Should clients initial every page of a photography contract?

Photography contracts can become quite lengthy as business owners discover new policies they want to implement and issues they desire to protect themselves against.  

While it is best for quality over quantity when a lawyer drafts contracts, lengthy documents can lead to some potential issues and questions.  Specifically, whether clients should initial every page of a photography contract or not.  

The great news is – unless otherwise outlined by state law for specific types of contracts, initialing each page is not required for a contract to be valid and enforceable. 

Although it is not required by law for photography contracts, business owners have to choose if they want to add this layer of protection and policy requiring the initials of clients.  Here are reasons as to why initialing helps the process despite being not legally required.

 

Increased authenticity

Having the parties initial at the bottom of pages helps to ensure a new page was not substituted in place of another or added within the document.  However, this can also be accomplished by paginated agreements with a footer on each page and the use of a PDF for the final document.

 

Special attention provisions 

It is recommended for initials to be placed near particular provisions that are to be brought to attention of the parties and requiring review.  Examples of these provisions are waivers or arbitration.

 

Amendments

Should amendments be made after the original contract is ratified, initials by all parties should be placed on the contract near the amendment to demonstrate the authenticity of the amendment. 

 

TheLawTog Recommendation

Unless law requires or special attention is needed, there is no need for initials on lengthy documents. It is best to use digital contracts that negate the need for multiple pages as they are delivered in one digital screen for scrolling and are often exported as a PDF for the final document.

 

Rachel Brenke, TheLawTog

Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, photographer and business consultant for photographers. She is currently helping creative industry professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction. Disclaimer: I am a lawyer but I’m not your lawyer! View my entire disclaimer here

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