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Just a question for those of you who shoot weddings, when you employ a 2nd shooter, do you get them to sign a contract and what is in your contract.
It's going to depend on how stringent you're being with the assistant on how you're handling the images and rights-to-use after the fact, for both primary and assistant... Obviously limiting and defining the terms of compensation should be in there too.
As I was researching 2nd shooter contracts, I discovered it is much more complex than you may think. One of the key things is structuring the agreement so the 2nd shooter is an independent contractor instead of your employee. That brings with it a host of other considerations like: you can't tell the contractor how to do their job, you can't limit the contractor's access to work in the industry, etc. On the up side, you aren't responsible for providing benefits to the contractor, they must provide their own insurance, provide their own equipment, etc.
My contract stipulates the images fall under Work Made for Hire, so I own the copyright. I let the 2nd shooter use images he or she shot with a specific attribution after an embargo that covers the time between the wedding and when the deliverables have been received by the clients.
Other things you may want to address in your contract:
Compensation and Reimbursement
Contractor is responsible for own taxes
Time line for Submission of Works
Non-Disclosure and Non-Solication (which are different than non-compete)
My contract is signed for a specific and limited period of time - 3 months for example. Then, within that time frame, individual assignments are detailed and agreed upon on a separate document.
Work for hire agreement between _____________________ and COMPANY NAME:
1. WORK FOR HIRE: The Assistant/Second shooter is an independent contractor who must pay their own tax’s and is responsible for their own equipment. The Assistant/Second shooter is not an employee or partner of COMPANY NAME. At all times the Assistant/Second shooter is answerable to the main photographer on the day of the shoot. This role includes being a general gofer, a photographer, crowd control and being prepared to do whatever is necessary to ensure that the shoot runs smoothly. You will need to be independent, organized, self-confident and ambitious, have a good eye for attention to detail and excellent interpersonal skills.
2. RESERVATION: The Assistant/Second shooter will reserve the date of each job upon verbal confirmation from COMPANY NAME.
3. PROOF IMAGE DELIVERY: After the wedding, the Assistant/Second shooter will provide COMPANY NAME with unprocessed RAW images on Flash Cards or Memory cards at the end of the shoot.
4. CANCELLATION: In the event that THE CLIENT cancels the contracted services for wedding photography outlined in this contract before the wedding ceremony takes place, the Assistant/Second shooter will not be entitled to payment.
5. PRE-EVENT CONSULTATION: The parties agree to a pre-event consultation (in person or on the phone) before the event date in order to finalize the actual shooting times and locations.
6. LATENESS: It is imperative that the Assistant/Second shooter is on time for all events. Lateness will not be tolerated. If, for any reason, the Assistant/Second shooter is running late, they must inform COMPANY NAME as soon as possible.
7. COOPERATION: The parties agree to positive cooperation and communication for the best possible result for the client. At all times the Assistant/Second shooter will be polite and courteous to all event clients and guests.
8. TRAVEL: Travel and accommodation (when required) will be provided COMPANY NAME. If the Assistant/Second shooter wishes to provide their own travel and accommodation this will be at their own cost.
9. DIGITAL NEGATIVES, PRINTS and COPYRIGHTS: The Assistant/Second shooter agrees to turn over all copyright of the images taken while working with COMPANY NAME. In return, COMPANY NAME releases limited usage of the images to the Assistant/Second shooter. The Assistant/Second shooter may use the images to build their own print portfolio, but may not use any images in any web format. The Assistant/Second shooter may not, under any circumstance, sell the images.
10. MODEL RELEASE: If the Assistant/Second shooter, during the course of the event, is in any of the final images, they hereby assign and grant COMPANY NAME, and its legal representatives the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of Assistant/Second shooter or in which Assistant/Second shooter may be included. It is agreed that COMPANY NAME may display and use the photographs taken for advertising, display, website and internet promotion, photographic contests, public display such as in malls, photography books, photography instructional books, store fronts, window displays, studio display, television advertising, magazine advertising and any other purpose thought proper by COMPANY NAME.
11. RECOGNITION COMPANY NAME will integrate the Assistant/Second shooter’s images into the proofs shown to the client. These images will be shown as COMPANY NAME s work. These images may be shown on the web, on COMPANY NAME website, in print media, advertising, and/or any other purpose COMPANY NAME sees fit.
12. PAYMENTS: The Assistant/Second shooter will be paid in cash at the completion of the event. The amount of pay will vary for each job, dependant on time and experience, and will be included in the reservation contract.
13. LIMIT OF LIABILITY: COMPANY NAME is not liable for any camera/equipment damage or personal injury, whether or not as direct or indirect result of performing set duties.
14. AMENDMENTS: Changes to this contract may only be made in writing and on acceptance of both parties.
I have read and understood the terms above. I hereby agree to the terms of this agreement.