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Writing up your own photography agreement is a simple and necessary step in protecting your business. We'll show you what you need to include and how you can customise it to fit your needs. Plus where you can find free template downloads.
What's in this guide?
- What is a photography agreement?
- When should I use a photography agreement?
- Photography agreement vs wedding photography agreement
- What does a photography agreement include and not include?
- How effective is a photography agreement?
- Do I need a lawyer for a photography agreement?
- Get access to customisable photography agreement templates online
- How do I write a photography agreement?
- Where to get free legal documents and templates such as a photography agreement
What is a photography agreement?
A photography agreement is a legally binding contract between the photographer and the client. Also known as a 'client contract', this document simply lays out the terms of the photography event and states the:
- Time and date of the transaction
- Cost (including the terms of a deposit)
- Responsibilities of the photographer (how will the event play out?)
The photography agreement is a general contract that can be written in long or short form, depending on your situation.
Download this template at Lawpath.
When should I use a photography agreement?
A photography agreement should be used whenever a client hires your services as a photographer.
Photography agreement vs wedding photography agreement
A photography agreement is a simple document stating what services shall be done for what price. A wedding photography agreement is specific to a certain event and will be a much longer and more detailed document. It will include provisions such as:
- A model release clause
- Expenses incurred clause
- Limitation of liability clause
- Permits clause
- Film and copyrights
What does a photography agreement include and not include?
A photography agreement is a general contract that you can use for smaller jobs like studio portraits. You can customise it any way you see fit, as long as you cover the basics and get the client to date and sign it.
- Details of the agreed-upon arrangement (include date and location)
- List the cost for services rendered
- Lay out the payment terms
- List the terms of a pre-photo shoot consultation (responsibilities and expectations)
- Both parties agree to work in cooperation with each other
- Detail the schedule of the photo shoot (this is especially important for big events)
- Liability (in case you need to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances)
- Model release
- Photo licensing agreement
- Second shooter contract
How effective is a photography agreement?
A photography agreement is an effective document as it protects the rights of the photographer and gives the client the reassurance of a professional job. It's also an important contract because it gives you an opportunity to lay out the exact terms of the agreed-upon photo shoot, so there's no disagreement on the day.
Do I need a lawyer for a photography agreement?
If you're creating a longer form photography agreement, you might want to get a lawyer to proofread the finalised version. It's important that you use the appropriate language and phrasing in a document like this. For the shorter form contracts, you may not need a lawyer as it is a more general document.
Get access to customisable photography agreement templates online
Does your company belong in this list?
How do I write a photography agreement?
The best place to start is with a document template. You can find these online and some are free to download. Once you have a template, you have the proper layout and language so it's much easier to create your own document.
Where to get free legal documents and templates such as a photography agreement
If you search online for free document template downloads, you'll find lots to choose from, like these listed below. Some offer a one-time fee to download, others require you to sign up. Take a look:
- Lawpath. Lawpath is an online legal platform which provides templates and legal advice. You can read sample templates for free and then pay a fee to download and customise.
- eForms. eForms offers a library of free printable and electronic forms that you can customise to suit your business needs. There is a monthly fee of $39 and single purchases are $45.
- Freeforms. Freeforms offers a wide range of legal document templates that you fill out online and download for free.
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