Whether you are just getting your first photography clients, or you have been in business for a while, a photography client agreement form is an essential document to incorporate to your onboarding process. This contract ensures that both the photographer and clients are aware of their responsibilities, clarifies the expected compensations and limits future conflicts by creating a shared understanding of services to be provided.
Furthermore, a photography client agreement helps to keep you and your work legally protected by setting clear expectations for the work relationship. To help you draft your own agreement, we will go over some of the most important elements you must make sure to cover every time.
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Essential Elements to Include in Your Photography Contract
While the specific elements you cover on your agreement form might vary depending on the type of photography services you offer, there are certain aspects that must not be missing. You can use these to outline a generic photography contract template and make changes as you need them. Remember this is a legally binding agreement so you must pay close attention to detail as any omission or error can result in legal ramifications.
Here's what you should cover.
Begin your photography contract (client agreement form), with a section for both your and your client's contact details. This includes full name (and business name if applicable), email address, phone number, and billing/physical address. This is a legal document, so all parties in the agreement must be identified in this section.
Scope of Services
It's crucial that your contract clearly outlines the range of the photography services you'll be offering, as well as a timeline. This is to ensure everyone involved is aware of what, when, where, and how. Specify the start and end dates of the services, what content you'll be shooting, a timeline explaining when you'll have the images delivered to your client, and even the specific images you will be taking.
Include the amount of photographs you'll offer, the conditions under which the images are chosen, and the image format, as well as any specifications like photo books, sizes, and print quantities.
Pricing & Payment Terms
Next, your photographer contract should clearly state the costs associated with the services you'll be delivering including a breakdown of such fees and a description of who will be responsible for paying any additional costs you might incur. Additionally, include specifications about retainers, interim payments, final payment conditions, and deposits, along with the payment schedule.
Don't forget to add all of your accepted payment methods, including checks, cash, credit/debit card payments or online payments (Stripe, PayPal, etc.), as well as what might happen if a payment is returned or a check is rejected.
Copyright & Usage Rights
It's important that your photography contracts include a section to outline your copyrights and how your clients will be allowed to use any image you provide. These may vary depending on the types of clients you have, for example, in a wedding photography contract your clients would not be allowed to use your images for commercial purposes. Commercial clients might have a different set of specifications to clearly explain how they may and may not use your images.
Include a model release in your photography agreement (or present one separately if you wish), to obtain your client's authorization to use the images for your own commercial purposes. It's always smart to obtain this consent beforehand, even if you don't initially plan to use these shots for self-promotion.
Limit of Liability
A liability limitation clause protects you from unanticipated events like natural catastrophes, equipment malfunction, or personal illnesses. This section specifies whether you'll be sending a substitute photographer, issuing a partial or full refund, and overall, to what extent you will be held accountable for inconveniences due to circumstances out of your control.
Last but not least, your photography agreement should include a cancellation provision that outlines the procedures that must be followed in the event that you or your customer needs to terminate the agreement. Details like the deadline for the mandatory notification and what happens if it is canceled should be included in this section.
Use Our Free Photography Contract Templates
Good news! You don’t have to create your photography contracts yourself. Skip the headache and download Bonsai’s free contract templates, which you can fully customize to add your own branding elements and change up fields to your liking. To help streamline the formalities, you can have the contract signed online by incorporating an e signature making your contract legally binding.
Whether you need a wedding, sports, editorial, portrait photography contract or anything else in between, Bonsai is your best bet! All our free contract templates have been legally reviewed by top lawyers and verified by thousands of independent professionals in your industry.
Get your contract template today, and while you’re at it, check out the endless administrative tools Bonsai has to offer. They’re free for the first 14 days!