What contracts should a photographer have?
An event photography contract should have terms which allows both parties to have a mutual understanding of the expectations, costs, date of the shoot, copyright ownership, payment schedule, and objectives for the project. Without the contract you could risk late payment, false assumptions or maybe even worse.
Can I write my own photography contract?
You can definitely write your own photography contract. However, if you want one already legally reviewed, check out Bonsai's photography contract template. You can be sure that your contract includes all the relevant information needed and will protect or cover you..
Is there a free event photography contract template?
Yes! Check out Bonsai's free event photography contract template so you can start creating your very own professional invoices and sending them out to clients within minutes! Time efficient and easy, what are you waiting for?
What is an event photography contract?
An event photography contract is a written agreement that outlines the photographer's work for a client's event. Your event photography contract should encompass all details like the event date, event location, and the photography services included.
Why you need an event photography agreement
Photography contracts are a must-have to ensure both the photographer and the client agrees to the scope of work. They protect both parties should the expected work not turn out as planned.
As a photographer, you need an agreement to let your client know you're to be taken seriously and to cover your back should the event not go ahead or the client has a change of heart.
What should be included in an event photography contract?
There are many different types of events you could be shooting. However, what you'll need to include in a general event photography contract is relatively the same.
Even if you have prior written consent to shoot the event from your client—via email, for example—it doesn't count for anything if it's not in a signed and dated contract.
Here's what you need to include:
Named Parties and Relationships
Kick your contract off on the right foot with all-around introductions. Here you'll want to list the photographer and any assistants you're bringing to the event.
Although you won't need to list every guest attending, there may be a few people on the client's side you'll want to list.
For example, let's say you're shooting corporate events and a business is paying your contract. Here you can get prior written permission to take direction from three-four members of staff from the business.
Detailed description of work
This is not the specifics of what you're going to deliver, it’s a detailed description of what the client wishes and expects from you. You'll also want to include the event location in this clause.
For example, you may state you're shooting three corporate events and will appear for three hours at each event.
Event date and description
An event planning contract template need to cover the event data and specific times you'll be shooting.
This is especially important at events like weddings. They are especially crucial for a wedding planner contract. There's no point in hiring a photographer if you're only contracted to shoot three hours of people dancing at the end of the night.
Event Project requirements and responsibilities
Some of the best legal advice we can give for your contract is to detail the expected work. This is so important for photography as, although the client may see you snapping thousands of photos on the day, that doesn't mean they're going to get thousands of photos.
Here, both parties agree to a number of edited photos that the photographer will provide for the event by a certain date.
A top tip for shooting events: try to stagger out sending your edits over a few days or weeks. This way, you keep the client happy while the event is still at the top of their mind.
Check out our scope of work templates to provide your client with further details on project requirements.
This one's specific, depending on the type of event you're shooting. Some clients may be using the photos online, so they may not care too much for the size of your photos.
However, if you have clients hoping to see your photos in print, then size is pretty important! Work with your client and specify the work product together.
Let's get you paid! It's important to keep in mind if you're the exclusive photographer for this event, if the photos will be for commercial use or private use, and any additional services the client has requested that are typically out of scope for an event photoshoot.
In your payment details include:
- Hourly or project rate
- Name, email, and mailing address for the photography invoice
- Payment terms and conditions
- Final date for the full payment
You'll definitely want to seek legal advice should you wish to hold copyright ownership of the photographs. A specialized law firm can provide legal advice on this.
However, if you're happy to hand over copyright and ownership to your client—as is often the case with photography event agreements—then let the client know they get all rights to any photos you take.
It's also a good idea to state where they can use these photographs in the future. For example, on their social media sites, in print, advertising campaigns, or elsewhere.
Termination of contract
Events get canceled for many different reasons; we all know that and are used to that by now. However, it's important to establish the difference between an unforeseeable circumstance and the event getting canceled due to client neglect or change of heart.
If the client wishes to terminate your contract, this clause is the most important thing they'll be looking at. If you wish, it can include legal fees, penalty fees paid, attorneys fees, and legal counsel. Don't worry; the Bonsai contract template has this clause ready for you.
Lastly, wrap up your contract with any tools you'll need access to, responsibility for responses, and extra information unique to your specific agreement.
Simple event photography contract template
Here you'll find your contract template for your event photography services.
Remember, this template is legally vetted by the pros. It has everything you need for a standard event photography agreement; all you need to do is make a few tweaks. Let's get these contracts signed!
What's the benefit of using Bonsai instead of editing a template yourself?
Bonsai templates are legally vetted and ready when you are. They live online, which means that as long as you can access your account, you can access them from any device.
They're also kept up to date, if there's a change in law, your online template will reflect that.
How to create an event photographer contract with Bonsai
Creating your contract in Bonsai can be done in minutes. Set up your account, and you'll have the option to start a contract from scratch or work from a pre-made template that's specific to your service.
Once you've either build one from scratched or have edited a template to meet your needs, you can send the contract off to your client and will be notified when it's signed and legally binding.
Event photography contract template FAQs
How much should a photographer charge for events?
$150-$250 with a 2-hour minimum hire. However, this depends on the name you've created for yourself, your experience, the type of event, and the deliverables.
For more advice on getting into photography, check out this article.
Does a freelance photographer always need to write an Event Photography Contract?
Yes, yes, yes. No matter how big or small the event is, no matter how much you're getting paid, you need a contract in place.
This will protect you and your work, as well as give the client peace of mind knowing they're working with a professional and you're taking the job seriously.