We took our toddler in to have tubes installed in his ears on Friday. We met with two nurses and an Anesthesiologist prior to the procedure, and with the Doctor post procedure. All four of them gave us the same instructions for when we got home and the weeks following. Even with four different medical professionals giving us the same instructions, they sent us home with an envelope of written instructions, so we’d have something to refer back to. That way we wouldn’t have to worry about things going in one ear and out the other (ear infection pun intended).
When you buy a house, there are a million pieces of paper to sign and read and agree to before they’ll give you the keys.
It just makes sense for important instructions and agreements to be in writing. It’s the same reason why I put all of my contracts in writing. I can’t expect you to remember everything I say prior to our session, or during our shoot or our ordering session. It’s way easier for everyone when everything is in writing. Expectations are clear on all sides. There’s no awkward “what did you say about a retainer?” questions. There’s no weird avoidance like what I do when I can’t remember someone’s name. “Heyyyyyy, youuuuu! When did you say our ordering session would be?” Putting everything in writing helps me provide a consistent experience for every client I work with, so you can be sure that you’re getting the same stellar service as the client before you and the client after, and don’t have to worry that I’m making things up as I go along.
Having a written agreement means we’re both protected and can trust each other, even if we’ve never met. It lets you know that I’m in business for the long-haul, that I care about being thorough and consistent, and that I’m not going to take your retainer and run. My contracts were created by a lawyer, making them legally binding. Legal contracts are reassuring to both of us that everyone is covered and that we mean the same things and are on the same page. (“Retainer” doesn’t mean that thing in your mouth to keep your teeth straight, for example.) It helps us both know that we can work together without confusion. Contracts let you focus on what really matters during your shoot: your family.
My contracts include legal wording about arbitration, copyright, and indemnification. They also include what you can do (like hang and show off your photos) and can’t do (like submit them to contests) with the photos I take during our shoot. I also include the logistics, like when and where our shoot will be, when to expect our ordering session to take place, and how much the package that you’ve purchased costs. So you don’t have to remember where you put that post-it or worry that you wrote something down wrong.
Call it a contract or call it an agreement, it’s a helpful part of my business process and it’s something we won’t shoot without.
Want to see some other families who have signed contracts and gone on to have a great experience with Allison Patel Photography? Check out my family photo gallery here.