervous – there are no complaints against this photographer in the BBB, but I don’t know him from Adam, and I think this “right to withdraw thing is really strange… it’s completely at his discretion… is this normal wedding photog contract language?
Post # 3
I haven’t seen that before. But I would ask him what it means.
You haven’t signed the contract right? Is he the person that you want to use for your wedding? If not then I would keep looking-don’t feel forced to go with him.
Post # 4
It’s a bit strange and you have to consider its an unfair clause in the sense that he has the ability to withdraw and excused from performance however you are not for the same reason. I would have scratch that or at least reword it so that i pertains to all parties and all parties can be excused on such grounds, specifically you. we made sure all our excuse for performance paragraphs had corresponding paragraphs wherein we can be excused for the same reason – if not its a unilateral contract, which doesnt work well too often 🙂 GL!
Post # 5
I don’t like the idea that HE can withdrawal AND keep your money/deposits. I know some things like times/facilities, etc were finalized like a week before my wedding.
If it seems a little weird, ask for clarification and/or removal of that part of the contract, or simply tell him you aren’t comfortable with the fact that he could use that statement (which is quite vague by the way) to withdrawal, leave you high and dry, and without a deposit.
If not, I say move on to a photographer without a sketchy clause. I can see that he probably got screwed in the past and that’s why it’s there, but I also see how it could be used to take advantage of a person, which is an unfair contract in my book.
I get the late payments, etc part, but changing of locations?! What if you notify him? i think it’s just so vague
Post # 6
It sounds like something bad, bad, bad happened to this photographer at a wedding and he’s trying to protect himself. I’d say the best approach it to be really nice and understanding. Can you imagine if you haven’t been told of a change in venue, miss the wedding, and then the bride demands the deposit back? That sounds like hellish job conditions. If you explain your perspective and nervousness *after* listening to and acknowledging his, you’ll probably be able to work out an agreement.
Post # 7
I agree with ejs4y8. That is way to vague, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that either, but talk to him about it, he may be willing to make it more specific. They’re probably just leaving it open because its hard to think of every way in which something bad could happen.
Post # 8
It is a bit unusual, but I don’t think it is anything to worry about. It is basically just saying that if you break the contract then they have a right to also break the contract and keep the deposit. Even without that language in there, that’s how it would normally work anyway with any standard contract.
Post # 9
The vagueness of this contract is what concerns me the most. “Changes of times available.” “Missed appointments.” “ETC.” It seems like he has enough terminology in his contract that he could withdrawal at any point for any reason & not return your deposit. And technically he has the contract to back him up. He could say that you missed an appointment (even if it was a misunderstanding) & then just back out. Or if the week before the wedding, you decide you want him to come an hour earlier, he can technically back out. He could be a solid guy and might not do that, but I would be worried that he states in his contact that he can.
Post # 10
We have something similar in our contract. Basically, it means if you’re lying about having us actually shoot a wedding (and we show up and it’s like…a porn shoot or something) we can back out. Or if you decide that you no longer want a local wedding, and are going to get married in Mexico instead, we aren’t on the hook for travel. Same thing if you change your wedding date (especially if we aren’t available), or have your wedding at 2AM in the morning instead of the afternoon as planned.
It also protects us if the relationship goes sour before the wedding, like if a client violates copyright on engagement/bridal photos, stuff like that. Another thing it does is protect us from deadbeats who don’t pay, so if you’re late (or just don’t pay) on every payment, we don’t have to work for free.
We have had situations in which we COULD have exercised this right, but I think it would have to be a very extreme situation for us to actually do it. I am sure most other photographers feel the same way-it would take a lot for us to back out of doing a wedding. Our contract is incredibly overbearing, and the chances of us actually using clauses like this are slim to none, but it’s there to protect our livelihood just in case we need it.
I highly recommend that you discuss this with your photographer-they can better explain why they have this clause, and may be able to make changes for you if you’re concerned.
Post # 11
Not exactly applicable in this situation, but one of the times we could have (but chose not to) use this clause was when a client hired us for a “cocktail party” that turned out to be a wedding reception. Yikes!
Post # 12
It sounds weird and vague, but I think as others have commented it is just a clause to protect the photographer. The phrase “intending to circumvent its policies” seems key. I’ve known photogs who’ve been burned by people scanning photos to print themselves, etc, and I would guess that’s what it’s meant to prevent.
Talk to your photographer about the language and what it means for reassurance, but I don’t think you need to switch.
Post # 13
I know some photographers have those clauses to protect them against bad experiences they’ve had before – i.e. bridezilla-like behavior, or failure to pay, or non-cooperation. You should talk with your photographer and understand what they mean, it doesn’t sound like they would likely do that to you if you have a great working relationship.
Post # 14
I wouldn’t be too alarmed, but I would talk with him about it before signing.
Post # 15
Personally, I would meet with a few other photographers before signing that. What happens if he decides at the last minute to back out for one of the dumb reasons in that paragraph and you can’t get another photographer in time? Plus, you lose all the money you paid him.
I met with quite a few photographers and NONE of the contracts had anything like that. If the photographer decides to back out after signing the contract, you should get your deposit back.
Post # 16
- Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony - First United Methodist Church; Reception - My parents' house!
That’s a pretty strange clause to have in a contract, but the best thing you can do is ask him to clarify it! For our vendors, we went through every single ‘eh’ point, and had them clarify it IN WRITING on the contract. Don’t be afraid to propose contract edits!