As a photographer, it’s important you have your own photography contract. A contact is an agreement that’s put in place to protect you and the person your photographing. In your contract, you’ll be able to write out all of your policies and other information to ensure the shoot goes without error.
The contract will also be your cushion to fall on if there are any issues to come about after the shoot takes place. You can create your own contract that consists of your own specific requirements and information. Before conducting your shoot, you should be sure the client reads over the contract and signs.
To ensure your photographer contract includes all of the essential pieces, you’ll want to continue reading below. Here are several key pieces of information that you need to include in your own contract.
Contact Information for Both Parties
Contact information for both parties should be listed on all pages of the contract. This way, if copies were to be made, each person’s name is on all sheets of paper. For your contact information, be sure to list your full legal name and the name of your photography company.
When you have your client fill out their information, be sure to have them use their full legal name as well. Phone numbers, email addresses, and social media platforms can also be filled in. Include a section for each one of these so you’ll have a few different ways of contacting them.
If multiple clients will be shot in the photoshoot, then be sure to collect all names and other information from them as well.
Necessary Dates Regarding the Shoot
The contract should also include the date the contract was reviewed and signed by the client and the date of the services. Along with the date of the shoot, be sure to include the time of the shoot and length of the shoot as well.
Whether you charge by the hour or by the session, it’s essential for you to have this information in writing so nothing can be questioned. If the client wants you to do another shoot, write up a second contract for the second shoot. This will ensure all dates, times, and lengths of shoots are correct.
You can use a contract template from ApproveMe if you need something drawn up quickly that’ll have all of the information and sections you need.
What are your own policies regarding your photoshoots? You need to have a section that describes your policies in detail for your clients to fully understand. You should clearly write out your cancellation policies, your deposit requirements, your refund policies, and how you handle weather issues.
How many days in advance should your clients give you notice of a cancellation? What happens if they cancel out of this window? What’s the fee?
Is there a required deposit and if so, how much? Is this deposit refundable? What circumstances make it non-refundable?
If unpredicted bad weather forces you to cancel the shoot, what’s your policy on this? Will you reschedule without a charge? Will you refund their deposit?
Have all your policies written out and explained as clearly as possible to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings.
Amount of Payment and Type of Payment
Different photographers accept different forms of payment. With today’s modern technology, there are plenty of payment forms that can be accepted. Each photographer charges their own fees as well.
How much will you charge for the shoot and how do you charge? Do you charge by the hour or by the session? Do you charge differently depending on the type of shoot it is?
Answer these questions in your contract and then list the different accepted forms of payment as well. You can also include payment due dates if this pertains to you.
Responsibilities of Each Party
Your responsibilities and the responsibilities of the client should be listed in the contract. The responsibilities of each party might differ depending on what kind of photoshoot you’re doing. If you’re shooting for an event, what all will be included in your shoot?
Will you edit the photos as part of the agreement? If a client wants a specific it done, how much time does he or she have to send it back to you with the request? How long will you have to then make these edits?
Are you okay with the client editing your photos after sending the photos to them? If not, be sure to list this in the contract. The responsibilities for each party can be as basic or detailed as you need them to be.
Type of Photoshoot
As a photographer, you most likely do several different types of photoshoots. Be sure to list in the contract what type of photoshoot you’ll be doing for that specific client. The type of a photoshoot you do and outline in the contract is important because if the client is unhappy with the type of shoot, you have a contract to back you up.
Under the section that lists the type of shoot being done, be sure to list details about that kind of shoot. What does this type of shoot entail? What should be expected of you and the client?
How the Photos Will Be Delivered
Clients will be excited to see how the photos came out. It’s sometimes difficult to be patient. If your clients have no specific delivery date in mind, they might become anxious.
Because of this, you should include a section in your contract that describes how the photos will be delivered and the timeline for their delivery as well. Will you send the photos through a drive online, or will you have a disc that you’ll place them on?
Do you offer several different forms of delivery and can a client request to receive them in different ways? Can you give an exact date of when you’ll send them to the client or at least a general window of when they can expect to receive them?
Rights to an Image for Both Parties
Remember, you’re taking pictures of other people. Your clients might not understand how copyright law works when it comes to your photos. Be sure to have this clearly written out in your contract.
You want your clients to understand that you hold the rights to these photos. You’re able to use these photos in your portfolio or on your website. If your clients want to make copies of these photos, they’ll need to request the right to do so.
Think about what rights you want to have over these photos and what you’re okay with your clients doing with these photos such as sharing them on social media or selling them to websites or magazines. Have all of your intentions made clear as well.
Let the clients know what you intend on doing with their photos as well. If you’re going to post on your own social media or website, be sure to tell them that this is part of the agreement by listing it in the contract.
Having your clients sign a model release will ensure you have the right to use the photos as you please.
Limit of Liability Insurance
Should something happen during the shoot, you don’t want to be responsible. This is why you need to have limit of liability insurance. If any injuries or damages were to occur during the shoot, you don’t want to be held responsible.
The limit of liability will protect you. If you’re shooting a wedding event and happen to trip over the DJ booth cords and cause damages or ruin the event, the client can sue you. With insurance in place and a signature on the contract, they can’t.
Most generic photography contract templates won’t include things like this, so be sure to write up your own or add to a template you’re using.
A contract is nothing without signatures. You can have your clients or models fill out several sheets of information about the shoot, but without their signature at the bottom of the page, it means nothing.
Never begin shooting until you have that signature and be sure to sign it yourself.
What’s in Your Photography Contract?
What information or specific sections do you include in your photography contract? Use this guide above to help guide you throughout the process of creating yours. Remember, your contract should be specific to you and the type of shoot you’re doing.
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