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When Doing Business, Always Have a Contract

December 15, 2014 - Business, Photography

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Dear Jasmine,
I have recently booked a wedding for December 27th, since the bride has asked us we have been trying to meet with her in person to sign our contract and discuss the big day. One problem is she hasn't been returning our messages/calls, it's getting uncomfortably close to the wedding and still little to no contact. I wouldn't mind so much if this is happened at a different time of the year, but we are cutting down our time with family at Christmas for this wedding. What should I do?
Sincerely,
No Contact, No Contract

Dear NCNC,
There's two ways to handle this situation: 1. if you've received a retainer for your wedding photography services; or 2. if you haven't received a retainer.

If you've received a retainer (a designated amount of money to reserve for your services for the wedding day), this–in legal terms–is called consideration. In simplest terms, this is proof that you and the client are going to engage in a business transaction. If the bride has paid a retainer, then you must do everything you can to have her sign the contract before you shoot the wedding. Even if this means arriving on the wedding day and explaining to the bride that you cannot start shooting unless she signs the contract, you must go out of your way to ensure you're doing all you can to fulfill your end of the agreement.

If you haven't received a retainer, tread carefully. If someone says she wants to hire you, but hasn't paid a retainer or signed a contract, then you really don't have a business negotiation. If this is the case, I heavily suggest you email and call the client and set a date by which she must sign the contract and pay the retainer. If she fails to do so, then it might be best to walk away from this transaction for fear of wasting your valuable time.

In either case, if you do not have a signed contract, I'd caution you to protect your business. A contract outlines expectations for both parties and ensures everyone is on the same page…for the sake of you and the bride, get it signed…or move on.

Your Wannabe Lawyer,
j*

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Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

[With cherry flavored chapstick.]  

FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
Sign up to receive a free Instagram marketing guide, helpful tips, and free stock photos you can use for your business.  

It’s basically an Instanote sent to your inbox to help push you toward your social goals and help grow your following.

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You're busy, pulled in lots of directions, and trying to run a business. 

In addition to all this, you know you should be posting on social media, so how do you balance it all? 

I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

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