Styled Shoot Legalities 101

Apr 26, 2016

Topic: Contracts, Marketing
Time Investment: 5 Minutes
Suggested Product:  Styled Shoot Contract Bundle


Styled shoots are great ways for photographers, wedding/event planners, florists, calligraphers and other vendors to come together for networking, artistic development and creation of materials for use in promotional marketing. Unfortunately, like many other areas of business when dealing with humans, issues may arise from lack of proper communication and omission of legal protection measures.  

There are three core legal documents that can help to provide proper communication that establishes expectations.  These include a styled shoot collaboration agreement, commercial usage image license, and commercial model release. 

Let's examine each of these for how they work and what they should include to protect your styled shoot and all vendors involved.


#1 Styled Shoot Collaboration Agreement – This agreement is between the styled shoot host and all vendors who will be contributing and/or participating in the styled shoot.

This document includes the following information:

  • relationship of parties
  • use of equipment/props (responsibilities of parties for care, use, damage)
  • venue fee allocations
  • compensation to vendors/hosts
  • confidentiality and non-disclosure of proprietary information
  • cancellation
  • publication of images/materials from collaboration (including where, how, when and IF can be submitted to external sites such as blog features, etc)
  • cooperative attitude of vendors
  • waivers
  • indemnification
  • and other legal miscellany as needed!

#2 – Commercial Image Use License – In this agreement the photographers will give to each vendor and/or host for use after the styled shoot.   This document reinforces copyright ownership with the photographer and defines the uses (including whether to allow alterations to images, etc.)


#3 – Commercial model release for the models to sign and provide to each person using the images. This release allows clients to easily and legally give permission for use of their images for commercial purposes (magazine, ad, etc.)  This also releases any claims the client may have to future compensation for use of images.


Check out TheLawTog’s Styled Shoot Contract Bundle here.


Again, styled shoots are such a great way to network and fill portfolios/marketing materials but so many relationships can be soured because the little legalities aren’t taken care of and/or miscommunications occur. Don’t put all that effort into beautiful setups only for it to be destroyed.



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