the successful photographer: be a stickler for contracts and payments

the successful photographer: be a stickler for contracts and payments

Design Aglow's Studio Policies for Success aims to make your photography business run smooth as silk while avoiding all too common problems that plague even the most experienced photographers. Feel free to use our recommendations as is or modified to suit your needs, and you can thank us later *wink*.

The Policy: “Be a stickler for contracts and payments.”

Why it's important: A contract cannot be processed without a non-refundable retainer. A retainer cannot be deposited without a signed contract. One without the other can turn into a disaster, because if you deposit a retainer without a signed contract, the client has no obligation to you. If you sign a contract without receiving the retainer, that can create confusion for the client because a signed contract is confirmation of receiving the retainer.

The simple point is this: the contract and non- refundable retainer must both be present to officially block a date. (And by the way: a deposit can be refunded, a retainer cannot. Always refer to that first payment by the term retainer.)

How this helps with your success: It's much better to be in a position where you have the option for flexibility within your contract than it is to be forced out of compensation because you weren't covered properly. It's important to communicate to your client that they are essentially buying your time on the designated date, and that this prevents you from accepting money from anyone else for that date.

You should also clearly communicate that there are three required payments on your payment schedule: The first payment is due with the contract, as the retainer. The second should be due 90 days before the wedding and the final payment should be received 30 days before the wedding. In the event the 30 day payment is not received, your contract should state that you will not be able to provide photography services.

Also, we never recommend collecting money from a client on the day of a wedding. Not only is your payment one more thing on a very long list of things to remember, but asking a bride for a check on her wedding day can feel funny for everyone. The best way around it is to simply arrange all payments before the wedding day arrives.

See more Wedding Policies for Success and learn procedures for the many challenges are common with wedding photography. Your clients will appreciate having professional policies that they can both understand and respect. Never worry about the threat of a wedding crisis turning into a legal and logistical nightmare. For a bulletproof wedding contract, click here.

Stay inspired with daily tips and inspiration by joining our private mailing list.




Also in Design Aglow Blog

Listening To Your Photography Market with Both Ears
Listening To Your Photography Market with Both Ears

0 Comments

Are you consumer-oriented enough? We’re sure you know what the “rock-star” photographers think you should be charging for your work, and how you should be running your business. And we’re pretty certain that you think you know what your customers should be purchasing. But what about your clients? You know, those people who actually pay your bills.

Read More

Inside Real Studios: Head Over Heels Wedding Photography
Inside Real Studios: Head Over Heels Wedding Photography

0 Comments

My goal in renovating my studio was to provide better customer service, superior products and a more streamlined process for my bride and grooms. I use many Design Aglow products in my studio to achieve this beginning with the Big Picture Planner to keep me organized. I use the Pricing Menus to provide a tangible pricing guide to my clients during consultations and sales appointments. In every package I include the digital images from the weddings on the glass USB packaged in the presentation boxes and branded bags.

Read More

Wedding Day Flow
Wedding Day Flow

0 Comments

Every photographer has their own unique style. Some like to blend in and shoot in a more photojournalistic way. And others prefer to choreograph every image. But most land somewhere smack in the middle.

Read More