Let’s talk contracts for photographers. It’s one of those unsexy, but very necessary things if you’re running a legit business. Contracts lay out how things are going to work, what happens if something changes or goes wrong, and how things can be resolved. A contract will help you in the event that there’s a dispute or misunderstanding.
After more than a decade in the photography industry, I’ve seen my fair share of photographer v. client disagreements and disputes – thankfully not my own. I read one local case where a bride and groom sued their photographer claiming that they were holding their wedding photos hostage. The reality of the situation was that the photographer was waiting for the client to choose photos for their album. It was a whole mess that made it onto local news.
In situations like this, you want to have a contract that can cover the terms and conditions of working together. You want to have a contract that can hold up in a court of law. And like I said, I’m not a lawyer, but there are contract resources for photographers and creatives.
Contracts for Photographers and Creatives
When I pivoted into offering brand photography, the offerings are different from portrait photography. Clients will use the photos beyond personal use. They will use them for self-promotion, for their website, social media, and any other means of advertisement. As a result, I had to update my client service agreement that every client completes when they book with me.
I purchased a contract template from The Legal Paige* and customized it to fit my needs. Paige’s contracts are easy to complete. They include the verbiage and parameters that you need as a photographer and creative, and includes notations for what needs to be added or changed based on your situation.
Once I customized and updated my contract, I added it to Honeybook as a template and now I can use it for all future brand photography clients. And if you’re not using a CRM for your client management, make that a goal for 2023. Why use a CRM? You’ll look way more professional, it’s all electronic, online payments, and everything stays organized!
Why You Need a Contract as a Photographer
There’s just a level of reassurance that comes when you have your legal ducks in a row. Contracts are one of those things that you need to have in place for “just in case” situations. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you can’t point back to terms and conditions that were agreed upon.
I think contracts are great too because they allow you to lay out the expectations for service and a timeframe for final delivery for your client. It helps you, the photographer, underpromise and overdeliver, which helps with reviews and making your clients surprised and delighted.
If you’re looking for contracts for photographers, definitely check out The Legal Paige. She offers contract templates for all genres of photography and sectors of creative businesses.
*I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice. If you need actual legal advice, please seek the help of a law professional.*
This post contains affiliate links which means I may be paid a small fee for my referral at NO cost to you! I use Honeybook for my CRM and The Legal Paige contract templates and recommend them both!
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