8 Things That Your Photography Contract Needs to Have

There are many things to consider when you’re working with a photographer. You need to be sure that they have the right equipment, can provide the services that your company needs, and have the personality of someone who will work well with your team. But there’s one thing that is often overlooked: a contract! In this blog post we’ll go over what should be included in your photography agreement as well as how much you should expect to pay for different types of photography services.

photography contract

What is a Photography Contract?

A photography contract is a legal agreement between the photographer and their client that details all aspects of what will take place before, during, and after the photo shoot. This includes who owns copyright to any images created by either party; when edits are due or revisions made; as well as how many photos can be used for promotional purposes versus personal use only.

What needs to be included in a photography contract?

photography contract

Here are a few things you need to consider when composing a photography contract.

  • Full Contact Information of Your Client and Your Business
  • Date of the Shoot
  • Location
  • What Photography is Needed? (e.g., Full Service, Product Shot)
  • Accurate Description of Photos to Be Taken and How They Will be Used
  • How Many Copies Client Would Like Afterwards (Digital or Prints)
  • When Final Images are Due
  • Who Owns Copyright for Edited Image Files and Original Raw Files (i.e., who has access to them after photo shoot?)


It might seem like an easy detail but the location of a photo shoot is one that you should definitely get in writing before agreeing to anything. The contract should clearly specify the location; any set-up, equipment, or other particulars; and also what will happen with any photos taken during the shoot.

Date of Shooting and Payment

I’d recommend negotiating a fixed date of payment versus an agreement where the client pays as they go. This ensures that you’re never billing anyone for more than what was agreed upon in the contract. I find that most photographers prefer this type of financial arrangement mportant to tell both the photographer and your company what day you need the shoot done. This is because many photographers are booked months in advance so they want to be able to schedule their time effectively for you, and it can also help with planning any other aspects of the shoot like make-up, hair, and wardrobe.

What should you discuss with your photographer when it comes to compensation?

The price that they charge will depend on many different things – their experience level, how much time or effort is required for a certain type of photography service (e.g., a fully edited video versus just raw footage), what equipment they have available at the location where the photo shoot takes place, etc. So there’s no hard rule about pricing other than having a reasonable expectation around what something should cost in terms of hours spent creating it as well as any additional costs incurred during production such as travel expenses if necessary. In my opinion this information needs to be included here because I think photographers are often too quick to quote a price without understanding the work involved which can lead to an unhappy customer when they realize how much their photo shoot or video ended up costing.

What are some edits that should be included with your photography contract?

A lot of times clients don’t think about what type of editing will be done during post-production until it’s too late and they’re already in front of the camera being photographed. This is why I recommend negotiating this point upfront so there’s no confusion later on down the line as you finalize all aspects of your company branding such as website, social media posts, etc. Although every photographer will have different requirements around what needs to happen before they send over finalized photos (e.g., number of rounds of edits, specific type of editing required), a good rule of thumb is that the more time they spend on an edit the greater their fee will be.

What about copyright?

You should also outline who owns rights to any images produced during your photo shoot as well as how many photos can be used for promotional purposes versus only personal use. If you’re not sure what these terms mean or what’s best in this situation then please feel free to reach out and we’ll go over it with you! In general I find most photographers want to retain some ownership of all the photos created so they can ensure maximum exposure and income potential once they’ve gone through post-production editing – but there are some exceptions like if both parties agree beforehand that one party will have full copyright ownership.

When should you include deadlines in your contract?

I’d recommend including the date by which edits are due or revisions made and also how many photos can be used for promotional purposes versus personal use only – both of these items are often overlooked during negotiations on behalf of a photographer but they’re really important to cover because it protects your company’s rights as well as sets expectations from the start that everything won’t happen overnight. In my experience most photographers appreciate this level of organization, especially if there is potential for more work down the line like video editing sessions or additional photo shoot days with other team members involved.

How many photos can be used for promotional purposes versus personal use only?

Client will own copyright of all images created during the photo shoot unless they have written permission from photographer to do otherwise.

An additional fee may also apply if client requests an ongoing retainer or exclusive contract that limits work opportunities with other clients while maintaining access to these particular photos and video clips.

FAQ for photography contracts

photography contract

Do photographers need contracts?

As a professional photographer, contracts are necessary for both client and copyright protection.

