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Filling Out a Basic Photography Contract Form

If you’re a photographer who sells your services to clients, it’s a good idea to have a contract for any client work you perform. Luckily, you don’t have to be a legal wiz to draw up this document. Learn how to fill out a basic photography contract.

What Is the Basic Photography Contract Form Used For?

The basic photography contract is a legally binding agreement made between two or more parties. It spells out the services being offered in an exchange for payment. As a photographer, you are the service provider who agrees to take pictures for a client. In turn, the client agrees to pay you a specified amount of money for the photos. In some cases, verbal contacts are made between parties. However, a written document is normally drawn up to provide detailed information about the project and what’s expected from both the photographer and customer. Since the contract is a legal document, a court of law recognizes and enforces these agreements. A contract provides a clear picture, no pun intended, of what the photographer and client are bringing to the table. It clarifies the who, what, when, where, how and why of a project. It addresses any concerns or questions either party may have. It ensures everyone is on the same page before signing on the dotted line. Let’s say “Carl the Client” hires you to take solo photos of Pee Wee the family Chihuahua but midway through the shoot decides he wants you to take a family portrait. Under the conditions of your contract, you’re not obligated to provide this additional service.

Who Would Use the Basic Photography Contract Form?

If you have a salaried position with a company, there’s no need for a contract. A basic photography contract comes into play when you’re self-employed working as a freelancer or independent contractor. In some cases, prospective clients present a service provider with a contract. It’s not unusual for individuals, corporations, organizations and government agencies to use their own contractual documents when they’re looking to hire a photographer. Basic photography contracts are flexible documents that can be used in a variety of shutterbug professions. These specialty areas include photojournalism, wedding, wildlife, portraiture, fine art, fashion and landscape. Regardless of the niche, photo pros in these and other niches may find a basic contract very useful. If you have a specialization, you can always tailor the document to accommodate the unique needs of your business. For example, if portrait photography is how you roll, then you may include a model release and tailor the document into a portrait agreement. Are you a generalist? If so, then a basic form is ideal for you. It’s simple and straightforward, so you shouldn’t run into any problems filling it out. As long as the project terms and conditions are cut and dry, you’re good to go. When

Should You Use the Basic Photography Contract Form?

A basic photography contract provides legal protection for the parties involved in the agreement. You agree to do the work and the client agrees to pay you. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, you may encounter a patron who dodges payment. In this worst-case scenario, a contract provides evidence of who’s at fault in the matter. Additionally, it gives you grounds to take legal action to get the money that’s owed to you. The contract comes in handy when you need to establish proper professional boundaries. Let’s face it, there is such a thing as the client from hell. You know the one€”she calls and texts every day demanding status updates. This behavior can make it difficult for you to do your job. You can offset this problem by detailing in your contract the due dates, timelines, project milestones, photography process, and policy regarding client inquiries. A well-written contract lays out the full scope of the project. This is important because you may encounter a customer who wants you to provide services that are not part of the agreement. Remember Carl the Client and his Chihuahua Pee Wee? The contract is a reminder that you’re only obligated to perform work that’s outlined in the agreement.

What Are the Consequences for Not Using a Basic Photography Contract Form?

Contracts help protect the interests of photographers and their clients. It takes a degree of mutual trust to enter into these agreements. Even with the best intentions of both parties, unexpected events can and do occur. The provider-client relationship can turn sour. A photographer may become ill and fail to start or finish a project. A client may decide she no longer wants to follow through with a photo shoot. These and other scenarios may leave you vulnerable to a variety of risks if you accept assignments without having a basic photography contract in place. One, it’s easy for either party to dispute the terms of conditions of the work performed because there’s no written agreement. Two, confusion over what was or wasn’t agreed upon may arise. Three, the fallout between you and the client may result in a lawsuit or loss of revenue. This is why it’s better to conduct your photography business with a contract than without one.

Steps for Filling Out a Basic Photography Contract Form

Filling out a basic photography contract doesn’t involve a lot of guesswork. All you need to do is take these simple steps:

  1. Enter the client name and date along with your name and contact information.
  2. Describe in detail the service or product you’re delivering.
  3. Spell out anything the client must provide in order for you to complete the job.
  4. State how you will deliver the photos.
  5. Specify the due date for photo deliver.
  6. Identify the payment methods you accept.
  7. Mention the amount due before you begin the project and after it’s completed.
  8. Add a statement explaining what happens if the photo shoot is postponed or canceled.

Quick Questions

Nope. You don’t have to bother with that. A notary public is a state government official whose primary role involves signing, stamping or sealing certified documents.

A breach occurs when either party does not fulfill the terms of a contract, such as a client who refuses to make payment on services rendered.

Yes. Often, contracts from clients are written in their favor. Having your own contract protects your best interests and shows customers you’re serious about your business.


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