I find contracts hilarious.
Wait! Wait! Stick with me on this point for a moment!
Haven’t you ever read one festooned with inordinate subordinate clauses, heretofores and therewiths shoehorned between first parties of the second party of the indemnity of the blah blah blah and wondered “what the does all this mean?”
Were I to have my way, my contract would read as follows:
- I’ll be there.
- I’ll give you my best.
- You’ll pay me.
- Maybe we’ll grab a beer later.
Unfortuntately, the details often have to be a bit better defined, otherwise there are apt to be disagreements about what was agreed upon. But seriously, do they have to be so dry? Wedding contracts are especially frightening, and who needs that on their big day? To that end, here are some of the clauses I have occasionally used in my contracts to lighten things up. Suggestions are warmly encouraged if you can think of other ideas!
Helpful Wedding Clauses
The Client will prepare a group shot list for Photographer prior to the wedding day. Notations regarding special family situations or open feuds would be helpful.
The Photographer will make every effort to find a beautiful location to take organized portraits under natural lighting. The Photographer cannot however control the motion of the sun and clouds or the timing of the tulip bulbs the proprietor claimed would be in full bloom but which are buried under two feet of snow. Therefore, Photographer reserves the privilege (and shall be prepared to) throw an arsenal of strobes at the problem as we huddle together in a tent impersonating a spinnaker.
Please make family members aware that they will be expected on time for group photos. A dozen groupings is a good number; twenty may try the patience of those involved; more than 30 will undoubtedly result in screaming flower girls.
The Photographer will attempt to shoot all images on the group shot list as scheduled before the event. But (as with quantum phenomena or acts of congress) lost uncles, drunken groomsmen and recalcitrant ring bearers are unpredictable in nature. Thus no absolute promise can be made that every shot on the list will happen as scheduled, if at all.
If either groom or bride does not arrive on the wedding day, Photographer will offer to spend his retainer fee on a round of stiff drinks for the wedding party.
Due to lighting conditions and time constraints, those involved in portrait sessions are required to be at set location 5 minutes before their assigned time. Photographer reserves the right to deny certain photos due to the tardiness of those involved in the sessions or to photograph them with pouty faces. Priority will always be given to the bride and groom. Photographer will not rush the bride and groom session in order to fit in the group sessions. Seriously – you don’t want some photographer barging in and yelling when you’re late. That’s what your Maid of Honor is for.
While the Photographer will make every reasonable effort to take specifically requested photos, the Client understands that a wedding is an uncontrolled event subject to the weather, available light, and willingness, sobriety or availability of subjects, the Photographer cannot guarantee that any particular requested photo will be taken. He will, however, attempt always to snap to attention at the direction of the bride.
Although the Photographer and any assistants may crack a joke now and again to elicit a smile from subjects, they will always comport themselves in a professional manner and will not act like jackasses. We also will not rush proceedings. That’s what DJs are for.
Proof images for online galleries, proof prints and proof DVDs will be edited for color correction, contrast adjustments and conversion to black and white at the discretion of the photographer. Extensive retouching will not necessarily be done on all proofs. The custom prints, however, may be more extensively edited using several fine-art-techniques, including localized color correction, enhancements, dodging and burning or removal of that tattoo that seemed such a very good idea on your eighteenth birthday but you now have come to loathe.
In the extremely unlikely event of severe personal illness, fire, casualty, or other extreme Acts of Nature beyond the control of Photographer which precludes the Photographer from performing the duties of coverage, Photographer will attempt to arrange for a suitable replacement. In this case, Photographer shall return all monies paid and shall have no further liability with respect to this contract. This limitation of liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing, lost through camera or memory card malfunction, sent to perdition via postal service, eaten by dingoes, or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. Photographer does, of course, understand which side of his bread is buttered, and in any case will make every effort to catch aforementioned dingoes and rescue the images. Really. He’s an ultramarathon runner and could probably catch a dingo. At least it’ll be an interesting race.
In the event that Photographer fails to perform for any other reason, Photographer shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the value of the Client’s package, understanding that he will then be forever known as Persona Non Grata, or “that jerk who blew it.” If he drops dead onsite, feel free to borrow his cameras for the day.
Photographer and his assistant may take a short break during the mealtime for longer weddings to regroup and contemplate their choice of profession. If there is enough food, we’ll probably snitch a plateful. Same goes for cake.
In the event of unforeseen circumstance or acts of nature, deity or international relations – we’ll wing it.