Wedding Videography: Contracts 101 | Sean Day | Skillshare

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Wedding Videography: Contracts 101

teacher avatar Sean Day

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Welcome To My Class!!

    • 2. The Contract Outline

    • 3. Terms and Conditions Part 1

    • 4. Terms and Conditions Part 2

    • 5. Terms and Conditions Part 3

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About This Class

Here, you'll learn how to create a professional contract for you wedding videography business. Important topics include payment, delivery of the finished product, and what to do if you can't make it to the wedding. If you're starting from scratch or just looking to update your contract, this is the class for you! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Sean Day


My name is Sean Day. I own SMD Studios, a small video production business focused on live event and wedding videography. My goal is to upload classes that will help others hone their craft, grow their business, and develop relationships along the way! 

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1. Welcome To My Class!! : Hey, guys, My name is Sean. I'm the owner of S M D Studios, a videography company based in Kansas City. Over the past several years, I've had the privilege to film weddings on beautiful acres of farmland and even in downtown Kansas City with illustrious skylights. One of the biggest things that I've had to learn is how to create a professional wedding contract for my clients. Now, if you're like me starting out, you have no idea what to put in this thing. You're doing hours of research on Google grabbing templates, watching tutorials online, and it's still just a mess in my class. We'll go over all the essential topics you'll need to include in your contract. Some of those will be payment as well as delivery of the final product. And what to do if you can't attend the wedding. So if you're a seasoned vet or hear a new videographer looking to make your way in the industry, this is a classroom 2. The Contract Outline: Hey, guys, welcome to the next video in this series. Now, before we take a deep dive into the terms and conditions, I just want to go over the structure and layout of the contract. Now feel like me. You've often skimmed through a lot of the heavy paragraphs with lengthy words. You've probably read some of the important things, but you mostly just skip to the end and then signed at the bottom. Chances are your clients are going to do the same thing, But that doesn't mean you can just throw chunks of sections together and then call it good . You're gonna have to structure your contract in a way that's easy for your clients to understand, especially if they'll have questions later. So with that being said, let's get into the first thing you're gonna add in the contract. One. Have your clients fill out their information at the top. Now, this is something you could add at the back of the contract. You could have couples go through the terms conditions and then fill out their in vote the bottom. Nothing wrong with that. However, I know a lot of my clients are constantly talking about their wedding schedule. They always talk about their photographers, additional locations they want to go shoot at if they want to feed the guest sooner so they don't go hungry. So this is something you could have the knockout quickly. Now, if we take a look at the contract itself, you'll see one of the first things that claim can put down is their contact information. If they have a wedding coordinator, make sure they put down their name and contact info is well. You can also put in small sections with the total price of your package that you both agreed on your arrival time, the number of hours you're going to work and any important addresses you'll go to as the videographer. I've also included a small section for other special information in case the bride and groom think of something last minute now, that being said were able to move on to the second thing you're gonna add in this contract to add the terms and conditions to the contract. It's important to keep each section within the terms and conditions as short and concise is you can you don't want to make this over complicated with run on sentences and lengthy paragraphs. You just want to keep it simple so your client can understand what they're agreeing to now . The exception to this rule is those 1st 2 sections where I talk about the service I provide and the payment. Okay, These deal with what I'm offering, how much I charge and how the client is going to pay me. So they're arguably the two most important parts of this contract. There's any information in these sections that you think is important toe ad. Then that's OK. Just remember, you want to keep the overall sections short, concise and easy for your client to understand. Three have an area in the contract for the client signature and your signature. Now, this is pretty basic, right? You don't need a massive portion of the contract for this. You just leave a small section at the bottom for the client to sign and date, and you need to do the same. Now, if you want to make it easier for yourself, you can download software that will allow you to Elektronik Lee sign for the client to do the same. That could save you a lot of time If you don't have access to the software, simply print off a template of your contract, sign it, scan it and then save it on an external drive or Google drive. Even that way, you're clank and printed off, sign it themselves and send it back to you. So now that we've gone over the basic structure of your contract, we're ready to dive into the terms and conditions in the next video. I'll see you guys there. 