The Importance of Contracts: Wedding Photog in a Dispute Over Album ‘Cover’ Charge

There’s a dispute going on over in Texas that shows the importance of getting your contracts right as a photographer. A pair of Dallas newlyweds are going public with their disagreement with wedding photographer Andrea Polito over an album “cover” charge that Polito is asking for — a charge that doesn’t specifically show up in the contract.

Local news station NBC 5 reports that the couple had paid Polito $6,000 to shoot their October 2014 wedding, and expected to receive a “40 page 8.5×12 Storybook Album with up to 80 images,” as stated in the contract.

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After the wedding, however, Politio informed the couple that they would need to pay at least an additional $150 to order a cover for the album. The couple balked at the fee and argued that they had already paid Polito in full. “Do we pay extra for a cover? Is there not a standard cover it comes with?” they wrote to her in an email.

“Your package includes the 40 pages & 80 images portion of the album, but we leave the album cover to be decided on when you actually order (it),” Polito responded.

The couple had expected that the album would come with a free cover. “An album comes with a cover. It’s a component of an album. It’s a book,” they tell NBC 5. Politio says she had told the couple about the extra charge in one of their early meetings, but the contract doesn’t mention it, and that’s what the couple is now having a problem with.

Polito is reportedly now refusing to provide a CD with digital copies of the photos — as promised by the contract — until they fork over dough for the cover. She’s also saying that there will be an additional $250 archive fee if the couple does not take action by the middle of next month.

This all goes to show that as a photographer, you should never rely on verbal agreements when it comes to conditions and charges. Always get everything in writing.


Image credits: Video and still frames by NBC 5

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