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Photography Contracts Professional Contracts for Photographers

FAQ About Contracts for Photographers

Do you need a contract as a photographer?

Definitely! A contract is essential as it protects your professional and personal intellectual property rights, outlines the scope of your work, and defines your payment expectations.

Photographer contracts are also something to refer back to in the case of any potential disputes or non-payment for the photo shoot. If you want to be protected in the event of last-minute cancellations or misuse of your photos online, a contract is always a good idea.

Can I write my own photography contract?

It is generally advised not to write your own photographer contract; getting a professionally drafted contract is much safer and will ensure that all the business essentials are covered. A professional will know what things to include in the contract that will protect your business.

Unless you have legal experience with contracts and client payments, creating your own contract could leave your business exposed to unforeseen legal issues. Getting a professionally drafted contract template will give you peace of mind – you can be confident we’ve thought of every eventuality our photography clients may be faced with!

Do photographers own the rights to use their photos?

Thanks to copyright laws, photographers generally own their own photo rights from the moment of creation. However, these photographer rights can be changed through contractual agreements, including work-for-hire arrangements.

Under some work-for-hire arrangements, the person who commissioned the photoshoot may be considered the copyright owner of the photographs. Photography contracts can outline who has rights to use the images and how they can be used.

This is why it is so essential to have a contract form where you clarify these photography business issues. You don’t want to wind up with clients who are using your photographs for commercial gain or online, and have no legal recourse to stop them! Once a client agrees to the terms of the contract, you can feel confident that your photography business will be protected in the event that the contract gets violated.

Do photographers copyright their work?

As stated above: Generally, photographers own the copyright to their own photos. However, in some circumstances, the users who commissioned the photoshoot may be considered the photograph owner.

In order to ensure you retain the copyright for your professional photos, you need to ensure you have a clear contract drawn up with your client outlining who owns the copyright and what use of the images is acceptable.

What information and terms should I put in a photography contract?

A photography contract can differ based on the needs of the individual photographer and their clients.

The needs of a wedding photographer will be different from those of a videographer or equine photographer! In general, though, the contracts for photographers should include the following:

  • Clear pricing and expectations for payments
  • Clear and detailed description of the photography services you will be providing the client
  • Delivery timeframe of the sample and final images
  • Copyright ownership information
  • Liability concerns
  • Cancellation policy and information on refunds in the event of unforeseen circumstances

Our templates include all of this information in a clear and easy to read format that makes handling each photography session contract as stress free as possible for both you and the client.

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