This agreement covers important contractual provisions a photography business owner should have to cover themselves legally for a private photographic event. Includes provisions such as: coverage, payment schedule, completion schedule, rescheduling/cancellation,
proofing, artistic rights, etc.
This photography contract is intended for general use for all types – it is not provision specific as the other photography-specific contracts are. This is meant for those who may not necessarily specialize or need a general contract to cover all types.
Model release not included. Must be purchased separately. These contract forms are not state specific as they are drafted on general contract principles and experience as a photography business owner. They come in .doc format to readily tailor to your business-specific policies.
I came across a great location and gained permission from the property owner to use it. A well-known photographer has used that location for a few years. I have had a wooden swing and this location is the perfect place to put it up and use it. This same photographer also uses a wooden swing there. Would I be infringing on her copyright if I use a similar wooden swing in the same location that she does?
Finding a great location is awesome (even better if you obtain permission for a private location) but sometimes the fear of copying someone may come into play. On the facts of the question above though it can generally be said that this imitation is not a copyright infringement.
Further, locations are not copyrightable. If we had a situation where a photographer was recreating a specific photo then derivative work liability might attach, depending on the circumstances surrounding the situation.
Derivative works are a newly created and original work that includes an aspect, or multiple aspects, of an already existing, copyrighted work. (See these resources on Copyright Law for Photographers).
US Copyright Office Circular 14: Derivative Works notes that:
A typical example of a derivative work received for registration in the Copyright Office is one that is primarily a new work but incorporates some previously published material. This previously published material makes the work a derivative work under the copyright law. To be copyrightable, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a “new work” or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes or additions of little substance to a preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes. The new material must be original and copyrightable in itself. Titles, short phrases, and format, for example, are not copyrightable.
The more different works are and the most artistic influence a photographer puts on the session, then the less likely derivative work liability would apply.
“I am a portrait photographer who specializes in children and babies but I want to add a new brand for boudoir. How can I do this? Do I need to set up another DBA with the state under my current company?”
What is a DBA and why would I need it?
Let’s start off first with explaining what a DBA (doing business as) does. DBA means “doing business as” but can also be interchanged with the terms “trade name,” “assumed name”, and “fictitious business name”. These are the registration of the name that you are using for your
If you are going to operate with a business formation of Sole Proprieotr in your state (versus an Limited Liability Company or Corporation – if you don’t know the difference I recommend you check out some online resources or enroll in BizRevamp for individualized photography business help with this!) and operating under a different name than you legal name
As always check with local state laws – sometimes even having the word “photography” at the end of your legal name necessitates the need for a DBA or other substitute filing.
What if I want to start a new specialization?
This depends if you’re intending to operate under a totally new business name or simply an extension of your business. It is important to consider your actions and the circumstances surrounding how the program or separation of the specialization is set up and viewed.
Completely New Business
If you are going to take steps to completely set up a new site, name, social media, etc. and it looks like a completely separate business then you do need to make sure you’re registered under this name. A good way to look at it is to ask yourself “Would a client question if this brand is part of my existing business or is a separate business?”
Operating as a Program
An option would be have a “program” name for your business but have it attached to your business name. Take for example you’re Jane Smith Photography but that is known for the babies and children photography. You could do “Secret Moments by Jane Smith Photography” as a program without having to be a separate business entity since a reasonable person would see the business name attached.
What if I can’t afford the DBA fee?
You can’t afford not to afford the fee. Most states a DBA is free or relatively cheap – there is no excuse. Consider the consequences, in most states if you put yourself out like you’re a business then you will be treated as such (including applicable laws). Some states can fine up to $500 per day day that you put yourself out as a business but are not registered as such. Worth it? No way!
There is no easy clear cut answer in law, as you can see. It is always best to decide how far you want this brand to be separated from your current business name and set up, then follow up with local governing authorities to make sure you’re compliant with the law.
Closed! Here are the winners:
MacBook Pro- Cyndi Hardy
Bizrevamp- Stephanie Brann
Expo disc- Cindy Davidson
Ultimate contract bundle- Faith Dodgett
Wedding conversion kit- Rachel McKinney
Youproof app- Amy Carpenter
Photog connection set – Megan Pitts