How to Write a Photography Contract

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Whether you're shooting a wedding, senior portraits or a family reunion, create and have your client sign a photography contact. This legal document outlines the services and products promised for a set fee. In the event of any questions, the photography contract is a resource for contact information and the fine details of the photography assignment. The details of writing a photography contract vary with each assignment, but including the following basic elements will ensure a solid, formal agreement for services between photographer and client.

Include contact information for the photographer(s) and the client(s). Include full names, addresses, email addresses and home and cell phone numbers. The photographer should also provide a website address if available.

Detail the exact date(s) for the photography service. Include the calendar date, day of the week and start and stop times. For day-long assignments, break down where the client and photographer should meet during the day. For example, a wedding photographer needs to know when the wedding party will be at the hair salon, church and reception hall.

Document all locations with complete addresses, including city and state. Include written directions and/or maps for difficult-to-find locations. Provide a contact number at each location. For example, include the phone number for the banquet hall or park office when preparing a family reunion photography contract.

Write out what the assignment entails. Don't assume the client understands your regular routine. For example, explain that you will shoot senior pictures in three locations, not an unlimited number of places, in the two hours allowed for the photo session.

Itemize services and products. Make a detailed list of what the client is getting for their money. Include items such as photographer's time, mileage, printed proofs, CDs, finished prints and web proofing. Include a statement about when various items, such as finished prints, will be available -- then describe how they receive these items. Will they be mailed, or do will the client pick them up at the photographer's location?

Include the price quote and an addendum that explains overtime fees, extra charges and whether or not tax will be applied. Add a statement about deposits, cancellation fees and when the balance is due for the services stated in the contract. Include an extra sheet, or brochure, attached to the contract detailing reprint prices and/or fees for obtaining the copyright to the photographs.

List accepted forms of payment. Include information about ordering through a website and what forms of payment are accepted online. Include details about payment plans, and when payment is due for additional services or reprints ordered. The client will want to know if they will have to pay for overtime hours spent on the shoot at the end of the actual event, or if this can be settled at a later time.


About the Author

Angela Tague writes marketing content and journalistic pieces for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.

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