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Old 27th February 2012, 9:06 PM   #1
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Default Wedding Photographer Retainers

I'm admidst booking a wedding photographer however his/her terms & conditions state that a $2000 non-refundable, non-transferable retainer/deposit is required to secure the date. Additionally, the retainer will not be credited to a new date if a date change occurs.

Is this common?
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:09 PM   #2
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Fark and that's just the deposit!!
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:10 PM   #3
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Sounds like a rip-off to me, but I'm not an expert from either side of the lens (that deposit is about double what we paid for our wedding pics IIRC). Although wedding dates tend to be fixed; not getting cold feet already are we?
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:10 PM   #4
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i'd say keep on shopping
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:16 PM   #5
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Fark and that's just the deposit!!
it's almost 50% deposit...

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Originally Posted by Big Trev View Post
Sounds like a rip-off to me, but I'm not an expert from either side of the lens (that deposit is about double what we paid for our wedding pics IIRC). Although wedding dates tend to be fixed; not getting cold feet already are we?
no cold feet; just thinking if it buckets down on the day, then wouldn't it be nice if the photographer could shoot 'proper' ones on a sunny day?


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i'd say keep on shopping

any recommendations?
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:18 PM   #6
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sorry can't help with that one, 2k deposit is a lot of wedge though and a few too many restrictions
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:27 PM   #7
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Most wedding togs are 50% retainer to save the date. Some are 30% but yeah.. the majority I know through the business are 50%.

There are lots of flakers out there.. if someone wants to book you on one of the most popular wedding days of the year (and some are super busy.. but any day is potential for more than one client).. then if for whatever reason the date doesnt go ahead then what you just going to sit around for a couple of hundred? The T&C is up to the tog.. on what constitutes a reason for having the date cancelled as acceptable for a refund (or partial) if they offer it.

It's a livelihood.

You are making a commitment to them.. to honour the booked date (same as the commitment you are making to the venue, celebrant and many of the other services where a deposit is required) and they are making a commitment to save that date for you (for whatever rate/deal/package you have negotiated). A friend of mine is booked for October 21 this year (she booked it last October) and has since had 6 inquiries about the same date.. all of which she sends off since she has been paid her retainer to save the date.

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Old 27th February 2012, 9:28 PM   #8
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I'd keep looking personally.
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:36 PM   #9
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Seems pretty reasonable, I mean, it's a wedding. The date is pretty much set right? A lot of wedding photographers I speak to are booked well in advance, a cancellation could be a pretty hefty loss.
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deftone2k View Post
Most wedding togs are 50% retainer to save the date. Some are 30% but yeah.. the majority I know through the business are 50%.

There are lots of flakers out there.. if someone wants to book you on one of the most popular wedding days of the year (and some are super busy.. but any day is potential for more than one client).. then if for whatever reason the date doesnt go ahead then what you just going to sit around for a couple of hundred? The T&C is up to the tog.. on what constitutes a reason for having the date cancelled as acceptable for a refund (or partial) if they offer it.

It's a livelihood.

You are making a commitment to them.. to honour the booked date (same as the commitment you are making to the venue, celebrant and many of the other services where a deposit is required) and they are making a commitment to save that date for you (for whatever rate/deal/package you have negotiated). A friend of mine is booked for October 21 this year (she booked it last October) and has since had 6 inquiries about the same date.. all of which she sends off since she has been paid her retainer to save the date.
I can fully understand their situation, but wouldn't a deposit say around $1000 be suffice for a day's work/sitting around? (in case of cancellation/postponement)
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:47 PM   #11
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I can fully understand their situation, but wouldn't a deposit say around $1000 be suffice for a day's work/sitting around? (in case of cancellation/postponement)
Not when you are making $3k working.. (after costs)
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:47 PM   #12
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no cold feet; just thinking if it buckets down on the day, then wouldn't it be nice if the photographer could shoot 'proper' ones on a sunny day?

any recommendations?
Well you could always see if they offer an extra bridal shoot.. but the fact is you cant control the weather. They will shoot it rain, hail or shine. It is something you have to discuss further with your chosen photographer though..

You arent just going to cancel everything on the day if it rains though... well you can try.. dont think you will get any deposits back
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:47 PM   #13
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I can fully understand their situation, but wouldn't a deposit say around $1000 be suffice for a day's work/sitting around? (in case of cancellation/postponement)
not when you mention the word Wedding .......... carrrrching..........
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:51 PM   #14
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I can fully understand their situation, but wouldn't a deposit say around $1000 be suffice for a day's work/sitting around? (in case of cancellation/postponement)
Yeah it is sufficient for a wedding tog that has a $2000 package. Seemingly you have gone with someone who is $4500 - $5000.

If you cancel the day and they cant rebook (and honestly it is very rare that something pops up paying your full rate in a short term for a popular wedding date.. mainly because there are heaps of other reasons (many services are already booked for one)... but you lose out on $3500 - $4000 in your pocket. Especially if you knocked back other jobs to honour the one you had a couple sign a contract, agree to pay the retainer and lock the date down.

Only happens once before you start asking yourself why..
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Old 27th February 2012, 9:55 PM   #15
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Yeah it is sufficient for a wedding tog that has a $2000 package. Seemingly you have gone with someone who is $4500 - $5000.

If you cancel the day and they cant rebook (and honestly it is very rare that something pops up paying your full rate in a short term for a popular wedding date.. mainly because there are heaps of other reasons (many services are already booked for one)... but you lose out on $3500 - $4000 in your pocket. Especially if you knocked back other jobs to honour the one you had a couple sign a contract, agree to pay the retainer and lock the date down.

Only happens once before you start asking yourself why..
Its true.. I had to pay $2k for the venue to lock in, and then spent another $13k, that $13k was due 5 weeks prior. Once the $15k was done, we could cancel but the cost was $5k.

A tog, like a venue, can only have one customer a day, protecting that day for the client is critical, if the client cancels, what does the tog/venue do? Fit a wedding in with what might be a days notice. Impossible.
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