All photographers should be aware of their rights. So, if you’re stepping into the demanding freelance world of photography, you should know how to protect yourself and your work. That’s why photographers need to resort to photography contracts to set boundaries between them and their clients. If you’re keen on creating one yourself, we’ve prepared a must-include list for your photography contract.
Table of Contents
One of the most important things to include is the contact information of both yourself and your clients. That includes names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and similar essential info — you can find HoneyBook free photography contract templates online to ease your job.
Note that if you’re offering your services through an LLC (limited liability company), you should include the company’s contact information rather than your own. The same goes for your client if a business, not an individual, hires you.
Schedule and Scope of Work
This part should answer the questions of what, when, and where. It is crucial to note the exact timeline of the shoot. Whether it’s one day or more, you should be very clear about what services you will be provided on those days, including the starting and ending times.
Similarly, include the precise scope of the work you are planning on providing. The more detailed you can be, the better. That way, you will avoid any surprises or conflicts with your client.
Although photography is creative work, you shouldn’t take your sweet time in post-production and deliver the product in an untimely manner. That’s why it is crucial to set precise delivery dates. Similarly, you need to establish boundaries with the client as they cannot expect you to deliver a thousand shots in a week.
Additionally, you should include the number of photos you’ll deliver, image format, and other specifics like photo albums, books, etc.
Copy and Usage Rights
Some clients might not understand that they do not get the copyrights to the images even though they’re paying for the shoot. You should clearly state that you own the rights to the photographs you create to avoid misunderstandings.
However, note that usage rights vary depending on the client. For example, if you’re shooting a wedding, you can note that the client cannot use the photos for commercial purposes but can post them online for personal use.
Another section that you might want to include is attribution. So, the client should include your name or your business’s name when posting photos to social media.
Some photographers opt for separate model and property releases, but you can include them in the photography contract if you want to kill two birds with one stone. Of course, if you don’t think you’ll ever use those photos for commercial purposes, you can skip this part altogether. However, if you plan on using them commercially, make sure your clients are aware of that and get their approval. The same goes for properties that might be private but part of your shoot, for example, a wedding resort.
Editing and Post-Production
This is a significant segment of the contract as it will state what kind of work you plan on doing in post-production, including editing the photos. It should also contain some rules on how much the client is allowed to edit the final product or whether that’s permissible at all. Your work is a part of your brand, so you should be careful with what post-production rules you allow.
One of the crucial parts of a photography contract is the payment section. Firstly, you should note whether the client has paid any deposits and their amounts. Next, remember to include the full price of your services (including the deposit). Lastly, clearly state if you have agreed on a payment schedule and the dates on which the payments should be delivered.
Note that you can add late fees if the clients do not pay on time.
Lastly, state what happens in case of cancelations from both your and your clients’ sides. If your client cancels, note whether there’s a cancelation fee and what requirements the client needs to fulfill to cancel fully. Similarly, include what happens if you need to cancel your services.