Failure to Perform Clause
This provision covers what happens if for some reason you’re unable to perform the photographic event. It lists a whole bunch of reasons as to why this may happen, like illness, emergency, fire casualty, act of God, and so on. This provision also states, however, that you and the client will make every attempt to reschedule the session and if that isn’t possible, then you, the photographer, will return the retainer to the Client and won’t be liable for anything else. So if you can’t reschedule and you have to cancel on your client for an emergency, you have to refund them the retainer fee.
The next section of this provision states that if for some reason you’re unable to deliver the photographic materials due to technological issues (and can I get an ‘Amen’ because you know you’ve been there before) or if the photographic materials are lost or damaged for reasons outside of your control, liability is limited. So basically – if your hard drive crashes and there’s no way on earth to recover the materials, your camera malfunctions, prints are put through the mail and lost, etc. (and these are just examples, there are a plethora of things that could happen that would be out of your control), your accountability in this situation is limited.
Sometimes clients forget that as photographers, we’re human too, and we get sick. Many times though, clients don’t have an issue with rescheduling (unless it’s a wedding or a birth, in which case you would call in a substitute photographer which will be discussed further in the provision “Substitute Photographer”). Though I will say if you just have a bit of a sniffle that you still do your best to perform your duties the day of the session. I had to once when I had morning sickness and strep throat. I just told my second shooter that they had to hold me together through the wedding day and we just had to suck it up buttercup and get through the day. And we did, and to this day it’s still one of my favorite weddings that I did. I hated it during the actual day because I was so sick, and if I wanted to I could have fallen back on this provision. But of course, as I already said, I decided to go ahead with the wedding anyway.