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9 Things to Include in your photography contract

9 Things to Include in your photography contract

A photography Contract should include important elements such as the parties involved in the contract, details of the photography service and agreement, responsibilities of both parties, payment terms, and copyright ownership and usage rights.

A photography Contract should include important elements such as the parties involved in the contract, details of the photography service and agreement, responsibilities of both parties, payment terms, and copyright ownership and usage rights.

Written by

Element Photo

Published on

Jul 20, 2023

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A link to download the pdf (the pdf will include what a photography contract is and a link to each niche contract template or download template)

In this article, we will cover

  • What a photography contract is?

  • Why you need a contract for your photography business

  • What you must include in a Photography Contract

  • Free photography contract templates

What is a Photography Contract?

A Photography Contract is a legal agreement between you and your client that outlines the terms and conditions of your working relationship. The contract helps to establish clear expectations and protects the rights and interests of both parties involved.

Why do you need a contract for your photography business

Having a contract for each of your clients is very essential, as it clearly states the terms and conditions of a project, which allow both you and your clients to know what to expect on a particular project.

Using contracts demonstrates professionalism and instills confidence in clients. It shows that you take your business seriously, adhere to industry standards, and are committed to providing quality services. Clients are more likely to trust and hire photographers who use contracts, as it provides a level of assurance, trust, and protection.

What you must Include in a Photography contract

  1. Parties to the Contract (Names for client and your business)

This is the first section of the contract and it is very important this includes both parties’ full names and contact information, also if a client is reaching out under an organization, it is expected that the client provide the business name and contact.

  1. Photography Service Agreement and Schedule

This is where the photographer states the contract/service terms, the shoot start date, and the end date.

You should be as detailed as possible in this section, letting the client know every important thing your services entail to avoid disagreement. It may also be helpful to detail what the service agreement does not entail, to harsh out any ambiguity.

  1. Both Parties Responsibilities

This highlights and explains what each party is expected to deliver.

Be clear on what job to deliver at your end, and if you need any commitment from the client. For instance, if you’re traveling down for a project and you need your client to handle the logistics for travel and accommodation, this is where to state it.

  1. Payment terms

This is the section where you Itemize expenses, commitment fees, taxes, discount rates, extra fees, and payment deadlines.

Be clear about the cost of your service, and what the penalty is if payment is late, the event starts late, the client not coming on time for their session, or there’s a payment plan you work with. So, when their invoice is being generated they won’t be surprised.

  1. Copyright Ownership and Usage Rights

In this section, the agreement defines who holds the ownership and copyright of the photographs taken during the photography project. It specifies whether the photographer retains the copyright or transfers it to the client. This may also include prohibiting the clients from using the photographs without making reference to the photographer

Additionally, the agreement addresses the licensing terms, which govern how you and the clients can use the photographs. It may specify the duration, territory, and purpose for which you both are granted the license to use the images. For instance, the license may be limited to personal use, commercial use, or specific platforms.

  1. Property Release

This also known as a Location Release or a Model Release (when referring to individuals), is a legal document used to obtain permission from the owner of a property or the subjects in a photograph to use their likeness or property in commercial or promotional materials.

This means, If you used a private studio/ location or a subject in your image, it’s always good to secure releases before the shoot.

  1. Booking Terms and Policies

Some situations are beyond control whereby a client might need to reschedule, cancel or request a refund.

Think of this scenario as what can occur prior to the shoot day, the best thing to do is to highlight all of these in your contract and state clearly if there’s an additional charge for rescheduling, canceling a shoot, or no show-up.

  1. Post-Production Policy

This may also be referred to as the release date. Include the timeline for your edit process, completion of the edit, final result, and the delivery format. This Policy ensures that the client understands the timeline and process for receiving the final images. It also helps manage expectations, provides transparency, and allows both you and your client to plan accordingly.

  1. Additional Details

This section allows the inclusion of some requirements needed for the project that may not be covered in other sections.

They can be a special request, ads-on services, additional fees or expenses, and Confidentiality.

Now that you know it is crucial to provide a Photography contract in your photography business (photography business linking to how to start a photography business) Here are some free downloadable templates we have prepared for you:

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