Substitute Photographer Clause

This clause means that you have the right to substitute yourself with another photographer. You should always have a substitute in the back of your mind and make sure you’ve reached out to them and asked if they want to be your substitute should you ever need one. Not only is this good to have for the client and makes sure their session or wedding or whatever is taken care of even if you can’t be the one photographing it, but this is also a great networking opportunity with other photographers. It’s amazing, and I personally love it. This becomes especially important for the types of sessions that you can’t really reschedule, like births and weddings and military homecomings.

This provision also says that the photographer warrants the substitute photographer to be of comparable quality and professionalism, and that they are chosen at your discretion, and that doing so does not breach this contract. Now, I will always let my client know if this is going to happen (with as much advanced notice as I can though sometimes that isn’t much if it’s an emergency situation), but I don’t allow my client to have the final say in who the substitute photographer is. I retain that discretion, but for customer service purposes I’ll tell my client something like “Hey, you know, I’m not able to be there for the session – is this person okay?” or “Choose one of these three, they’re all available or your day. Which one would you prefer?” If I give them a list of photographers like this that I’ve already screened, I can guarantee that anyone showing up to do the session for me will represent my business appropriately.

If this does happen and you do need to call in a substitute photographer, all other agreements would be between you and the substitute photographer and the client. Just always make sure if you’re ever in this situation that you approach your client and say something like “Hey, I have such and such and such and such and such options for you,” instead of something like “Hey, I can’t shoot your wedding because I’m sick. Sorry.” Even though you have this clause, you always want to tell your client what you can do for them, not what you can’t. In terms of customer service, that’s always best practice.

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