What is a Freelance Model Contract?
A freelance model contract is a legally binding contract between two or more parties that outlines the roles and responsibilities of a freelance modelling agreement. It’s the starting point for every new project in your freelance modelling career.
You can customize a modeling contract template with all the necessary clauses to suit the details of your specific project. It’s similar to a freelance contract, however a modeling contract should be specific to your modeling services and needs.
Note: Sign up to Bonsai free and access this model contract template, plus a unique selection of templates for proposals, contracts, invoices, and more.
Why Do You Need a Model Contract Agreement?
If you’re a freelance model, or aspiring to become one, you need access to modeling contracts for multiple reasons. While this legally binding document is crucial to protect your work, it offers more than one benefit. Let’s take a look at a few:
It defines the project
Whilst projects can be discussed and developed verbally, it’s essential to get everything down in writing. This protects both parties in the case of any misunderstandings or disagreements when it comes to showtime.
The different aspects of the contract outline the responsibilities of parties involved at all stages of the project. It sets expectations and clearly outlines how the modelling process will be managed. This benefits both you and the client, and is key for a successful modelling project.
Define the scope of work
Among other things, a model agreement template outlines your responsibilities and deliverables for any project. The section highlighting the scope of work will include the responsibilities of the service provider, the project timelines or milestones to track progress, and the feedback and approval process to eliminate potential delays.
A clear distinction of work and review framework can maximize accountability and facilitate your work. Moreover, it can establish boundaries regarding what the client can and cannot expect from you and your modeling services.
For example, if you’ve been contracted for a shoot–clients can’t expect a runway walk too. This is a separate agreement that requires further discussion and payment, so make sure your scope is comprehensive and definitive.
It avoids confusion and conflict
A well-drafted agreement covers every aspect of the project—from booking schedules to payments. It explains your role as an independent contractor as well as your client’s responsibilities to establish clarity from the outset.
Besides, the contract also answers vital questions related to content ownership, billing, dispute resolution, and termination to leave no room for confusion or miscommunication.
Bonsai top tip: Working with a client regularly? Consider offering them a retainer agreement.
It limits scope creep
A model agreement template outlines your deliverables and timelines for any project. This is crucial to minimize scope creep if the client decides to change the project requirements abruptly.
Since the model agreement template lists down all the services and the payment terms for the project, it can establish boundaries of what the client can and cannot expect from you.
What Should be Included in Model Contracts
Now that you know why a modeling contract matters, let’s look at the essential elements of such a contract. Learning these aspects will allow you to customize any sample contract to meet your project’s demands.
Information relating to the parties involved
The introduction should include information on both parties, such as names and addresses. You should also state the primary purpose of the agreement, and classify your work status as a freelancer, an employee, or a partner at a modeling agency.
Scope of work
Once you’ve covered all the technical details, it’s time to dive in. First up—the scope of work. This is your opportunity to cover all bases and highlight:
- Project scope: include information on exactly what you’re being contracted to do. Make sure to be as comprehensive as possible to avoid scope creep. This should be a detailed view of the services you’ll be providing. When considering a modelling contract, this includes aspects such as number of pictures, outfit designs and changes, make up agreements, and more.
- Deliverables: let the client know what they can expect from you and when. Modelling isn’t just about showing up on the day—let them know what they can expect before and after the shoot.
- Milestones: detail how the project will progress to ensure everyone knows what’s happening when. Your client is likely dealing with other model contracts, a photography contract, a rental agreement, and plenty of other legal documents, so it’s important to define success for what you’re being hired to do!
Schedules and dates
A schedule of all the pre-approved dates for the project is another critical part of creating a freelance model contract. Finalize the dates as per your availability before the project starts to ensure everything’s picture perfect. Discuss these with the client, but make sure to be realistic with expectations.
A detailed breakdown of these dates will also help keep the project on track. If there are fittings to be scheduled or rehearsals to be run–include them here. Any project-related timings need to be included–whether that’s makeup and hair, or coordinating with other models.
You can also include any information regarding changing the schedule, such as time-frames for doing so and any associated consequences. Emergencies can come up for either party–it’s important to include considerations on what to do in the event that they do.
A model contract agreement extensively covers the project’s pricing with various installments, payment methods, and total agreed cost. This way, there are no questions or concerns when it comes to striking a pose.
