A Crash Course on Contracts for Photographers


As a photographer, you know that every job comes with its own set of unique requirements and expectations. That’s why it’s important to have a photography contract in place—it ensures that everyone involved is on the same page and that all parties are protected. But what exactly should be in your photography contract? Let’s explore five key components to contracts for photographers

1) Payment Terms & Timelines

The payment terms should state when payment is due, how much the client will owe, and what forms of payment you accept (cash versus credit). You can also indicate any late fees or costs associated with non-payment. This section should also include information about refunds or cancellations—for example, whether or not the client can receive a full refund if they cancel at least one week prior to their shoot date.

2) Usage Rights & Copyright Information

This section should specify who owns the copyright for the images created from your shoot and outline how those images can be used (e.g., for personal use, commercial use, etc.). It should also explain any restrictions on usage (e.g., if the images can only be used for a certain duration of time). This helps protect both you and your client!

3) Model/Property Release Forms

If any models or properties are used in your shoot, you’ll want to ensure you have model release forms signed by all relevant parties before beginning the shoot. These forms grant permission to use the model’s likenesses and property in photos taken during the shoot, which helps ensure that no one involved can be legally liable for any potential copyright infringements down the road.

4) Cancelation Policy

No one likes it when plans change at the last minute, especially when money is involved! That’s why it’s important to have a cancellation policy outlined in your photography contract so that both parties know what to expect if something pops up at the last second and forces you or your client to call off a shoot. A good cancellation policy should include details about how much notice needs to be given before any cancellations take place, as well as information on refunds should they be necessary due to an unforeseen event.

5) Rescheduling Policy

Similar to having a cancellation policy outlined in your photography contract, a rescheduling policy can make things easier if an emergency arises and either you or your client needs more time before shooting begins. A good rescheduling policy should provide information on how many times each party can reschedule a session before additional fees may apply, as well as outline any costs associated with rescheduling prior engagements due to unexpected circumstances such as illness or inclement weather conditions.

Get Legal Contact Templates

While I’ve shared some of my go-tips if you’re working on your own contract, I’m also a big fan of letting the professionals do their job. Contract templates are the easiest, fastest, & best way to be a better backend biz owner! Whether you’ve just started your business or been at it for years, ensuring you have all your legalities in order is key to your success and a heck of a lot less stress.

Stop worrying about losing thousands of dollars. Avoid potential legal battles. And ultimately gain your clients’ trust because you have a professional contract in place that makes them feel taken care of.

Ready to grow a thriving business that is legally legit AND protected?

Get started with Contracts for Photographers at The Legal Paige Shop!

As always, I’m here to support you along your business journey, but I highly advise that you contact a lawyer (I love Paige) for all your legit legal contracts!

Jamie Findlay shares 5 things every photographer contract needs to have

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  1. Thanks for sharing. I read many of your blog posts, cool, your blog is very good.

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