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Contracts for Product Photography That You Need for Your Business

Contracts for product photography that you need for your business

A well-written contract is essential for any photographer, regardless of their area of expertise. While no photographer contract covers every imaginable scenario, you can create a general contract, then tailor it to each specific type of job. 

The General Photography Contract

It should be noted that there are no bulletproof contracts; there are exceptions and extenuating circumstances for everything. That being said, here are a few key provisions that every photographer's contract should include:

Scope of Work

Arguably the most important part of a contract, alongside the payment terms, the scope of work outlines the work that is to be completed for the client. It should include information such as the location, hours of work expected, and the number of photos to be provided to the client. 

Additionally, this section should outline special or unique requests the client may have. It should also note if any post-photography editing will be included.  

Payment Terms

Because paying rent is a critical part of your life, payment terms are a critical part of your contracts. Anyone who provides a service to their clients has, at one point or another, been stiffed by a customer. Having this clause will help your case if you end up in court. 

This section should detail information such as where deposits are made, payment due dates, and cancellation and refund policies. While cancellation clauses are a great way to protect yourself if your photography client cancels, it is important to remember that you’re also human and may need to cancel, so be sure and mention each party’s responsibilities, not just the client’s. 

Delivery Dates

Some clients believe they can have their photos the second you click the shutter. In reality, you know photography often involves hours of post-production and sorting through potentially thousands of images. Because this takes time, you should include not just the dates of your photography work, but the date by which the client can expect to receive the finished photos. 

Considerations for Product Photography Contracts

The number one thing that needs to be considered for product photography is most likely going to be copyrights and usage rights. It is commonplace for a photographer to retain copyrights to their photos, even if they are sold to the client–this is where usage rights are critical.

Will your client be using your photos for a private exhibition in an office, or will it be part of a nationwide or international advertising campaign? What about online and social media usage? 

Secondly, shooting products typically requires additional equipment, such as specialized lighting and space rental. It’s important to note in the contract who will be responsible for these expenses. You may even need to hire a second photographer, so it's important to understandhow to write a contract for a photographer you hire.

Finally, while the cost of your services may only amount to a few thousand dollars, your client may have spent far more money to buy advertising space that will utilize your photos. This means that the client will expect a perfect product and anything less than perfect could require a reshoot, so be sure and stipulate the terms and costs of any potential reshoots that may occur. 

Picture Perfect

If you have a passion that started as a hobby, evolved into a side hustle, and grew into a career, you can’t think of it as a hobby anymore. Make sure you protect yourself and your clients with the right contracts, and your time in the world of product photography will be much more enjoyable!

Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher

Kevin Gallagher is the CEO of The Contract Shop®, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and more. His background is in helping online businesses grow, having previously worked at Allbirds managing part of their operations. He is proud to report that his digital artist wife Mandy is a happy customer of The Contract Shop®, and his main motivation is to help as many people like her as possible with the tools that they need to confidently manage their businesses.

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