The segment detailing the payment terms is a key part of your model contract as it ensures you’re adequately compensated for your work. Before drafting this part of the contract, make sure to have a detailed discussion with the client about their preferences and requirements.
You need to mention the compensation and payment details to clarify how you will bill the client and the acceptable payment methods to process the invoice. Here you can also spell out any milestone payments you expect throughout the project, such as on the day of the shoot or following the first round of edits.
Moreover, the agreement can also contain clauses to penalize late payments and raise a legal dispute in case of non-payment—necessary to protect an independent contractor against problematic clients.
Bonsai top tip: Use a modeling invoice template for professional and easy invoicing.
Unless an agreement credits your work to somebody else, your work is your intellectual property. As a freelance model, you can choose to sign an exclusive contract, a mother agency contract, or any other kind. Whichever type of contract you sign, defining intellectual property ownership is crucial.
So, this part of the contract determines who owns the work when all is said and done. Make sure to discuss this with the client, as each project is different. Typically, however, the client enjoys ownership of the final product.
In any case, it’s essential to answer the ownership question and designate the copyright owner in the contract.
Termination of contract
A freelance model contract can end in two ways—either through timely completion or through untimely termination.
You might find yourself in a fix when you fail to find common ground with your client—leading to the untimely termination of the contract. That’s why it’s essential to have clauses in place that protect against the client abruptly terminating the contract.
A termination clause informs the breaching party of the consequences for breaching the contract. A termination clause is crucial to maintaining a transparent relationship wherein each party understands the consequences of their actions. It’s a must for ensuring you can strut your stuff without worrying about the fine print.
You still need to talk the talk before you can go ahead and walk the walk. Your modeling agreement should include some standard clauses relating to the project. Here’s what you should look to add depending on the project:
- Non-disclosure agreement: clarify your and the client’s confidentiality requirements to avoid the release of any confidential information
- Exclusivity: explain whether you’re working exclusively for this client or you’re free to juggle multiple modelling projects simultaneously
- Feedback and approval: describe the process for review, modifications, and acceptance to avoid endless to and fro
- Dispute resolution: establish the process to reach a fair and mutually agreeable resolution if your relationship with the client turns sour
Mentioning these aspects will add more weight to your model agreement and ensure that everything is in order.
Bonsai top tip: As a freelancer, there are certain tax regulations you need to consider–check out what applies to you here.
What's the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?
Drafting a freelance model contract from scratch is nothing short of a hassle. Bonsai enables you to use your time wisely with its full-fledged modeling contract template. This detailed legal document covers the ins and outs of your modelling project to secure your relationship with a new client.
Here are a few ways Bonsai simplifies contract creation:
- Hassle-free and convenient: a well-drafted model contract from Bonsai covers all the clauses that you may or may not be aware of. So, you get a reliable document to do the job in just a few clicks instead of spending hours creating your own. This gives you more time to work on active projects and further develop your modeling skills.
- Vetted information: let Bonsai be your attorney or law firm. With legally-vetted contract templates, you have nothing to fact-check or fret about. You’re a model, not a lawyer–let Bonsai handle the legal advice.
- Completely customizable: generate a customizable contract for modeling projects in minutes and make sure you’re not wasting time creating contract templates that are full of errors. Instead, you can focus on bringing the client’s vision to life.
How to create a modeling contract with Bonsai
Making an agreement template for your modeling services with Bonsai is as striking a pose.
- Sign up for Bonsai free
- Find your desired template—in this case: modelling
- Edit it to fit your client needs
Then, you can send this off to your client to be signed electronically without ever leaving the platform. No-hassle, just efficient business and looking professional every step of the way.
Modeling contract template FAQs
What should a freelance contract include?
A freelance modeling contract should include:
- Information relating to the parties involved
- Scope of work
- Schedules and dates
- Payment details
- Termination of contract
- Other factors
Adding these sections will ensure you’ve got all the key information in your model contract.
Do freelancers need contracts?
Yes, freelance models need a modeling contract to protect their interests in case of a misunderstanding or issue. A contract ensures that both parties are aware of their obligations, and what happens if they fail to meet them.
Simple model contract template
Download this freelance model contract to create a solid foundation for your freelancing career and confidently onboard new clients. Bonsai’s detailed and carefully crafted contract template is your key to success.