Free Photography Contract Template Bundle
If you’re stepping into the world of paid photography, having a photography contact in place is an absolute must here in 2021.
Even if there’s no exchange of money for your photography, it’s still a good idea to have some form of contract in place, just to ensure your rights are properly covered.
Not everyone can afford a lawyer to create a customised photography contract template, which is why I’ve included a few here for you to download for free.
As soon as you’re in a position to invest in a lawyer’s time, I’d highly recommend you have them look over your contract, and make 100% sure it’s legally binding and relevant to your country/state’s laws.
Disclaimer: the contract templates below are intended to be used as a guideline for you to customise, and eventually have verified by a lawyer. Shotkit will not be held responsible for any damages, lawsuits, or disputes that may arise from the use of these templates.
Table of Contents
What Should Photography Contracts Include in 2021?
If you’re going to be creating your own contract from scratch, there are several items that are absolutely essential, and a few that might only be relevant based on the nature of the work.
As a starting guideline, here are 11 things you should think about including when writing a generic photography contract.
- Contact Information for photographer and client – name, address, email, phone
- Start/End time and date
- Payment Terms – pricing, payment schedule, deposits, retainers…
- Extra Fees – travel, second photographers, permits, late payments…
- Deliverables – what photographer and client will deliver, and when
- Cancellation Policy – what photographer is responsible for, refund of deposit…
- Image Rights – copyright ownership, transfer of usage rights, time period…
- Model Release – one for each person shown
- Image Copyright – who owns copyright to the images, is client able to edit images…
- Liability Limitations – inability to perform job, loss of files, acts of God…
- Signature Blocks – one for each page of contract
Remember this isn’t an exhaustive list of items to include when drafting your photography contract – it’s merely meant as a guide, from which you can base your own version, should you decide to make one.
Haven’t got time to do it yourself? Here’s how you can download a bundle of 4 of the most common photography contract templates…
Photography Contract Template Bundle | Free Download
I paid a law graduate (LLB) with experience in legal drafting to create 4 photography contract templates for me, then bundled them together for you to download for free.
You’ll need to customise each one to suit your own needs – remember to edit the highlighted sections, making sure to include the provisions and terms relevant to you.
As mentioned above, these contract templates are meant purely as guidelines. When you are ready to invest properly into your work, enlist the help of a qualified lawyer to look over the contract and make it legally binding.
Here’s what’s included in the free bundle:
1. Free Photography Contract
This is a generic photography template that can be adjusted to almost any work you undertake, whether free photography or paid – just remember to tailor it to the particular shoot, so as not to confuse your client.
2. Wedding Photography Contract
If you’re a wedding photographer who’s shooting your first wedding, make doubly-sure you’re properly covered! Get a lawyer to look over this wedding contract after you’ve customised it to your needs. You’ll also have to ensure you have business insurance and limited liability cover – mine is for $10 million (!!), but different venues require different levels of cover.
Reminder: this wedding photography contract (or any of the contracts provided here) isn’t a legal document until approved by a lawyer.
3. Model Release
If you’re taking a photo of a person, you’ll need them to sign a model release if you intend to publish their photo. No release is required for publication of a photo taken of an identifiable person when the person is in a public place – however, it’s always best to double check your rights.
4. Portrait Photography Contract
This can be easily amended for engagement shoots, one-on-one portrait sessions, family photography, and everything in between. If you intend to use the subject(s) photos commercially, it’s best to get them to sign a model release too. If they’re under-age, make sure you get their parent or guardian to sign it.
How to Download the Photography Contracts Bundle
In order to download the 4 free photography contracts templates, just enter your email address, so I can send you a link to download the template bundle.
By entering your details, you’ll be automatically signed up to the free Shotkit newsletter.
I promise to never spam you, but you’re free to unsubscribe at any time – sound like a fair deal? :-)
How to get your Photographer Contract Signed
Most client management software (CMS) include the ability to create contracts and request signatures. I use one called Studio Ninja, which allows the client to make their photography booking in an online portal, then read and sign the contract using their computer or mobile device.
It’s rare nowadays for photography clients to sign using pen and paper, but if your business allows for in-person meetings, asking them to sign on the dotted line when you’re present is always an option.
An online signature system is of course much more efficient, and most likely the preferable option for both parties – software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro offer a neat e-signature solution which you can easily integrate into your booking process.
You can also use Acrobat Pro to create and edit PDFs, such as pricing lists or brochures for your clients. It’s a great option if you’re ready to invest in a streamlined way to handle online bookings.
It seems like every week we hear horror stories of disgruntled brides who are trying to sue their wedding photographers. Regardless of who’s in the right, it highlights the importance to cover your a** with a legally binding contract!
Even if you don’t shoot weddings, if you earn money taking photos, make sure you invest some of it back into your business. The first things you should be investing in are insurance and a legally bound contract that ensures your liability is limited.
Even if you’re just shooting models on a ‘time for print’ basis (where no money is exchanged), it’s still a wise move to get your subject to sign a model release, just to cover yourself in the future.
Every country and state will have its own laws, so to make sure you’re properly covered, get your contract checked by a good lawyer – I can’t emphasize this enough!
I hope at least that these free contract templates will help save you some time when the lawyer’s expensive hourly rate starts ticking over ;-)