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Table of Contents

What is a photography proposal?

A photography proposal is a legally binding document drafted for clients looking to contract photography services for events or other occasions. The proposal includes proposed deliverables, pricing structure, and delivery timeline. 

Simply put, a photography proposal highlights a clients’ needs and how they can be met by a photographer’s skillful work. 

Writing a proposal can be overwhelming. You want to provide enough detail to inform prospective clients, but not so much that it overloads them. That’s why it’s good to know what to include. 

What to include in the photography proposal

Retaining a potential client’s interest becomes a whole lot easier when you’ve got a good starting point. Consider adding these important points in photography proposals for portraying your value for money.

Cover letter

This is your first chance to impress clients with a dazzling introduction that tells them you’re the perfect fit for their photography assignment. A beautifully designed cover letter will pique clients’ interest, compel them to keep reading, and give a sense of your offerings. 

this image shows Bonsai's photography template cover letter that introduce clients to the proposal by highlighting why they need photography services and how you're their best option

Executive summary

An executive summary sums up the main points of a proposal. This section helps clients to understand whether what they want is included or not. A good executive summary grabs clients’ attention with a condensed version of what’s in the proposal

Company overview

A company overview is an essential element of your proposal. This is the place to provide background information on yourself or your photography business. Here’s an idea of what to include:

  • History: for offering a narrative about how the company came to be
  • Photography services: that you provide to clients
  • Photography gear: you use to take picture-perfect shots
  • Strengths: you have gained over the years
  • Testimonials: from working with other clients

Team members

If you work with a team of photographers, this is your chance to show who they are and what they’re good at. If you run your firm solo as a freelance photographer, that’s great too—use this section to highlight your achievements and unique approach to photography projects. 

The length of this section varies depending on the number of team members. Here’s what you can include in this section:

  • Name and photo: for introducing team members
  • Team roles: so that the client know who they’ll be working with on what
  • Specialization: for showcasing the individual photography skills of each team member
  • Biography: add some information about your team members, such as education, experience, accolades, and interests
  • Contact information: include information on how to get in touch with your team

Photography portfolio

This is your time to shine. A photography portfolio showcases your best work to potential clients. It shows the breadth of your skills and should be tailored to the client you are sending it to. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind when creating a portfolio:

  • Make it job-specific: so that the client understands your ability to deliver the project in question
  • High-quality images: that showcase your best work
  • Image styles: for showing a wide variety of artistic abilities
  • Include sub-categories: for highlighting your different areas of expertise

Project description

A project description elaborates the details of the proposed project. This section offers a high-level overview of the project scope. Consider including:

  • Project timeline: to mention when key events will take place, such as a photoshoot or editing session
  • Expected hours: you’ll spend on the project, including before and after the event
  • Rescheduling details: such as how many days notice is required for rescheduling
  • Project location: to specify where photographs will be taken
  • Client requests: to detail any specifics requested by the client for the event date
this image shows a dark photography setup illuminated by lights focusing on a white backdrop
Source

Project deliverables

This section outlines the number and types of photographs you’ll deliver upon the completion of the project. Project deliverables help clients to understand whether you understand their requirements correctly. 

Here’s an idea of what you can look to include in the photography project deliverables: 

  • Images: add the number of images and their resolution
  • Image delivery: to mention how you’ll deliver the images and in what form
  • Prints: add if you’ll be providing professional prints or albums
  • Aerial images: if you are offering aerial shots or videos
  • Post-production: if your client needs image post-production services, such as image editing

You can also include some information on the legal side of your images, such as certificates of authenticity and property rights. This will all be further developed in the photography contract, where terms are binding and concrete.

When creating a winning proposal, it’s a good idea to  talk to clients first. Understanding their requirements and making any necessary changes to project deliverables will help ensure your proposal meets their expectations.

Fees and finances

This section mentions the proposed fees for completing the project. Based on a client’s needs, you can either add service-specific pricing tables, package pricing, or an hourly rate. Don’t forget to mention inclusions and exclusions to avoid performing services you’re not being compensated for.

Photo delivery

Use this section to outline photo delivery milestones. Add these milestones only if you allow clients to choose from raw images for editing or print delivery. This helps ensure clients are on the same page about timelines for raw and edited photos. Here are some important milestones to consider:

  • Raw images: for selecting raw files based on the clients’ preferences
  • Edited images: for showing first-round edits to clients and taking their feedback
  • Final delivery: for delivering the final image files
  • Print delivery: for delivering prints in preferred formats

Ownership, responsibilities, cancellation and rescheduling

This section lays out usage rights, obligations, and cancellation/rescheduling clauses. For creating a truly informative and transparent photography proposal, consider adding:

  • Photography copyrights: to reassure the client that final images belong to them
  • Usage rights: to mention clients can use these photos however they prefer
  • Credit: request clients to give you credit while sharing photos on social media
  • Alteration: specify whether alteration are possible after final delivery of images
  • Additional hours: for which photographers must be compensated
  • Degraded coverage: clients can’t hold freelance photographers responsible for degraded coverage due to unforeseen factors such as lighting, space, and natural calamity
  • Cancellation/rescheduling: to mention policies related to rescheduling, cancellation, and refund

You can add more details on these in the contract which acts as a legally binding document. 

this image shows a person sat in front of a laptop configuring the photography setting on a professional camera
Source

How to write a photography proposal

Writing successful proposals is all about conveying that you understand clients’ needs and preferences, and are the best bet to adequately meet them. Now that you know what to include in a photography proposal, let’s look at how to put it all together:

Find out exactly what the client wants

Understanding client needs is at the heart of any successful business. Clients want to see that you understand what they want and have a clear idea of the deliverables. To ensure you tick all the boxes, consider having a chat with your client about:

  1. Image styles they like
  2. Custom photoshoot requirements
  3. Photography gear preferences (if any)
  4. Number of photos required and the desired quality
  5. Number of crew members allowed on site

Highlight what sets you apart 

Photographs capture memories and tell stories. That’s why clients want the very best photographer on the job. You must convince them why you’re the one. Use this section to explain how your previous experience as a professional photographer along with your photography skills makes you a perfect fit for this job.

Include a CTA

Help the client understand what’s next. Whether you want them to sign the proposal and send it back, or pay an advanced booking fee, mention the next step in detail. You can also use this section to mention what happens after they sign the proposal, and how prospective clients turn into new clients.

this image shows some text telling prospective clients what they need to do to proceed and includes a high-quality image of some beauty products and flowers to highlight past projects

Creating a photography proposal is simple with Bonsai 

Writing a photography proposal may not be your forte, but it doesn’t need to be. Bonsai offers customizable photography proposal templates--and other related templates--so that you can focus on what you do best. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Sign up for free to Bonsai
  2. Find the photography proposal of your choice
  3. Edit and customize your contract

Now, send the photography proposal to your client for acceptance and signature—without ever leaving the platform.

Photography Proposal FAQs

What information goes into a photography proposal?

The information that goes into a persuading and appealing photography proposal is:

  1. Cover page
  2. Executive summary
  3. Company overview
  4. Team members
  5. Photography portfolio
  6. Project description
  7. Project deliverables
  8. Fees and finances
  9. Photo delivery
  10. Ownership, responsibilities, and cancellation/rescheduling policy

A photography proposal is a photographer’s chance to showcase skills and expertise that align with the job at hand.

How long should a photography proposal be?

A photography proposal doesn’t have a specific word count. It doesn’t really matter as long as a photography proposal has what it takes to persuade the client. 

Consider making it simple, easy-to-read, and error-free while keeping the tonality engaging. When possible, use free photography proposal templates that make your job easier.

Photography Proposal Template

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