3. Terms and Conditions Part 1: Hey, guys, welcome back in this video, we're gonna take a look at those first few sections in the terms and conditions that includes the services provided payment and delivery of the finished product. So let's get started with the services provided section. This is where you will give a brief summary of what you offer and how much it costs the client. Now you can see in my first sentence that I state snt studios offers life events and wedding videography based on pricing packages created by SMD Studios. When I first started out, I charged my clients an hourly rate, and I listed that price in this section. However, my packages are now structured differently, so I've decided to leave it a little more vague. Honestly, either way is completely fine as long as your clients have access to your pricing packages and they understand what you're charging them now you can put the price in the payment section of the contract, but there's a lot of information to go over in terms of how they're gonna pay you and the due dates for those payments. So it may be easier just to put the price in the first section and then talk about the payment structure in the next one. In the next sentence, it states, the videographer Sean Day agrees to perform all essential duties, as described in this contract. For the bride and groom, as stated above, also referred to as the client. This is just a simple tool I use so that I don't have to re type everyone's name throughout the contract. I identify myself as the videographer and the bride and groom as the client. Now, if you're gonna hire multiple videographers to film for you, you can leave that space blank. Next, the word videographer and just have your employees fill out his or her name and then sign at the bottom. Just make sure when you're using these identify of state, you connect them to the right people so you don't have any confusion later, the next sentence reads. Additional charges include shipping and handling for the final product, as well as additional editing and post wedding services requested by the client. Now I briefly want to go for shipping with you. I'm not really talking about wanted to clients who come to you and just ask for a DVD that's not really going to impact your shipping costs for your business. More so if you offer DVDs and or thumb drives with all the world footage in your packages than the cost of shipping, multiple items to clients can add up over time. So if you don't want to eat the cost of shipping, then you can put a clause in the contract that puts the cost on your client. That way they get the product they want, and you don't have to worry so much about expenses. Now clients want to save money, so it's better to add a free, alternative form of delivery as well. For example, I've sent a lot of my clients the final video via digital download through Dropbox or Google Drive. If they wanted the full uncut ceremony aural the world footage, then they just paid a have it shipped to their house on a thumb drive. As for additional charges for editing, you'll see that it states the client is entitled to to re edits free of charge for any video submitted to them by SMD Studios. The client will be charged $25 for each additional re it it after the second re edit has been submitted. Now, regardless of what you want to charge, you want to make it clear to the client if you offer these services and how much that's going to cost, I do recommend you offer at least one round of freebie edits, as most clients will want something changed in the video. Now we're ready to move on to the payment section of the contract. This is where it will discuss how the client is going to pay you as well as any due dates you'll have. You'll see in that first sentence. It states the client must pay a non refundable deposit of 1/3 the agreed upon price to secure availability. Simply put, if the client wants to book you, they need to pay you. You never want to confirm a booking until you've received the deposit. Let me say that again, because it's very important. You never confirm a booking with any client until the deposits is in your possession. The next sentence reads. The deposit is due no later than 60 days before the wedding date. The remaining balance will be paid no later than 60 days after the date of the wedding. You can change this to whatever time period you want. You want to do 30 days or 60 or 90 that's up to you personally. I know a lot of my clients are busy planning the wedding beforehand, and then afterwards they want to take some time to settle into their new lives together so that 60 day period gives them enough flexibility to sort things out so they can pay you on time. In the next sentence, we read the deposit and all payments can be made by a cash check or credit through third party online payment services, i e. PayPal or Venmo. If the client elects to pay online, they will be responsible for paying fees charged by said online platforms. Personally, I prefer to get a check or cash. If the client wants to pay through online sources like PayPal, there's normally a service we involved as the business center. You can eat that cost yourself. However, I prefer to put the cost on the client and warn them beforehand in the contract that those fees will apply the next few sentences in section read after the video is submitted for review, the client has 30 days to request, edits and or changes. Delivery of the final video will only be made after the entire balance has been paid in full. Now, I found a lot of my clients get back to me sooner because I have this time limit in the contract. The last thing that you want is to send the video and either never hear from a client again or hear several months down the road when you're busy working on other projects. Now, say client does miss this deadline, right, and they come back to you and they want you to make a change. You can kindly inform them that they've missed the time period, but try and work with them to make sure that they can get something. In the end. If they're willing to pay you for that extra round of editing, then go for it. Otherwise informed them that you are busy working on other projects and if you can, you will try and do something for them. Now, if it comes to the matter of them not paying the final balance again, you want to work with the client, try and ask them for any proof of payment if they've paid with a check or cash. Some of the clients that I've worked with sent me a bank state. If they paid online, then you can check the account history on PayPal or Venmo to verify those payments. Remember, any of these issues can be resolved peacefully as long as you work with the client to find a solution. The last section in the statement reads. Should any of these terms be violated by the client, or should the client failed to review the video within the given time period? SMD studios holds the right to avoid any obligation to this contract. Of course, you want everything to go well, right? You want to work it out with the client, make sure that you're both winners. But that doesn't always happen. There are gonna be those situations where there's no real solution because you're either too busy or what the client is asking for is not doable. In that case, you need a clause that will give you the freedom to walk away from the project