The Ultimate Photography Contracts Guide

Feb 22, 2014
Topic: Contracts
Time Investment: 8 Minutes
Suggested Product: All-in-One Contract Bundles

Looking for help and direction on photography contracts? Look no further! We have the Ultimate Photography Contracts Guide!

Contracts can be confusing – if for no other reason than sometimes they can be almost impossible to read! This guide gives you links to some of our most popular articles, and taken as a whole offers an extremely valuable guide to photography contracts. We love to see photography business owners invest in their education – and though it will take you some time to work through every part of this guide, we firmly believe it will be time well spent! Besides, this information is worth that time and the money you will save because you understand a little more about contracts and how they apply and can impact your photography business!

Sometimes, a little bit of mystery is the spice of life – but, there are some things that should never be mysterious, and contracts are one of those. The whole point of utilizing contracts in your photography business is to make things as clear as possible! As usual, we have your back! Here is The Ultimate Photography Contracts  Guide to help you cut through the mystery and shine a little light on the subject of contracts.


The Ultimate Photography Contracts Guide

This guide is broken down into four sections:

  1. General
  2. Model Release
  3. Print Release
  4. Sales Tools

Note:  We recommend starting with Contracts 101 and Contracts 102 if you don’t have any background in the elements of a contract – actually even if you do, these are great primers before you dig into more specific areas!

In the Model Release and Print Release sections, we make sure you are armed with the information you need to provide accurate and high quality client education. Sometimes, the best way to respond to concerns is with an open sharing of information with customer service as a high priority.


Photography Contracts – General

Contracts 101: Overview of photography contracts

A good contract is essential for a great photographer/client relationship. Truly, by clearly articulating the duties and obligations of each party and outlining the expectations of both parties, you can be rest assured that everyone will be on the same page! However, you, as a photographer, must understand the elements of a legal contract and how these elements interact. If you don’t know where to start, start here and Contracts 102.


Contracts 102: Overview of photography contracts

Contracts 102 breaks down not just what is in the contract, but who you are contracting with and who has rights as under the contract! This article talks about third party rights (think contracting with mom & dad for their daughter’s wedding photography) and whether minors can enter into contracts. Start here and Contracts 101.


Are digital photography contracts legal?

Well, are they? This article breaks down what is needed for a contract delivered and/or signed digitally to be legal! This article discusses the differences between legally signing a contract and what it takes for the contract to be legally enforceable. Rachel also shares how you can assess which is the best platform for digital contracts for your photography business. Let’s get our digital photography contract on!


Dispelling photography contract myths

If you’ve read some of the articles above, you now understand a contract in its most simple form, and you have a better idea of how to construct a contract and some of the essential terms and conditions for your contracts. However, we are sure that you’ve encountered a variety of opinions and conflicting information about contracts in your journey throughout cyberspace – we want to break down some of the more prevalent myths. Rachel shares what she considers to be the top four contract myths she encounters!


How to cancel a photography contract

Sometimes life happens, sometimes a client is difficult or you cannot work with each other, and sometimes a client doesn’t follow through on a payment plan – there are many reasons why you might need or want to cancel a photography contract. We break down some common scenarios and how to go about canceling a photography contract – step by step!


A guide to using professional photography contract template forms

Professionally drafted Photography Contract templates are a fantastic starting point and can be extremely cost-effective, but you have to know how to use them. This guide helps you understand why you cannot use a template without also making sure it accurately reflects your business and your business practices. So, let us save you money and time and help you use professional photography contract template forms!


Dangers of self-drafting a contract when you’re not a lawyer

In some cases, DIY is the way to go and can save you money.  However, when it comes to drafting contracts, you may want to make sure your contract is well-written.  Poorly written contracts can cost you a lot more money than it would to pay to have a correctly written contract.  This article breaks down 10 reasons why self-drafting contracts is not a good business decision.


Model Releases

Why should I get a model release form?

Are you not sure what a model release form is, or why you really need them? This is the article for you. You may even think that because you own the copyright, you can use images of your clients in your portfolio and in marketing and advertising without needing a model release! You would be wrong, of course, but this article breaks down what you need to know about model release forms!


What if my client doesn’t want to sign a model release form?

What do you do when your client doesn’t want to sign a model release form? Let’s check out what a model release is, when you need one, and how to work through clients concerns and hesitations with model release forms to get to a great resolution for you and your client!


Print Release

Copyright vs. Print Release - A comparison of photo release forms

One area of confusion that has arisen largely as a result of the rise of digital media and digital files only photography businesses is confusion over the difference between Copyright and a Print Photo Release. This is especially the case when a print release accompanies digital files. This article clearly breaks down the difference between copyright and a print release, and explains how to decide what is best for your photography business! Bonus: this can also be shared with clients and other businesses, as it breaks down the benefits of a photo release from the client’s point of view as well! Roll up your sleeves, let’s talk releases!


Sales Tools

Legal Sales Contracts Photographers Need

So, above we mentioned the importance of a contract (and later a model release) to a photographer/client relationship. But, we would be amiss if we led you to believe that this is all that is involved in ensuring a clear legal relationship between you and your clients. This is because the goal is to both consider and protect each aspect of your relationship with your clients, as well as ensure that you are setting and reinforcing reasonable expectations. This article offers some suggestions for the contracts and legal tools you may want to have in place to ensure you have your bases covered, including payment plan contracts, final sale and delivery agreements, album design agreements, and different types of model releases.


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