OTHER NAMESPhotographer ContractPhotoshoot ContractPhotography AgreementPhotography Services Contract
What is a Photography Contract?
A Photography Contract is a legal agreement that outlines the scope, payment timeline, and due dates for photography services. With signatures from both the photographer and the client, this contract can help to create a shared understanding and limit future conflicts.
Even if you are hiring or being hired by a friend or family member, the Photography Contract is a document that should never be missed. A Photography Contract helps to make sure everyone is on the same page about what services will be provided, what the finished product delivered will be, who owns the photos, how much the client will pay, how long the engagement will last, and who is responsible for any required costs or transportation.
When can you use a Photography Contract?
You are hiring a photographer for an event, wedding or private session.
You are a photographer who needs a contract to provide to clients.
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Sample Photography Contract
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CONTRACT FOR PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES
This Photography Contract (the "Contract") is made effective as of (the "Effective Date"), by and between of , , of , , , and of , , . of , , .
DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES. On , will provide to the following photography services (collectively, the "Services"):
PERFORMANCE OF SERVICES. (1) agrees to take photographs as per 's stated requests, allowing for artistic expression; (2) agrees to use high technical quality to meet 's needs, for web or print; (3) will use digital photography and color management consultancy knowledge to create photographs for ; and (4) shall provide with a lookbook or samples of the final proofs within days.
PAYMENT. (1) agrees to pay a sum of at a rate of per hour in consideration for the photography services to be rendered by . In consideration for this fee, will devote to cover the event or occasion of ; (2) will provide proofs and/or a lookbook to to review for final purchase of pictures.; (3) will provide with a cost sheet itemizing the cost of different packages and individual photo purchases.
DEPOSIT. At the time of the signing of the Contract, shall pay a non-refundable deposit of to for the Services. The deposit will be subtracted from the total payment owed by upon completion of the Services.
CANCELLATION POLICY. All deposit fees are non-refundable. A minimum of notice will be required for cancellation of this Contract by . Any cancellation made with less than notice prior to the agreed upon service date will result in full payment by . If the cancellation is initiated by , all monies paid to from shall be fully refunded, INCLUDING the deposit fee. Refund shall be paid out within thirty (30) calendar days from the cancellation date.
TERM. and agree that this Contract shall commence on the above date and that same shall terminate on . Said agreement may be extended and/or renewed by agreement of all parties memorialized in a subsequent amendment thereafter.
WORK PRODUCT OWNERSHIP. Any copyrightable works, ideas, discoveries, products, or other information (collectively, the "Work Product") developed in whole or in part by in connection with the Services will be the exclusive property of . . Upon request, will execute all documents necessary to confirm or perfect the exclusive ownership of to the Work Product.
RELATIONSHIP OF PARTIES. It is understood by the parties that is an independent contractor with respect to , and not an employee of .
CONFIDENTIALITY. , and its employees, agents, or representatives will not at any time or in any manner either directly or indirectly, use for the personal benefit of , or divulge, disclose, or communicate in any manner, any information that is proprietary to . and its employees, agents, and representatives will protect such information and treat it as strictly confidential. This provision will continue to be effective after the termination of the Contract.
COURTESY. The photography schedule and selected methodology are designed to accomplish the goals and wishes of . and agree that positive cooperation and punctuality are therefore essential.
WARRANTY. shall provide its services and meet its obligations under this Contract in a timely and workmanlike manner, using knowledge and recommendations for performing the services which meet generally acceptable industry standards and will provide a standard of care equal to, or superior to, care used by service providers similar to on similar projects.
DEFAULT. The occurrence of any of the following shall constitute a material default under this Contract:
The failure to make a required payment when due.
The insolvency or bankruptcy of either party.
The subjection of any of either party's property to any levy, seizure, general assignment for the benefit of creditors, application or sale for or by any creditor or government agency.
The failure to make available or deliver the Services in the time and manner provided for in this Contract.
REMEDIES. In addition to any and all other rights a party may have available according to law, if a party defaults by failing to substantially perform any provision, term or condition of this Contract (including without limitation the failure to make a monetary payment when due), the other party may terminate the Contract by providing written notice to the defaulting party. This notice shall describe with sufficient detail the nature of the default. The party receiving such notice shall have days from the effective date of such notice to cure the default(s). Unless waived by a party providing notice, the failure to cure the default(s) within such time period shall result in the automatic termination of this Contract.
FORCE MAJEURE. If performance of this Contract or any obligation under this Contract is prevented, restricted, or interfered with by causes beyond either party's reasonable control ("Force Majeure"), and if the party unable to carry out its obligations gives the other party reasonably timely written notice of such event, then the obligations of the party invoking this provision shall be suspended to the extent necessary by such event. The term Force Majeure shall include, without limitation, acts of God, fire, explosion, vandalism, storm or other similar occurrence, orders or acts of military or civil authority, or by national emergencies, insurrections, riots, or wars, or strikes, lock-outs, work stoppages, other labor disputes, or supplier failures. The excused party shall use reasonable efforts under the circumstances to avoid or remove such causes of non-performance and shall proceed to perform with reasonable dispatch whenever such causes are removed or ceased. An act or omission shall be deemed within the reasonable control of a party if committed, omitted, or caused by such party, or its employees, officers, agents, or affiliates.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION. The parties will attempt to resolve any dispute arising out of or relating to this Contract through friendly negotiations amongst the parties. If the matter is not resolved by negotiation, the parties will resolve the dispute using the below Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedure.