and move on . Now we're ready to talk about delivery of the finished product. This is where we'll discuss how you can deliver products to your clients and how long it will take you to complete each video in the first sentence. It says the final product will be delivered 8 to 12 weeks after the wedding day. Now, when I first started out, I didn't really have a lot of clients, so I could turn a video around inside of two or three weeks. Now that I have a larger client base and I also offer more items in each of my packages, it'll take me longer to complete my work. Whatever time period you choose to give yourself, just make sure you have enough flexibility so you don't feel rushed or overwhelmed, the next sentence reads. Deliveries can be fulfilled by a digital download or shipped to an address of their choosing. Shipping and handling fees will apply. As I said earlier, you want to offer the client multiple forms of delivery. If it's through the mail, you can pay for that yourself, or you can give the cost of the client. Just be sure to state in the contract that shipping and handling fees apply. There's also digital delivery. Three platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive personally, I prefer this method as it saves me. Time and money, the last statement says, should have thumb drive being compatible with the client's computer, laptop or mobile device. SMD studios will make a one time free replacement with a new thumb drive containing the video file or through digital download. In the past, I would offer my clients DVDs, and I've stopped doing that mainly because they would come back to me and say that it wouldn't work on their DVD player. I'd have to go into video formats and research Team D formats and which ones worked on which DVD players. And this always proved to be a massive struggle and very expensive. So for that reason, I recommend that you state in the contract whether or not you're willing to offer any replacement for clients and how you go about doing that. Personally, I recommend you stick with thumb drives, those Congar oh into any computer or laptop. And if the client wants, they can reform at the files themselves. Thank you guys for sticking with me through this video. I know there was a ton of information to go over, and the next one we're going to talk more about cancellations, how you can retain rights to the footage so you can use it to promote your business and what it means to be the exclusive video effort for the client. I'll see you guys there. 4. Terms and Conditions Part 2: Hey, guys, welcome back to the next video in this series. Now we're gonna talk about exclusive rights, display rights and cancellations. Now, these are shorter parts of the contract, but they are just as important. So let's get started with that first section that talks about exclusive rights. If we take a look at that first sentence, it says it is understood that SMD Studios is Theo Exclusive official videographer retained to perform the services requested on this contract, so this may never happen to you, But there may be a rare situation where the couple hires another videographer to film the wedding. Or they may have a family member who brings their own camera equipment and starts recording all the ceremonies. Either way, you need a written statement of agreement between you and the couple, making you the sole official videographer for the wedding. That way, it doesn't matter who's there. You will have the creative power and freedom Teoh get the footage you need. Now let's look at the display rights. This is where you'll get the freedom to use the footage anyway. You want right if you want to make a demo reel if you want to promote your business through online advertisement or if you just want archive footage for later project. This is the written clothes that will allow you to use the footage for any purpose. We look at that first sentence it will read. In signing this contract, the client is acting as the primary agent for all members of the party and guests. Basically, you don't want to go around to every person and get written permission toe have them on camera. So having this sentence will give you the permission to film everyone at the wedding. In the next sentence, it says, the client grants SMD studios all rights for display exhibition promotion and advertising use of all video and audio recording from the wedding and the final product produced under this contract. Now, this is the key sentence in this section. You can rephrase it any way you like, but this will clarify your intentions with the footage and allow you to use it to promote your business. Let's move on to the last point of our video where we talk about cancellations. It's not uncommon for couples to cancel last minute, but if they do cancel on you you need a written section that talks about how they should go about doing it and what happens next? We look at that first sentence. It'll say the client may cancel this contract at any time by giving written notice to SMD studios, but in doing so shall forfeit any monies paid. I previously noted that you should never confirm a booking with a client unless you receive the deposit. If a client backs out last minute, you shouldn't be forced to give that deposit back to them now. Fear in a generous mood. Maybe if the clients going through a rough patch, you're more than welcome to do so. But you can have this cause in contract. As an added measure of security in the next part of the contract, it states. If the client cancels the services agreed upon with SMD studios less than six weeks before the wedding date, they will be required to pay the total price in full. Now you can change the time period if you want, or just leave the statement out altogether. Honestly, if you're okay walking away with the deposit, forget about it. I know personally speaking for client cancels on me inside a six weeks. It's practically impossible to book another wedding for that date. So having this in the contract, make sure that I still get paid in case I miss out on any opportunities. The final sentence reads. All cancellations must be in writing now. Technically, you are covered in that first sentence where you say the clients must give a written notice . But I like to Addison just to clarify that I need something in writing. You may have a client call you over the phone and cancel that way, but you leave the door open for them to call you back later and wonder why you never showed up to the wedding. You need something that you can catalogue and save in your records for use later if you want. You can specify if they need to send you an email or a text message, but you need to have this in your cause so that customers know how to contact you if they're going to cancel. Thank you all again for watching through this video. I hope you've learned a lots, and you can use what you've learned to make your contract better for your business in the next video, we're going to cover limitations of liability as well as restrictions and what to do if you're unable to attend the wedding. So you guys there? 