Post # 1
Hi bees, I’m seeking advice/opinions/experiences on photographer contracts.
I just received my photographer’s standard contract (have not signed yet) and in there is a clause about damage to equipment. Specifically, the contract states that my fiance and i would be liable to pay for any damage to equipment caused by our guests, waitors, other contractors hired and we would be liable to pay for these damages within 3 days.
My question is whether or not this is standard photographer practice? I don’t have much experience wtih hiring photographers so unsure if this is normal or not. I personally thought that this would be covered by their insurance policy and not something I would have to pay for in the unfortunate case that this would happen?
Would really appreciate any advice or insight!
Post # 2
I’ve never heard of a policy like that and I’m with you — sounds like it should be covered by their insurance. Your guest…. maybe. But other contractors? Nuh uh. I would strike that out before signing, and if they push back I would turn it around: “Are you saying you don’t have adequate insurance coverage? Because that’s a concern to me.”
Post # 3
That does sound odd, my contract certainly didn’t have that. And yes it should be covered by insurance. How can the clause be enforced, when you can’t know on the day if someone in that list damaged their equipment unless you saw it happen? How can you know if the photographer is telling the truth (if they do indeed claim this damage)?
Post # 4
I know it wasn’t in our photographer’s contract. I wouldn’t be comfortable with that. How do I know if the photographer drops their camera they won’t blame it on a guest or vendor and try to make me pay?
Post # 5
My contract states that I’m liable if my guests damage the equipment too. Only my guests though, which I’m fine with.
Post # 6
It sounds odd it wasn’t in my photographers contract.
Post # 7
Thanks for your replies ladies, really helpful!
Yes I think I’d be more comfortable (though not completely) if it was re: guests but i certainly don’t want to cover every person the photographer comes into contact with at our wedding. Also, @catash, can i ask does your contract indicate payment period and/or liability amount? Eg; I’ve heard some equipment can be worth $20,000 so wondering if I need to ask for some sort of ceiling clause?
Post # 8
it doesn’t indicate. It only says that damage caused by the client/clients guests must be paid for by the client. I’m planning a small, day time wedding with no kids so I wasn’t particularly worried. If I was having a wedding where the reception was more of a party with a lot of drinking or a bunch of kids running around I may have reconsidered.
Post # 9
I really don’t think this is all that unusual. Yes, the photographer should have their own insurance, but you should also be carrying wedding liability insurance. Does your venue not require that? Most do.
If the photographer trips and falls over their own feet and their camera breaks their fall (assuming it can’t be attributable to something like the venue never fixed a faulty step on the staircase), then sure – their own insurance should be covering that. If one of your guests gets drunk and thinks it’s funny to grab the camera out of your photographer’s hands and they drop it – why should their own premiums go up from filing claims on their own insurance? It’s just like with car accidents – if I’m at fault and rear-ended someone at a stop-light because I wasn’t paying attention, damages to both our cars get covered by my insurance. If someone runs a red light and t-bones me, it should be their coverage, not mine and my premiums affected by it.
While I think requiring payment within three days is a bit unrealistic as most insurance doesn’t pay out that fast and depending on the damages it is unrealistic to expect someone to have that amount of money liquid and available and be reimbursed by insurance later when the claim get approved. (I mean, I get it – if you’re booked solid with events and don’t have the equipment for your next gig that greatly affects your livelihood. It’s just a tad unrealistic.) So at the very minimum I would at least ask them if they have ever had to enact this clause before. If so, what happened? Do they literally mean cash payment or is ensuring that an insurance claim is filed within three days sufficient?
If nothing else, start researching liability insurance for your event if you aren’t already carrying it. You really ought to have it to protect yourself in case of property damage or personal injury. Is something likely to happen? No. But do you want to be caught with your pants down so-to-speak if something does?
Post # 10
Thanks for the feedback, really helpful receiving another perspective! We are in Australia and this is the first time I’m hearing around wedding insurance so perhaps it’s a location specific concept? In Aus none of my friends who have gotten marreid have ever heard of/purchased wedding insurance and their weddings were all in the range of $40-50K. Definitely something I will look at though for peace of mind now I know it exists! Thanks. Re: photographer, I definitely thought that it would be a risk they would be accounting for in their pricing structure as a “cost of doing business” but I imagine this is something that I will discuss with her to ascertian the best way to move forward.