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A force majeure clause excuses your contractual obligations if circumstances beyond your control prevent you from doing your job. If you don't already have a force majeure clause in your contract, adding one will protect you from having to perform obligations during pandemics or epidemics (like COVID-19). ShootProof has partnered with an attorney to provide you with language to add to your existing contract template. Just copy and paste!
Instructions and notes:
This clause assumes the following terms are defined in the overall agreement.
- Agreement–The overall agreement. EXAMPLE: This agreement (“Agreement”)…
- Event–The wedding, corporate outing, etc… that will be photographed, including the date that will take place. EXAMPLE: …wedding to take place on June 1, 2025 (“Event”).
- Client –The person or entity hiring the Photographer. (see example below)
- Photographer – The person or entity that will be photographing the Event. (Example: This Agreement is between the undersigned client (“Client”) and DMFS Photography (“Photographer”).
If the terms outlined above are not in the overall agreement, the model clause should be modified to reflect the terms in the overall agreement. Also, the model clause contemplates the Photographer being willing to work with the Client to reschedule the Event to another date. To the extent the Photographer does not want to provide that option, the sentences that refer to picking an alternative date should be removed.
Force Majeure and Safe Environment Clause
Force Majeure and Safe Environment
x.1 If Photographer cannot perform or believes it may not be able to perform this Agreement in whole or in part due to a fire, natural disaster, act of war or terrorism (domestic or foreign), epidemic or pandemic (including COVID-19), action of any governmental authority (including a Government Order as defined in Section 7.3), national or regional emergency, other casualty, act of God, or other cause beyond the control of the parties or due to Photographer’s illness or injury, whether or not foreseeable (“Force Majeure Event”), then Photographer will give notice to the Client as soon as reasonably practicable after Photographer determines that a Force Majeure Event will or may prevent Photographer from performing under this Agreement. Photographer shall have no obligation to perform under this Agreement and no liability for delays or failures to perform due to a Force Majeure Event, but Photographer may, in Photographer’s discretion, work with the Client to find an alternative date for the Event that is suitable to both Client and Photographer. To the extent the Parties cannot agree on a suitable replacement date consistent with Photographer’s availability, Photographer may also, in its sole discretion, refund fees paid to Photographer under the Agreement, less any amounts necessary to cover expenses and work (based on time spent by Photographer) already performed by Photographer related to the Event, including, but not limited to, pre-wedding communications, development of timelines, and preparation of gear for the Event (the “Refund Amount”). In the case of a Force Majeure Event, Photographer shall have no additional liability to Client with respect to this Agreement beyond that described in this Section and below.
x.2 In the case of a Force Majeure Event that impacts the Photographer individually, but does not otherwise impact the Event, including, but not limited to, illness or injury to Photographer, Photographer shall make reasonable efforts to suggest a replacement photographer for the Event. Should Client not accept a replacement photographer selected by Photographer to perform Photographer’s obligations under the Agreement, Photographer shall refund the Refund Amount and shall have no further obligation to perform under the Agreement.
x.3 Client understands that Photographer works to maintain a safe work environment, including but not limited to, complying with applicable governmental laws, directives, orders, and regulations (each a “Governmental Order”). Client further understands and agrees that Photographer shall not be required to perform under this Agreement if the Event is held in violation of a Governmental Order or Photographer’s participation in the Event would violate a Governmental Order. Client also understands and agrees that Photographer is not obligated to continue to perform under this Agreement if Photographer’s personal safety or well-being has been or will be comprised or threatened at the Event, including, but not limited to, as a result of the condition of the venue for the Event, or the conduct of an attendee of the Event.
Please note that ShootProof is not a law firm and cannot advise on the applicability, enforceability, or legal consequence of any template or model contract provisions it provides. Further, the contract laws of each state in the United States may differ from the laws of another state or jurisdiction. Any questions related to the applicability of these provisions to any particular set of circumstances, the legal consequence of using them or their enforceability in a given jurisdiction, should be directed to a licensed attorney in the jurisdiction(s) where the provisions will be used or enforced.
The above model provisions were prepared by John Kivus of Morningstar Law Group - https://morningstarlawgroup.com/attorneys/john-kivus/, an attorney licensed to practice in North Carolina. By preparing these form provisions, Mr. Kivus is not providing legal advice to any recipient or user of these provisions, and makes no opinion regarding their applicability, enforceability or legal consequence in any particular circumstance or jurisdiction.