(Closed) Photographer payment before contract

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
679 posts
Busy bee

That’s so sketchy. Def. do not do this. If he’s that insistent, something is not right about him. Contract first, then payment. 

Post # 18
2266 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

No, this is not normal. 

There’s no reason that you should not be able to see the contract. The deposit is usually to secure your date/time based upon the agreed upon conditions of the contract.

Post # 19
1862 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This is a big NO NO!! Don’t do it. And even if the photographer changes his mind and gives you a contract first, don’t hire him. Because he’s clearly a sleazy slime ball. 

Post # 20
656 posts
Busy bee

Yep, I agree wholeheartedly. It’s such a weird thing to ask for. Speaking from the vendor side of things, I’ve had someone try to insist on paying me before I gave them my contract, and I absolutely refused to take their money without a contract (as much as I wanted their money!)  …The reason being, they could contest certain terms of the agreement and/or it could get messy without a signed agreement between the two parties. A good vendor would never do that and would FULLY understand why it’s not something they should do. I second the recommendation from others to find a different photographer.


Post # 21
891 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Whole ‘lotta nope! That is incredibly unprofessional. It sounds like a scam. Good pictures or not, don’t gamble your money like that. I agree with PP about not hiring him at all. I would also use a credit card in this case because it sounds like you may have problems in the future with this guy if you do decide to use him. If he reneges on his end, your credit card company can get your money back usually.

Post # 22
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Sounds like he customizes his contract for each client and doesn’t want to take the time to do that unless he knows you’re serious about booking (ie the retainer). However, this is NOT standard for the industry and I’d just tell him you want to at least SEE the ACTUAL contract first or no dice. If he wants your business he’ll conceed.

Post # 23
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

Hell to the no. Also- I realize he’s 4 hours away, but I highly advise interviewing photographers before you select one. Your photographer’s personality can make a big difference.

If you pay him w/o a contract, he can take your money and run, with no obligation to you. You can review the sample, see if you agree with the terms, then have him customize if/when you decide you’re going to use him.

Post # 24
1185 posts
Bumble bee

@june004:  please do not send any money without the contract first.

Worst case scenario: I think you will have a high probability of getting scammed, with no proof for court if you sent money and had no contract. That would be the first thing a judge would ask you for if you tried to take the guy to court if he bailed- ‘where is your written contract?’ 

Post # 25
11515 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

i agree with everyone else – NO!

We signed our contract before any money was paid.  I have a formal contract with all my vendors (the one for my florist is less formal, but the deposit was only $75 so I’m less worried about it – and I trust her)

Post # 26
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

If you really want him I would find a way to meet with him and see this contract in person – the last thing you need is for him to take your cash and the triple the price when it comes time to sign the contract and never see a penny of what you had given him if you walk.

Post # 27
1066 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

He wants you to pay him a deposit before he will deign to tell you what exactly you get for your money? That is utterly bizarre. Assuming he has any experience at all, it should take him less than 5 minutes to cut and paste a new contract for you. Tell him no contract, no deposit.


Post # 28
406 posts
Helper bee

@june004:  I am a wedding photographer. There’s no way I’d ever ask a client to do this. Walk away. 

Post # 29
14096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Nope – please run from this guy.  Super shady business!

Post # 30
6515 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@june004:  no.

Never ever, no matter what give a deposit on anything unless there is a signed contract between both parties (parties = you and vendor)

Post # 31
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

No way. Contract before money. Say you get the contract and there is something in there you don’t like….your money is gone.

Giving any vendor or business means you agree to their terms and want their service. If you don’t know their terms, don’t buy the service.


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