Photos are immortal. Is there a better way than photography to reminiscence over your old memories, capture the precious life moments, promote your products, or obtain amazing job offers if you are a model, and whatnot.

If you are out in the market looking for an amazing photographer, or if you are a photographer already and are about to finalize a deal – it is likely that you will need a photography contract down the line.

So, what is a photography contract, and what all should it cover? Let’s find out.

What is the Photography Contract?

A photography contract is a legally-recognized document that covers every bit of detail about the photography project undertaken. It typically memorializes the agreement that a client (ordering the photography services) and a photographer (providing the services) mutually enter into. It includes wedding photography, portrait photography, commericial photography and event photography contracts.

Undoubtedly, there could be multiple road maps for a project. But only one of them, usually a mutually-beneficial one, is adopted. Apart from just verbally communicating this road map, it is a wise decision to get it properly scribed. Then each party may use it as a reference while progressing through the project.

Notice how we stated “legally-recognized”. This means the contract should be taken seriously and approved as and when needed by legal entities. This also means the photography contract shouldn’t be created on just about any piece of paper. It should follow a certain format, contain required information, and be signed accordingly by all parties involved.

That’s where the attorney-drafted free photography contract templates by CocoSign come in. Just download, edit to meet your project requirements, and distribute.

Why Do I Need A Photography Contract?

Even though a contract is of immense importance, it’s surprisingly skipped by many companies and photographers alike. Here are the strongest reasons why you need a photography client contract in place:

  • A deeper understanding of the project

A photography contract provides a deeper understanding of the project. Both the parties will know exactly what is expected of each other, hence reducing chances of failure.

Without a proper photography contract, if the communication was limited to verbal, then there’s a high chance of mismanagement owing to fading memory.

  • Hold everyone accountable

Without a photography contract, it’s not easy to hold any party accountable for the work done or mistakes made. But with a contract in place documenting everything about the project, it’s easy to conclude who’s responsible for which part of the project and therefore make adjustments accordingly. The higher the number of independent parties involved is, the more fruitful the photography contracts will be.

  • Usage of photographs

Photography is one of the industries where copyright and usage violations are common affairs. In some cases, violations escalate and cost thousands of dollars for violators. To protect your work or sell your work rightfully, you must have a photography contract in place. For companies, this is essential to obtain the copyright of the images and videos from the photographer and his or her team.

  • Peace of mind

By entering into a photography contract, you can be sure that your commitment won’t go wasted if the other party violates the agreed terms and conditions. You can legally seek reimbursement for the damages or delays caused by the violation.

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What to Include In a Photography Contract?

Generally speaking, the photography contract should detail everything about the project in brief.

But at the bare minimum, here are the sections that your photography contract must include:

  • Scope of the project

The photography contract should explain everything there is to know about the project in hand. This includes start date, turnaround/delivery date, location, lightings, background requirements, post-production editing requests, and subsequent fees. Will there be models involved? And if so, who'll be paying for them? The photography contract should touch upon all of these.

  • Payment schedule

How is the photographer going to be paid? Upfront one-time payment, in installments, or after delivery of work? Is there a chance that the requirements will change since this factor may affect pricing?

Both parties should plan the payment structure well enough to avoid misunderstanding.

  • Copyright ownership

Who holds the copyright to the photos taken and videos made? Does the photographer need to be credited if it's distributed commercially? Copyright are serious issues in the world of media. So develop this section with utmost care.

  • Cancellation policy

What scenario and turns of events will lead to the cancellation of the project? In such cases, will the photographer be reimbursed? If they have already been paid, are they obliged to make a refund? The cancellation policy section should answer these critical questions.

The thing to note here is that you do not have to explain every section in depth. You can create separate documents that cover the particular section thoroughly and have your photography contract reference it. Depending on the complexity of the project, you may wish to expand the sections.

If you’re looking for ready-made photographer contract templates, do check out the huge collection of free contract templates from CocoSign. Just edit required fields, print the sample photography template out, and you can start using it as a legal agreement. CocoSign photography templates can be used by both photographers and companies alike.


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