Buyer Beware – Photo List Contract Clause

by admin on July 1, 2008

 Years ago I stumbled upon a professional wedding photography marketing forum online hosted then by a prominent wedding photography marketing guru whose name escapes me at the moment.  I began to comment online about what I considered to be deceptive marketing in the wedding photography industry and was rewarded with a lawsuit threat by this marketing expert if I did not cease to quote her.   Wow, I must have touched on a tender nerve!  Anyway, I ignored the vaccuous threat and many of these Buyer Beware notices are the result.   The following is just one of many deceptively clever contract clauses that can be found in wedding photography contracts which is designed to put the control of what photos the client receives with the photographer and not the client.

 “While every reasonable effort will be made to produce and deliver outstanding photographs of the wedding events, PhotoFred’s entire liability to Client for any claim or loss, or injury arising from PhotoFred’s performance is limited to a refund to Client for the amount paid services. Because this is an uncontrolled event, PhotoFred cannot guarantee delivery of any specifically requested image(s). However, we will make every effort to capture requests prompted by an individual at any moment of the wedding event.   “

The entire purpose of this clause, according to the marketing expert,  is to prevent check lists of images or the bride giving the photographer a list of images to be taken at the event.  It specifically releases the photographer from any obligation to have captured on film the important elements of the wedding day.  This is an unacceptable contract clause because it places the decision as to what are important photographs with the photographer and not with the consumer. 

And note that last sentence,  However we will make every effort to capture requests prompted by an individual at any moment of the wedding event.  In other words, to get the photos you want, someone must be ad hoc prompting the photographer during the entire event.   This photographer would not want me as the coordinator because I’d hang on him like a bad conscience constantly whispering to him to go there or take that photo.  Or I’d hire a minion to do it for me.  Either way, that would be one photographer prominently placed on my “never hire this cretin again over my dead body” list.

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