5. Terms and Conditions Part 3: Hey, guys, welcome back to the last video in this series. I really want to thank you guys for sticking around all the way up to this point in this video. We're going to go over the last few sections in your contract that talk about restrictions , limitations of liability and attendance. So let's take a look at that first section where we talk about restrictions now you can see in the beginning, it says Client is aware that restrictions imposed by others photographer, church reception, whole guests, etcetera and the constraints of the physical environment, safety, weather and acts of God can affect the quality and extent of video coverage. SMD Studios guarantees coverage of all events only within the bounds of restrictions and constraints of the physical environment, safety, weather and acts of God. Basically, this paragraph admits that a number of things can go wrong during a wedding. Sure, a lot of them could be prevented with thorough preparation on your part, but a lot of things can happen that are just out of your control. So having this in the contract promises the client video within the realm of those risks. Now, a lot of other vendors may give you an example, like lightning striking your equipment or extreme temperatures calls in your camera to shut off. But a better analogy would be filming a ceremony at a Catholic church. A priest may come to you and say that you are not allowed to move at all during the ceremony. Now, if you set other cameras, often different locations, naturally, you'll want to check your angles during the ceremony. But you can only film with the equipment you have inside of those limitations, so couple doesn't get exactly what they expected. You have this safety net to fall back on now. I do recommend that you talk with each couple and go over any restrictions and limitations before the wedding date. It's very important that they know you'll do anything in your power to give them a fantastic wedding for you. So with that being said, let's move on to limitation of liability. This is the section of the contract that goes over. What happens if you can't give the couple of video? This could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars if the couple comes after you. Likewise, it protects them in case they or a family member or friend breaks your stuff, and you can't finish filming their wedding. If we look at the first sentence, it says. In the unlikely event of total video equipment failure or cancellation of this contract by either party or in any other circumstance, the liability of one party to the other shall be limited to the total price agreed upon in this contract. In a nutshell. If the client buys a package from you for it's $1000 at the most, that's what you end up paying, maybe even less, depending on the situation. Either way, this is a great closed toe having your contract to protect you. If things fall apart now, let's take a look at that next sentence where it reads. Neither party shall be liable for indirect or consequential loss. So most accidents that happen at weddings are just that right there. Accidents. Nobody intentionally calls Tom or try to purposely damage anyone's equipment. So you need to include this statement because it could protect you from paying the price for something you didn't mean to do. Now. That being said, if you do make a mistake trying off with a couple something extra to make up for it. In the past, I've given couples items from MAWR expensive packages for free. If the mistake I made was really bad, then I've even waved the remaining balance. They no matter what you choose, make sure you talk with the couple and try and resolve any issues so that everyone can walk away a winner. Now we're ready to move on to the last section, talking about attendance. I think it's safe to say most videographers want to show it to a wedding, right? We want to film the bride in her dress. We want to capture candid moments with family and friends, and we want to give the couple a beautiful video they can share with everyone. But if there's a family emergency or a sudden illness, then you could be sidelined. If that happens, you need a clause in the contract that goes over what will happen if you are unable to attend a client's wedding. If we look at this first sentence, you'll see that it reads in the unlikely event of the videographer being unable to attend the clients wedding due to unforeseen circumstance, SMD Studios reserves the right to appoint another videographer to attend the wedding on its behalf to complete the agreed upon services. Now I understand if you guys don't have a long list of videographers that you can coal as a last minute replacement. But if you do, that could be a great resource to utilize. So the client doesn't lose out on a video, and you don't lose out on all the profits, even if you don't keep this sentence in your contract. At the least, it buys you some time so you can find other solutions. While I'm on this point, you also just need to network seriously the benefits of getting to know other videographers in the industry. Working with them and learning from them could help your business grow exponentially in the next sentence, it says. If SMD Studios is unable to acquire another videographer, a full refund will be issued to the client. Now this is just a statement. That's for the couple. It guarantees them a full refund in case you can't film their wedding, and you can't find someone else to take your spot. That way, they at least get their money back and you can protect yourself from any damage to your business. I really want to thank you guys for watching through this. Siri's Honestly, there's so much information to go through and you guys stuck with it. Now I've added a copy of my contract template below so you guys can download it. And if you want, make a few adjustments. Whatever I've given here, I hope you can take it to grow your business and your relationships in the future. Thank you guys again. I'll see you later.