For Photographers: How to start a wedding photography business: Deposit and Agreement

So as your first clients are looking forward to you photographing their wedding, it is now time to address the business side of your arrangement.

While photography is my passion, I have really enjoyed all aspects of running the business. I pride myself on a clear, honest and professional approach and believe that the ability to effectively couple my photography skills with good business sense has been a critical factor in my success. It is an area where I have seen a lot of artists struggle but it is this balance that I believe will prove vital to your success in the industry.

I suggest you do the following at the time of booking:

1. Provide an agreement with your terms and conditions to be signed by you and the couple.

2. Ask for a deposit.

The agreement should contain anything you feel is important for your client to understand and everything they should expect about the service you offer. You can download the agreement I use on the Photographers Resources page. This document has developed organically as a result of my experiences and input from couples.

I ask that it is read thoroughly before the clients sign so that they can bring up anything they wish to discuss and you can make amendments where necessary. Making your agreement crystal clear at this stage will help to ensure that everything subsequently runs smoothly.

I ask for a 50% deposit to be paid when the agreement is signed. This deposit is valid for a specific date, so the client knows that their chosen day is secured.

It can sometimes feel uncomfortable asking for money, especially if you are photographing a friend’s wedding but the sooner you standardise this procedure, the easier it will become. A professional approach instills confidence in the service you are offering and soon the process will become second nature, ensuring the success and continuing growth of your business.

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  • September 14, 2016 - 7:00 pm

    Charley Smith - Thanks for your interest Tam, but I’m working internationally at the moment so an intern is not possible. Best wishes, Charley

  • September 12, 2016 - 12:53 pm

    Tam - Hi Charley,

    I’m looking to get into wedding photography and would love to be mentored by you. Have you ever considered having an intern? Please yet in touch if this could be a possibility.

    Kindest Regards,


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