Any controversies or disputes arising out of or relating to this Contract will be submitted to mediation in accordance with any statutory rules of mediation. If mediation does not successfully resolve the dispute, the parties may proceed to seek an alternative form of resolution in accordance with any other rights and remedies afforded to them by law. Any controversies or disputes arising out of or relating to this Contract will be resolved by binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator's award will be final, and any judgment may be entered upon it by any court having proper jurisdiction.Any controversies or disputes arising out of or relating to this Contract will be submitted to mediation in accordance with any statutory rules of mediation. If mediation is not successful in resolving the entire dispute, any outstanding issues will be submitted to final and binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator's award will be final, and judgment may be entered upon it by any court having proper jurisdiction.
ENTIRE CONTRACT. This Contract contains the entire Contract of the parties, and there are no other promises or conditions in any other contract whether oral or written concerning the subject matter of this Contract. This Contract supersedes any prior written or oral agreements between the parties.
SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this Contract shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Contract is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
AMENDMENT. This Contract may be modified or amended in writing, if the writing is signed by the party obligated under the amendment.
GOVERNING LAW. This Contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of Commonwealth of .
NOTICE. Any notice or communication required or permitted under this Contract shall be sufficiently given if delivered in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address set forth in the opening paragraph or to such other address as one party may have furnished to the other in writing.
WAIVER OF CONTRACTUAL RIGHT. The failure of either party to enforce any provision of this Contract shall not be construed as a waiver of limitation of that party's right to subsequently enforce and compel strict compliance with every provision of this Contract.
ASSIGNMENT. Neither party may assign or transfer this Contract without the prior written consent of the non-assigning party, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.
SIGNATORIES. This Agreement shall be signed by on behalf of by , and by on behalf of by , and is effective as of the date first above written.
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Photography Contract FAQs
Do I always need to make a Photography Contract?
Even if you are being hired by a friend or family member, the Photography Contract is a document that should never be missed. These benefits might help to inform your decision to use one:
The photographer and client both know what they are responsible for
There is no confusion about compensation
There are no surprises about how long the engagement lasts
Ultimately, if you opt not to use this document, neither party will get to experience the benefits that come along with having one in place.
What should a Photographer Contract include?
Specific details to add are:
The client's full name and address
Payment, deposit, and cancellation information
Number of hours for capturing images and editing
Days the photographer has to present samples of the final proofs
Number of days either party has to correct issues
A decision on who will own the images
As you would expect, Photography Contracts made with Rocket Lawyer also include the typical legalese with regard to the independent work relationship between the parties, confidentiality, liability for losses, and dispute resolution methods. While making your agreement, you'll also have the ability to designate which state will govern it. With the document tool, you are able to implement additional customization, as necessary.
What do I do after creating a photography contract?
In order to make the contract legally binding, you and the client need to sign it. RocketSign® makes this process easy. As a best practice, be sure to provide a final copy of the signed agreement to the client. With a Rocket Lawyer membership, you also may make a copy, print, and save it as a Word document or PDF file as necessary.
Would Rocket Lawyer be able to check my Photography Agreement?
While it is easy and straightforward to make a contract on Rocket Lawyer, there are many reasons why you may still want a lawyer to review your contract. Premium members can ask lawyers specific questions about their document or request the lawyer to review it.
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About Photography Contracts
Learn how to document your photography agreement with clients
What To Include in a Photography Contract
A Photography Contract, also known as a Photographer Contract, is an agreement used by a photography company or individual freelance photographer to provide photography services to a company or an individual client. Photography services are usually sought out for special events, parties, and big milestones. Occasions such as weddings, birthdays, company celebrations, and retirements hire photography services to document the gathering. The Rocket Lawyer Photography Contract outlines the scope of services, how and when the service is to be performed, payment terms, and more. This contract contains special provisions unique to photography services, including: sample photographs, performance guidelines, deposits, a cancellation policy and other provisions specifically tailored to the photography industry.
A Photography Contract made with Rocket Lawyer also includes the important basic legal contract terms to protect against liability for losses, provide dispute resolution methods, and other important legal protections. While making your agreement, you'll be able to designate which state laws apply. After making your contract, you can customize it to include any additional terms you want.
When making your contract, some of the most important details to include are:
The client's full name, phone number, email, and home address.
Payment, deposit, and cancellation information.
Number of hours for capturing images and editing.
How long the photographer has to present samples or the final proofs.
Number of days either party has to correct issues.
A decision on who will own the images.
When making your Photography Contract, you may want to play close attention to the following contract clauses and terms:
A cancellation policy protects photographers against possible financial losses if a client decides to cancel the contract on short notice. A cancellation policy is a standard policy in the photography service industry due to the distinct nature of the industry. In the event a client cancels at the last minute, the photographer will have difficulty finding another reservation or booking, therefore resulting in a loss of profit. This provision allows for a photographer to receive full or partial payment if the client cancels the contract without enough prior notice.
