Create a free

Photography Contract Sample

with a bulletproof template & simple e-signing

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Save time

with simple contracts & invoices

Protect yourself

from late payments & scope creep

Get peace of mind

with a standard & transparent process

Bonsai handles the back office.
You focus on the work you love.

How it works

Choose a contract

from a library of vetted, plain English templates

Select your terms

and fully customize them based on your needs

Sign electronically

and store securely

Create beautiful invoices

and accept payments worldwide

Do the work you love

Bonsai handles the back office

Freelance photographers have to learn to protect themselves while making money and doing what they love; that is, clicking the camera away! One way of protecting yourself is by studying the photography contract sample and learning how to write one. The sample can be the difference between profits and massive losses. It can determine the direction the rest of your freelancing career in photography take. Making good money without a contract is hard.

While you trust that your client will pay you on time, and do their part as expected, they may just turn you down when you least expect. You’ve not met them before, and so, how can you trust them without a contract? Therefore, as a photography freelancer, you aren’t safe working without a binding agreement. Both you and the client need to define your responsibilities and your boundaries. Again, as a freelancer, you need to let your client know the limit of your services, to avoid handling tasks that the client isn’t going to pay for.

A photography contract sample guides you on what your contract needs to look like. From the structure to the content. Most of these samples are done by experts, and, therefore, you won’t miss out on the most important details.  

Here’s what the photography contract sample can bring to your attention and that of the client.

Image Credits:

1. A good understanding of your limits

The best freelance photographers understand their limits. You’re only supposed to handle the tasks you were hired to do. Failure to define your limits may cause you to offer services that the client isn’t going to pay for or make you ineffective.

Today, more than ever before, it has become important for freelancers to know what they can and can’t do. This is because it can be too tempting to take whatever project or gig that comes along! While that could guarantee you money, you will suffer in the long-term. Why? Clients will notice that you’re not quite as effective in some niches. All your shortcomings will emerge thus killing a source of income.

Of course, losing the job is the last thing you’d want to happen to you as a freelancer. You know how hard it can be to win a freelance project, and so, you should take care of the one you have. Take time to go through the photography contract sample to see how well you can define your roles and your limits.

At most, you can only do three things well in any field of photography and life in general! So, don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Be specific and realistic.

2. Talk about invoicing

Of what use is the photography contract sample if you can’t use it to talk about money? Well, your client knows they’re supposed to pay you after completing the work, but you must be having your terms of payment as a freelance photographer. Any talk regarding money has to highlight invoicing issues and concerns. Like, when do you want to be paid, and how much are you charging for your services?

You need as much income as you can get through your freelancing skills. Invoicing helps you to keep track of all that income. For this reason, it’s an important aspect or element when negotiating the photography contract with any of your photography clients. 

Therefore, define your terms of payment clearly in the photography contract. Borrow information from the photography contract sample, if you aren’t sure how to go about this, or if you need additional information on the same.

While still on this issue, freelance photographers should be careful to make complete invoices only. That’s the only way you can be sure you’ll get your payment and at the right time. Make sure it contains everything that’s required for the payment to be completed.

3. Talk about copyright issues

Do not leave issues regarding copyright hanging! Otherwise, the photography contract sample will not be of any use to you. Freelance photographers can fall into the temptation of seeking to impress their clients. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that! However, it’s important to protect yourself and – more critically – your work.

For this reason, the contract should stipulate that you intend to retain the copyright for any work a freelance client commissioned you to do. Most photography contract sample contain this part, but in case the one you’re using doesn’t have it, be sure to include. There are serious consequences that come with omitting the copyright part in your freelance photography contract. So, make sure you talk about copyright issues in the contract.

Failure to retain copyright allows clients to use the photos in more ways than they told you, and you know how costly it can be. So, say something before it’s too late into the day.

In addition to the aforementioned, you also need to protect yourself with the appropriate clauses. In photography, the more clauses you include in your contract with clients the more protection you accord yourself. As you probably know by now, freelance photographers are at risk of losing everything they make. Because of this, they have to learn to include the following clauses in their contracts:

  • Exclusivity clauses
  • Dinner clauses
  • Force majeure
  • Lab errors
  • Substitution policy

In most cases, you’ll find this information well-outlined in the photography contract sample. All you need to do is to go through this part careful and pick out what’s useful for your photography contract.

Take a look at the sample below.

Image Credits:

4. Giving your clients your all

The clauses serve a crucial purpose, as already stated. They are not only beneficial to the freelance photographers but also protect clients. Remember, the agreement isn’t one-sided. Both of you need to agree, and that means the photography contract is meant to protect the two of you. The more you protect yourself and the clients’ interests, the easier it is for you to offer excellent services to your clients.

Many clients approach freelance photographers with a higher dose of apprehension. Some do so because of previous experiences while for others the apprehension is the result of stories they have heard. Therefore, you’ve got to prove to them that what they’ve heard or know about you is actually true. You can only achieve this by offering quality services based on what you promised in the contract. Give them assurance that you’ll deliver as stated in the contract. Go through the photography contract sample carefully to get this right.

The photography contract sample puts your clients’ fears at ease.

As demonstrated here, clients need to know that the freelance photographer is a trustworthy professional. Getting everything – including your promises and vows to clients – down on paper is the best way of reassuring them that you’re the real deal! It’s unfair for the freelance photographers to expect clients to trust their word only. Prepare the contract, sign it together with clients, and win their trust! It’s much better this way.