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Delayed payment of Photography Contract

rick423rick423 Member
edited September 2013 in business
I did a birthday event sometime in april 2012. On the contract, it was agreed that a retainer fee of $500 shall be paid upon signing the contract, and knowing the person, I agreed that she can issue me post dated checks which were dated after the event. Before the first check is due, I got a call from my client and me that she put a stop payment on both of the checks for financial issues.

Unfortunately on the contract, I did not mention anything about delayed payments.

I was never paid a single penny until after 15 months, and was promised that she will be making monthly payments from now on. Two months later, no payments was received and now she is asking until December 2013 to "MAYBE" pay the balance OR ANY AMOUNT she has available when December comes.

I told her that I cannot continue to make any further extensions since non of her promises was fulfilled.

With the amount of money that she had paid initially, I told her that I will give her all the images taken for the first 3.5 hrs on a CD and be done with it. If she want the rest of the picture of the event, I would have to charge her a different rate.

Would delayed payment considered a breach of contract? Is my contract still valid?

What would you do in a situation like this? Any inputs will be highly appreciated.



  • Hi rick423

    December "good luck buddy " thats Christmas time, Trust me, your money is going towards Gifts.

    You have to protect yourself..

    I have a Clause in my Contract that reads

    Copyright privileges not released until client has paid in full.

    Inform her that she is in Copyright infringement and that will cost her more if you have to take her to court. Like $10,000 dollars

    Also the set up a payment schedule I do 1/3 to hold date , the second 1/3 is for you to show up and last 1/3 delivery of files.

    If the 1st payment doesn't come don't hold the date and move on

    If the last 2 don't come through then at least hold the images hostage.


    Don't hand over any images until you are paid in full.

    The problem is now she has the images and your left holding the bag,

    Lou Recine
    Owner Matrix Photography and design
  • Thanks Lou!

    I did not give my client anything yet...didn't even see a single out of focused underexposed photo lol.

    Yeah, that Christmas money would be super nice.
  • Don't hand over anything till she has paid...in full!
  • Agreed otherwise you will never see it.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Rick ... it's exactly this pain that caused me to collect all money before the event.

    The venue ... the caterers ... etc, they all get paid upfront.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    And yes, don't hand a thing over until you're paid.
    I wouldn't even accept the partial payment.

    Also, take any images off FB.
  • Thanks for all your feedbacks..sorry that I got side tracked and was not able to thank you all early.
  • Agree with others. Don't give her anything until paid in full and don't accept partial payment. I would also send her an email or letter with a deadline for payment. And let her know that you will be pursuing payment in (small claims) court (if the amount qualifies for small claims) if payment is not made by the deadline. And do it. Word it friendly and professional. For example say something like '...... If I do not receive $2,000 (or whatever the amount) by Nov. 25, 2013 I will have no choice but to pursue legal action to recover this amount. If I am forced to do that I will be seeking more than $2,000.....'

    If nothing else you will have to pay court costs which will be her responsibility if you win.

    She may end up saying she doesn't want the photos after all and think this means she doesn't have to pay you. If she does say that make sure you tell her she owes you the money whether she wants the images or not.

    Obviously, if she pays by check make sure it clears before you give her anything.
  • It is totally unethical to hold payment of photographer. Be careful friends!
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