I'm heavily involved within the photographer community online. I seek out tips and tricks to improve myself and my services, but also to provide advice to very novice newbie photographers. Something I ran across yesterday gave me pause, and made me stop and consider more than just the situation at hand.
A new photographer had posed the question to the community group, "I have a maternity shoot that was scheduled over two months ago, and she paid her full amount (deposit and balance.) The soon-to-be mom contacted me via email this morning and said she had miscarried, and needed to cancel her photoshoot." My heart broke. Not only for the mom, but because the photographer questioned the group, "Should I refund her money despite the contract stating no cancellations under 14 days?" Before you jump all over her for asking, she stated that the mom did NOT ask for a refund, she just wanted to let her photographer know she didn't need the shoot, but the photog really just wanted advice on how to move forward and reach out to the mom.
We all responded (just as one would assume), "YES, refund her money, no questions asked." Just the thought that anyone would consider responding otherwise is simply cruel. I have personally fought the battle of a miscarriage, along with many of my female gal pals. I could never in a million years consider my business over someone losing a child.
With that said, the issue at hand that is now rearing its ugly head. Coronavirus. I have seen multiple photographers ask the questions: Should I cancel on my couples? Wedding shoot this weekend, I'm scared of catching it. My 2nd shooter has a compromised immune system. The list goes on and on.
With that said, here is where Parker Photography stands on contracts/refunds regarding only COVID-19 only through May 31, 2020.
We care about our clients' safety, the safety of their friends and family, and our own team members. We will honor our contract to the best of our ability, unless one of our own members has been exposed to the virus.
If for any reason, any of our couples that are booked (and paid directly) through our site, opt to cancel/reschedule the wedding, we will absolutely refund any deposits paid. You must send us an email advising us of the cancellation, and/or the planned rescheduling date. You must also send us a copy of cancellation with your ceremony/reception venue via email. If you have already selected a new wedding date, please include that in your email, and we will notify you within 24 hours if we are available. If we are not available for your rescheduled date, you will receive a full refund, no questions asked. We will also be happy to provide you with recommendations of other area photographers we trust to handle your event. If you reschedule your wedding, any deposits paid will be applied to your new date, and the rate on your contract will be honored.
If any member of Parker Photography is found to have been exposed to the virus, we will notify you immediately if it falls within 21 days of your event. We will refund 100% of your deposit/payments, and will also do our best to get you scheduled with another photography studio.
We will continue to monitor the virus situation and update our refund policy dates as necessary if it needs to extend beyond May 31, 2020. Please stay in touch with us as we all navigate through this situation.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us via social, email, or by phone. In the meantime, keep your bugs to yourself, and WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!