What to say when your client wants to make changes to your contract

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We’ve all been there—you’re about to finalize the booking with your client and instead of coming back with a signature, a smile and a check, they come back with red pen marks all over your contract. What to say?

Whether you’re willing to make changes or not is completely up to you. You’ll have to make that call on your own, but we have some language for you, regardless of which way your policies go.

OPTION #1: When you’re asked for changes to the contract, and you’ll consider making changes.

This option would typically refer to minor changes that don’t affect your studio policies to any great extent. If you hear the same question or concern from more than a few clients, you might consider having your contract reviewed for clarity and accuracy.

Hello YOU,

Thank you so much for your question regarding modification to the contract. Let’s plan a phone call to see what you have in mind.

I may be able to make certain changes to the contract, provided we can agree on the new terms, and pending a review by my business attorney. I will need to pass on the cost of my attorney’s time for contract review, and can provide you with that estimate, if you would like to pursue it.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmly,

PHOTOGRAPHER

OPTION #2: When you’re asked for changes to the contract and you won’t make changes.

Completely up to you–many studios will not consider any changes to their contract or policies in any instance.

Hello YOU,

Thank you so much for your question regarding modifications to my wedding photography contract. Unfortunately, I’m not able to make adjustments to my contract at the request of a client. The contract I use was written specifically for my business, approved by my business attorney and reflects the industry standards for wedding photography in our region.

I rely on this contract to protect both of us in a variety of situations, to hold my studio to a specific standard and to manage the expectations for the client with regard to timing, behavior, standards and deliverables. For these reasons, my studio’s wedding photography contract is non-negotiable.

However, if you have something specific on your mind, I’d be glad to set up a time to talk, so that I may be able to resolve any concerns that you have. Sometimes, legal language seems less forgiving than real-world communication, and I’d love to clarify anything that gives you pause.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Warmly,

PHOTOGRAPHER

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