Shots were fired last week when Brides.com published an article saying wedding photographers shouldn’t be fed while on the job. Besides being insulted, wedding photographers everywhere should have been reminded of a simple fact – protect yourself with a good contract.
Brides.com has since removed the article, but you can see a copy of the original here. In it, wedding planner Sandy Malone suggests that unless stated explicitly in a vendor’s contract, you’re not obligated to feed any of your wedding vendors. While this might be a fine legal argument to make in court, barring any labor laws that might come into play about least providing a break after a certain number of hours, it’s a terrible argument to make to a person hiring someone to work an entire day. Being human, we’ll all have to eat at some point, whether that’s on site with a meal provided to us or leaving the event site to find a meal. I’d argue that its in the best interest of everyone involved to provide a meal for those working, even if it’s just for 5-6 hours of face time.
Regardless of what you think about the advice provided, you can agree that making this argument becomes moot simply by including a simple clause in your contract stating that you (and any team members) are to be served a meal if working over a certain number of hours. Here’s exactly what mine says:
EATING: It is hereby agreed that if PHOTOGRAPHER is contracted to work more than 6 continuous hours, CLIENTS shall provide a meal for PHOTOGRAPHER and any team members covering the event. If a meal is not to be provided, PHOTOGRAPHER and team will leave the event for up to 30 minutes to obtain a meal.
Hopefully I won’t have to add a clause about needing bathroom breaks and a chance to grab a glass of water, lest people like Sandy Malone keep getting mic time at publications.
As with anything concerning legal documents, it’s always best to check with a lawyer familiar with your local laws.