You know you need to protect your business – because, well, you value it right?
But have no clue where to start?
Here is a how-to guide on using TheLawTog’s contracts.
#1 Choose the photography contract template you need
First, think about the primary niche you are in. That is probably going to dictate which niche section of the site you’re going to want to take a look at and invest in. Keep in mind, these contracts are completely editable and I do encourage you to check with local attorney.
Purchasing a TheLawTog® contract template form can not only save you money with an attorney (see this example: https://www.thelawtog.com/using-photography-contract-templates-can-save-money/) but it will result in a more on-point and comprehensive document as many lawyers are not a lawyer for photographers and often times forget alot of the little things that we need!
Second, think about the legal client timeline and your business needs. Here is an article that can help you have a quick glance: https://www.thelawtog.com/legal-sales-tools-photographers-need/
If you haven’t already done so – snag the free document I have available at http://www.thelawtog.com/freecontract – on the download page there is a video that walks through how all the documents mentioned in the link above work together and my recommendations.
Cliff notes: Ultimately, it is best to start with a main contract + model release in your niche and go from there. There are basic legal elements of the contracts that carry across the niche’s so you could always amend for another type, just keep in mind they won’t have the extra specifics. Such as, newborn contracts will include information on baby disposition and what to do – but wouldn’t necessarily be in the standard portrait contract (which is a general portrait contract).
Make sure you compare the documents and what is included on the site. That could make a difference on which you choose.
#2 Download and back up
You can download from the confirmation page, or log back into your account at any time!
If your file comes as a zip file, you’ll need to unzip! To Unzip:
- Apple users: Double click item to automatically unzip
- PC users: Just google your operating system + “unzip files” to find a tutorial for your operating system
- Typically opened in Microsoft Word BUT they can be opened without Word on a mac.
- If you are on a MAC and do NOT have word, press/hold control + click on the file. A pop up will come up. Choose “Open with” and select TextEdit.
- Can also be opened in Google Docs, Text, and Open Office
Don’t forget to back-up all your files. TheLawTog recommends Backblaze cloud backup.
#3 Edit to your business policies and local laws
Follow the guides in the contract template to amend. It is recommended any verbiage changes are done by a local attorney. We have a recommended list here. If your location isn’t listed check with your State Bar website.
#4 Choose how you will have client’s sign
Choose a system that fits into your workflow to efficiently have your clients sign contracts and keep this information on file.
- Gravity Forms Wordpress Plugin (Great also for client questionnaires and forms)
- DocuSign Ink App for iPad
- MachForm – Embeds into site
- Hello Sign – Online signing
- DocuSign- Online signing
See also: Are digital contracts legal?
#5 Be protected!
Now that you’ve invested in lawyer/photographer drafted contracts you can be confident in your protection by contract. Make sure you are also protected on other business levels.
For your reference
TheLawTog offers are variety of lawyer/photographer drafted contract templates by type. Each of these contracts are drafted for legal sufficiency and are tailored to the specific type as named.
Here is a list of the most popular contracts
Have more questions?
Check out the Knowledgebase here.