Free Photography Contract Template Bundle

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Photography Contract Template

If you’re stepping into the world of paid photography, having a photography contact in place is an absolute must here in 2022.

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.

What is a Photography Contract?

A photography contract is a written agreement that specifies all the tasks to be carried out by a photographer. Depending on the nature of the photography work to be undertaken, the photography contract will include the type of services, the length of the agreement and the amount of compensation.

Once signed, the photography contract binds both parties to the agreement until the job is complete or the contract is terminated.

What Should Photography Contracts Include in 2022?

photography contracts - photographers contract for wedding photography business and legal rights for model needs

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.

  1. Contact Information for photographer and client – name, address, email, phone
  2. Start/End time and date
  3. Payment Terms – pricing, payment schedule, deposits, retainers…
  4. Extra Fees – travel, second photographers, permits, late payments…
  5. Deliverables – what photographer and client will deliver, and when
  6. Cancellation Policy – what photographer is responsible for, refund of deposit…
  7. Image Rights – photo copyright ownership, transfer of usage rights, time period…
  8. Model Release – one for each person shown
  9. Image Copyright – who owns copyright to the images, is client able to edit images…
  10. Liability Limitations – inability to perform job, loss of files, acts of God…
  11. 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 photography 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

How to Sign Photography Contract

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.

FAQs About Photography Contracts

  • How do I write a photography contract?

A photography contract must contain essential details about the intended work and conditions. It needs to include critical elements such as client name and address, photographer details, agreed dates and times. Among other details, it must include payment terms, cancellation policy, image rights, and liability limitations.

  • Can you write your own photography contract?

You can write your own photography contract from scratch but you run the risk of missing important details or omitting essential legal terms. The more professional and accurate your photography contract is, the more legally binding it will be. You could engage a lawyer to assist you in creating a photography contract or begin with a suitable template.

  • Do I need a photography contract?

Every photographer doing paid work should have a photography contract. It is a legally binding document that protects you and the clients should things not go according to plan. A detailed photography contract specific to each photography shoot is essential.

  • Can you sue a photographer without a contract?

You can sue a photographer with or without a contract. If a photographer provides a contract, you can sue them for breach of contract if they have not upheld the terms. You can’t sue a photographer for breach of contract if there never was a contract – always best to request one before the job.

  • Are photography contracts legally binding?

Photography contracts are legally binding provided the client and photographer have a copy of the contract signed by both parties. Much like an employment contract, a photography contract is a legal agreement to the terms of work to be undertaken.

  • What is the best software for photography contracts?

The best software for photography contracts needs to be a digital solution that allows for e-signing. It prevents the need for you and your client to meet each time you need to sign the contract. Photography contract software needs to create tailored contracts to suit your business, types of shoots, and terms.

Final Words

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 ;-)

Mark Condon
Shotkit Founder, Editor, Writer & Reviewer

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer and editor of Shotkit. When he’s not taking photos or reviewing the latest camera gear and software, Mark can be found cycling around the northern rivers.

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28 Comments

  1. Meaghan on August 24, 2020 at 3:48 am

    I signed up for the newsletter to get the free download but have yet to receive the email to get the downloads.

    • Mark Condon on August 24, 2020 at 5:01 am

      Please check your spam and/or promotions folders Meaghan.

  2. Jennifer on June 11, 2020 at 4:55 am

    Hi Mark!

    I added this to my twitter account @JenniferMGrimes and I did not get an automatic pop to receive the contracts.

    • Mark Condon on June 11, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Please subscribe to the newsletter to get it right away, Jennifer!

  3. Chenin on June 7, 2020 at 3:22 am

    I haven’t received a download link yet and I’ve already shared on twitter. Please help!

    • Mark Condon on June 9, 2020 at 5:13 am

      Try signing up to the newsletter using the menu links above, Chenin.

  4. Melissa on May 26, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    I cannot seem to figure out how to download or sign up for the newsletter to get the download link. Please help.

    • Mark Condon on May 27, 2020 at 11:48 am

      Sorry to hear you’re having troubles, Melissa – try signing up via the newsletter page (see above menu).

  5. Maddisen on May 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Hi, I shared on Twitter twice, but there was no email pop up to get the downloads.

    • Mark Condon on May 5, 2020 at 6:01 am

      Sorry Maddisen, I’ll email you ;-)

  6. Kim on May 1, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    I’ve shared on Facebook but no option to then download. I’ve looked for the link to your newsletter but can’t find anything. Any other way I’m able to get these helpful templates. Thanks

    • Mark Condon on May 2, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      I’ll send you them from my personal email, Kim ;-)

  7. Derrick on March 24, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Nothing happen when I shared on twitter

    • Mark Condon on March 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

      Sorry Derrick – just sign up to the free newsletter and you’ll get them all plus some other cool things.

  8. Max on March 10, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    I shared it on FB but nothing happened
    Please let me know

    • Mark Condon on March 11, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      Try signing up to the free newsletter Max (see in the above menu for the link). You’ll get sent a link to it immediately.

  9. Arnaud Temporel on December 11, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Hello Mark
    Thank you for sharing your documents that”s could realy help.
    I got your ling to dowload them but they all are only in PDF format,
    I did find a link in Word even clicking on the W down the contract preview.
    Any way to get them for custom version ?
    Thank you

    • Mark Condon on December 13, 2019 at 4:13 am

      Sorry Arnaud, those are the only formats we have.

  10. Katie on July 17, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Mark
    Thank so much for sharing this. I have shared your link on twitter but I haven’t been able to download the bundle. Help!

    • Mark Condon on July 18, 2019 at 6:35 am

      Ah! Sorry to make you jump through hoops Katie, but if you sign up to the free Shotkit newsletter, you’ll get access to them, and about 50 other useful things ;-)

  11. Tess Watson on May 2, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Hi Mark,

    Really appreciate you taking the time to share these helpful contracts. Unfortunately I don’t use Facebook or Twitter. Is there any chance I can promote you in another way?

    Thank you :)

  12. Art Davis, Portland, Oregon USA on April 13, 2019 at 6:47 am

    Mark,
    Thank you for doing this posting and sharing the contracts. I believe this is (even as) an amateur, important to know and to have at hand.
    Again, thanks for going to the effort to help the community.

    • Mark Condon on April 13, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      My pleasure, Art. Glad you found it useful!

  13. ADKC on April 13, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Hey Mark,
    I’ve tried this on several different browsers and on 3 different devices. but I cant get them to pull up.

  14. David Brigg on April 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Hi Mark
    Would like to avail myself of the free bundle for possible future use. Only issue is I don’t use Twitter and the only Facebook friends that I have are my family members, who are not into photography, so would be of no use to them.

    Perhaps you could send me the link in reply.

    Regards

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