The Photography Contract includes an option that requires the photographer to protect and not disclose a client's confidential information. "Confidential information" is information that is unique to a specific business or individual, and is not available from other sources. Generally, information is confidential if unauthorized disclosure could result in harm to the owner. Some examples of "Confidential information" might include customer lists, trade secrets, products, business plans, financial statements, and manufacturing processes. This issue comes up more often when photographers work with business clients to develop marketing materials or other business assets.
A deposit is a fee that a photographer can require a client to pay at the time of contracting for services. Deposits may be non-refundable, partially refundable, or fully refundable, depending on how far along the contract has progressed. A monetary deposit is a standard policy in the photography service industry to protect the photographer against possible financial losses if a client cancels, or fails to pay on time.
The length of the Contract should be clearly stated. For a Photography Contract, this may also include the amount of time a photographer will spend at an event, as well as the amount of time a photographer has to deliver the samples or proofs, and delivery of the final images.
A Photography Contract typically ends upon the completion of the services, upon a specific event or occurrence, on a specific date, upon written notice by either party, or some other agreed-to basis. However, certain contract terms may survive the termination of the contract. For example, if the contract includes a confidentiality provision, the photographer must continue to keep the customer's protected information confidential beyond the stated term of the contract.
Work Product Ownership
If a product is created as a result of the service, it is important to specify which party will own the rights to the work product. The client generally has an expectation to be the owner of any work product resulting from the services, however, copyright laws typically give the photographer ownership of photographs. This provision confirms this expectation and obligates the photographer to cooperate in documenting the client's ownership rights.
Definitions of Photography Contract Terms
Alternative Dispute Resolution
When parties to a dispute agree to resolve the dispute outside of court, this is called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Mediation and arbitration are the most common forms of ADR and offer an alternative to going to court. Both involve an unbiased third party (mediator or arbitrator) who helps to resolve the dispute. The main difference between the two is that an arbitrator makes a final decision (just as if a judge had decided on the case), while a mediator helps to structure negotiations so that the parties can come to their own resolution.
In binding arbitration, the arbitrator's decision is final and legally binding on the parties. This type of arbitration means giving up the right to bring the dispute to court, which may or may not be desirable.
Mediation, on the other hand, brings the parties to a dispute together to negotiate a compromise. At any point in the mediation process, either party may decide to call it off and pursue other avenues of resolution (arbitration if provided for in the document, lawsuit, etc.), as long as they have made a good faith effort. Because mediation is more collaborative and less adversarial than arbitration, it is often the preferred option when the parties have a positive relationship that they would like to maintain.
The final stage in the life of a contract, typically occurring shortly before it is scheduled to end. The parties may choose to renew the contract with the same terms, negotiate a new contract, or allow the contractual relationship to end. Either or both parties may use this time as an opportunity to address problems that arose during the term of the contract.
Creative works that are eligible for copyright protection. A work must be in some tangible form to be copyrightable, such as a novel, play, screenplay, musical composition, musical recording, photograph, painting, or sculpture. An idea, by itself, is not copyrightable.
A provision in a contract that assigns all ownership rights to the works created under the contract to one party, usually the client. Photographs taken by a photographer in the course of their work for a client may be considered works-for-hire, meaning that the client has all ownership rights, including copyright. While this may seem like a common sense arrangement, clients and photographers should clearly communicate who will own the photographs once final payments are made to avoid misunderstandings.
A failure to perform or abide by the terms of a contract, also known as a “breach,” that is serious enough to render the contract inoperable. A non-material default, in contrast, might still allow continued performance of the contract. The non-defaulting party may be entitled to remedies, including monetary damages, after a material default.
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in which the parties to the dispute agree to work with a neutral person with training in conflict resolution. Mediation follows a much less formal format than a lawsuit or arbitration. The goal of mediation during a lawsuit is for the parties to reach an agreement so that they can avoid the continued costs of the lawsuit.
Non-performance occurs when a party to a contract fails to fulfill their obligations under the contract. It may be considered a type of breach of contract. The non-performing party may be liable (responsible) to the other party for damages, or the other party may be able to terminate (end) the contract. Non-performance may be excusable in some situations, such as when circumstances outside of the party’s control made performance impossible.
When one party to a contract has failed to fulfill their full obligations but has provided some of the promised goods or services. It may serve as a defense to mitigate the full amount of damages the party owes for a breach of contract. For example, if a contract states that a photographer must take 100 pictures of an event, and the photographer only takes 95 pictures, a court may find that the photographer “substantially performed” their obligation. Depending on the circumstances, the court may find that the photographer fulfilled the purpose of the contract, or it may award limited damages to the other party.
Work for hire
A work that belongs to someone other than the creator. Works created under a contract between a creator and a client may be considered works-for-hire and owned by the client. The contract may specify whether the client has exclusive ownership of the work or works, or whether the creator retains certain rights. A creator might, for example, retain a limited right to use the works to market or advertise their services to other potential clients.
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