Photographers are often worried about contracts because they think it will limit their creativity or give away other rights to use photos in an unintended way. The truth of the matter is that having some kind of contract can help protect both parties involved by ensuring expectations for usage are clear from day one while also giving each party something tangible when disputes happen down the line (such as being able to refer back).

Photos are a part of who you are, so it’s important to protect your work. By having a contract with the photographer that lays out what both parties expect from one another and protecting yourself through copyright law, photography can be an enjoyable hobby for many years without worry.

Can you write your own photography contract?

You need to be careful when drafting a photography contract; it is important for you and the client. It can be tricky, so before starting on your own, here are some tips that will help:

First of all make sure there’s an agreement about ownership rights because this may include copyrighting or licensing images created by both parties as work-for hire. If one party would like exclusive usage then they should also have exclusivity in image use clauses which state where the artwork can’t appear (e.g., trade publications). In addition to these concerns with intellectual property issues come considerations such as what happens if something goes wrong during shooting? Does either side want their name associated with any failing outcome? Who pays for incidentals and who takes responsibility.

What do I need from my client before we start working together? How much control should they have over what goes into the photographs after purchase (can they change them)? What are our obligations once this agreement has been signed by both parties, including when does payment become due and whether one party needs permission from another in order to make changes without consent of other involved members? When will ownership rights be granted back?

Why do photographers use contracts?

Photographers use contracts to protect themselves and their work. Contracts specify what can or cannot be done with the images, how much a client owes for using them, etc., so that both parties know where they stand before any of this happens.

How long should a photography contract last?

It all depends on the needs of your client. There are many factors that determine how long a contract should last, including what’s technically required for sign-off in order to file copyright claims and whether or not you’d like to offer an annual update during which time you can renegotiate terms if necessary.

You might also be interested to know that there’s no set standard length for contracts: they come with different lengths depending largely on industry standards

What kind of contracts do photographers need?

Contracts are important for working photographers. They protect the photographer in case of a dispute, and it can prevent legal issues from arising if they’re not already protected by their state’s small business laws.

Contracts should be formalized with every client to ensure that both parties understand what is expected out of them when entering into photosession agreements or any other type contract arrangements between the two entities involved.

How does freelance photography work?

That’s a great question! It is important to understand that you cannot just pick up your equipment and start shooting. Freelance photographers need the same basic tools as their full time counterparts but they are able to find clients, negotiate rates with them, create contracts, advertise jobs for themselves online or in newspapers/magazine ads and more because of having flexible schedules which allow them greater control over how much they want to earn from each job.

It often takes many years before a photographer can make enough money freelancing so it’s best if someone has another source of income while getting started like working part-time at an office supply store where he might be given discounts on supplies there versus buying everything new upfront when starting.

How do I make a wedding photography contract?

The first thing you need to do is meet with your wedding photographer. Negotiate the terms of their contract based on how long they will be shooting at your event, what type of photos or videos are included in the package and any other requirements that may arise through production such as travel time, location coverage etc. Most importantly: make sure not to sign anything until all parties agree!

How do you use Shootproof contracts?

Shootproof contracts are crucial for any business and it’s easy to customize them. With Shootproof, you can upload your company logo or design the contract with a custom template that matches your branding needs. The savings on time is worth mentioning too – as soon as someone agrees to sign the document electronically, they’re automatically sent an email notification about their agreement after signing- saving both of us from another follow up email!

The best part is that once our customers have signed one of these documents via electronic signature we’ve taken all the risk out because if anything goes wrong in court; there will be no need for testimony proving who really created and agreed upon this agreement since evidence has been saved digitally by eSignature software providers like DocuSign.

How do I start my own photography business?

Starting a business is challenging, but you can leverage your skills in photography to open up an independent consulting company.

Most of the work that freelance photographers do involves taking pictures for corporate clients and smaller businesses looking for marketing materials or other promotional images they can use on their website or social media platforms. This means setting advertising rates competitively high and making sure not only are all of the photos wonderful but also prominently featured online with catchy titles and eye-catching descriptions so potential customers will find them easily when searching Google Images! Share this advice if you’re thinking about going into freelancing as a photographer now.

A contract is a legally binding agreement that defines the expectations of both parties involved. It’s important to have this in place before you hire your photographer because it can help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication about what each party anticipates will happen when they work together. If you’re needing a photography contract, we hope these tips helped you.