How to Hire A Photographer

Continued (page 2 of 2)

What, if anything, do you get back if you cancel?

Does the photographer only shoot locally or is he willing to travel?

Is his travel time considered an extra or included as part of the bill?

Are you entitled to all the proofs he makes or only the final prints?

Who owns the copyright to your pictures, anyway?

Can the photographer enter them in contests or sell them to publications?

Compare several contracts, says Thomas, "and if there are differences, ask, 'How come?'"

When Disaster Strikes

Now comes the biggest question of all: What happens if something goes wrong, and what will the photographer do to make amends? For instance:

Some pages in the album may get ruined. Who pays for them if that happens?

What if the film gets overexposed or some pictures don't come out? How will the photographer compensate for the damage?

When exactly will the pictures be delivered—in one week? 30 days? And again, how will the photographer make it up to you if the delivery date is missed?

These are all important issues, and if big money is involved, says Thomas, you might even get an attorney to look at the final letter of agreement and make sure everything is in order.

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