Post # 1
I am about to book a photographer that I really like, and just reviewing the contract they sent me. There’s a Right of Withdrawal clause on the contract and this is where I need your advice on.
I asked them to clarify this clause and they explained to me that
this is a standard clause that they are leaving in;
this has never happened before;
this is if the Client fails to mention there are changes to date/location etc and they can’t accomodate to the changes;
this just covers them if they are unable to make the change due to other commitments.
Fair enough but I also want to protect ourselves. What if they come up with some random excuse to cancel on us keeping the deposit?
Should I just ask them what will happen when they need to cancel based on reasons other than the Client’s misbehaviors etc?
What do you suggest I do?
Here is the clause –
Photographer’s discovery of new information, changes to agreed circumstances, or other factors which tends to circumvent its policies may result in its withdrawal. Non-cooperation; changes in locations, facilities or available times;
missed appointments and late payments are examples of contributing factors. Should Photographer initiate the withdrawal, all fees will be returned, excluding deposit as well as fair market value for all services/products already provided. In case of withdrawal, $XXX an hour is charged for all photography services already provided and $XX.00 an hour is charged for all other services, consultations and all driving time, rounded up to the nearest half-hour.
Post # 3
That rubs me the wrong way. It could very well be that this type of clause itself is appropriate – I don’t really know – but just reading the way this particular one is phrased there seems to be too much wiggle room for the photographer for my taste. WTF does “non-cooperation” mean? It means something different to everyone. And “missed appointments”? I like how they don’t distinguish between different reasons for missing an appointment. Suppose you have to cancel an appointment for a reason you think is pressing and valid, and your photographer, wanting to get out of the contract for whatever reason, argues that it’s not a valid excuse and cites “missed appointment” as a reason for withdrawing.
My photography contract didn’t have a provision like that in it. Personally, I would be reluctant to sign something like that – or at least I would try to negotiate with them to make the wording as airtight as possible.
Post # 4
I am a professional photographer here in Las Vegas and there is no where in my wedding contract of this. This is really wierd and does rub me the wrong way as well. I agree with Melanie11 try to negotiate with them and hope for the best. If not there are other photographers.
Post # 5
There is nothing like this in our photography contract. Have you talked with other photographers? Perhaps you could look to see a contract from a different photographer, and if it doesn’t contain the clause bring it to your photographer and ask them about it.
Post # 6
Yes, I have seen a contract from other photog that I’ve talked to and they didn’t have this clause. But I have seen photog contracts on here and on the net that do have this very clause.
How to negotiate is my question? How would you ask them to reword/ change?
Post # 7
Chose another photographer.
Post # 8
@gramgeek: Are they a ‘possesive’ photographer? If you show them this other contract and suggest that you’d be much more comfortable with a contract without this clause, even if it’s a different photographer, might they be willing to change it to keep you as a client?
Post # 9
I’m very uncomfortable with that wording as well, especially where they get to intiate the canceling of the contract AND keep the desposit as well be paid for any services rendered. That sounds like they get money for doing nothing, not okay in my opinion.
Post # 10
In other clause it is specified that in the event that the photog is unable to perform (due to emergency), they will return all payments recieved. So, I think it means I get all money including deposit back unless it’s due to our misconduct? I could be wrong… I don’t know.
How would you change if you were me?
Post # 11
Really what they’re doing is protecting themselves from a client changing their wedding around and getting mad if they are no longer available. As in, a client saying “we’ve decided to move the ceremony up 4 hours” but the photographer is unavilable. That clause protects them from the client suing for breech of contract by the photographer not showing up to photograph.
There are a lot of things in my contract I’ve never had happen, but they’re in it just in case. You just never know! My contract says I’m not responsible for missing shots due to non-participation. Meaning, if aunt sally has a hissy fit and storms off, I’m not responsible for there being no pictures with her in it. KWIM? I’ve never had it happen, but every precaution has to be taken.
I’ve had fellow photographers tell me about wedding’s getting cancelled and submitting an offical letter of cencellation releasing the photographer from duties, only to decide to have it after all and go to court over the photographer not being available anymore.
As long as you aren’t making any changes to your wedding plans, I can’t see where they would be able to come up with any excuse to cancel on you and keep your money. Have you read reviews about them? Talked to other people or vendors who have used them? I mean, if you are really uncomfortable with it, find a different photographer. Make sure you tell them WHY you are choosing someone else.
Like any industry, a few bad apples have ruined it for everyone. Now we all have to be so paranoid that our clients are going to find some way to sue us to get money back, and brides are worried their vendors are screwing them. 🙁
Post # 12
I can understand the need for a withdrawal clause and even paying for services already rendered (ie. engagement photos, etc). However, the keeping of the deposit if they withdraw from the contract is what I would be most concerned about. We had to put down a 50% deposit on our photographer… and I would expect to get that back if she became unable to shoot our wedding (minus the cost of our engagement shoot and signing book). Maybe try negotiating on the keeping of the deposit instead of the whole withdrawal clause.
Post # 13
Thanks all for chiming in
I spoke with them about it a little more. I understand now that it will be applicable if we change dates/ locations to which they will not be able to accommodate due to other already booked assignments. The deposit is to reserve the initially agreed date at the time of booking thus nonrefundable. If they become unable to make the wedding for emergency or reasons on their part all payments including deposit will be returned.