A photographer just entered a contract to photograph the full product line of a pottery company, a job that will involve nearly one thousand photographs. The contract promises excellent pay, but the photographer neglected to include any payment terms in the contract. What dangers does the photographer risk by not spelling out the terms of payment?
There are key contract provisions that are imperative for the safe, legal, and easy flow of dynamics between the business owner and the client.
All contractors have to state in their contracts three key elements:
- full price of the project
- method of payment accepted
- payment fulfillment options (if applicable)
- consequences of contract termination
- by when or as a result of what will the payment be needed.
This is as far as money goes alone. Look at how many answers these questions ask. This spells out concretely that the service or good will be paid for in a specific way, and in a specific amount. This voids any possibility of misinterpretation or confusion from the part of the client.
Additionally, you have to add obligations from each party. This is the part of the contract that legally binds the client to comply with the payment plans stated before. This is what the photographer could have counted upon to take the client to a lawyer if the client does not comply:
- date of completion of the project
- what each party is going to provide for the completion
- standards of quality and aesthetics (to be decided by client and photographer)
- what will happen if these standards are not met
Therefore, the problems that the photographer will get into are basically listed above if none of these questions were asked. Hence, the photographer has an obligation to spell out what will be given and for what price it will be offered. If nothing is spelled out and specified the client can always claim that nothing was explained. This results in contracts being unfulfilled or cancelled.
There may be an unexpected addition or term, that has not been included. Eg: You must pay back a certain amount each month, meaning your payment is less than expected.
The photographer may not be able to carry out the contract if there was information included that he was not previously aware of. If he does not carry out the contract, it is called a Breach of Contract, whereby he does not carry out the terms of the contract as originally agreed and the other party of the contract is entitled to prosecute them.
The judge may demand Specific Performance off the photographer (which means he must carry out the duties as originally agreed in the contract) or he may demand him to pay Damages, whereby he must pay money to the other party as compensation for what he has lost, suffered, and for any inconvenience he has caused by not fulfilling the terms of his contract.