Is a Commercial Photography Contract Really Necessary?

Standardized Legal Documents Is a Commercial Photography Contract Really Necessary?

Should You Prepare a Commercial Photography Contract? 

If you are a photographer, you need to decide whether you require a commercial photography contract. While some people will advise you to create a contract to protect your projects and business, you might still have some doubts. Drawing up legal documents can be a real hassle. 

This article provides useful information that might help you make up your mind. Apart from that, DoNotPay offers an affordable tool you can use to draw up lots of agreements and documents.

Why Do You Need a Commercial Photography Contract?

You should have a commercial photography contract to avoid:


  • Misunderstandings
  • Difficulties 
  • Profit loss
  • Being sued

To protect your rights and resolve any disputes, you should sign a contract before taking photographs for different events and purposes, including:

As with any other job, you will have to agree on certain terms and conditions with your clients. To make your business transaction legitimate and professional, you should have clear terms and consequences in writing.

How To Create a Commercial Photography Contract

You can create a commercial photography contract by:

  1. Consulting a lawyer
  2. Using contract templates

Hire a Lawyer To Prepare a Commercial Photography Contract for You

While it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to create a contract for you, this option can be pricey. Large companies do that since they want to:

  • Play it safe
  • Make sure all legal aspects are covered

If you do not have enough funds to have a lawyer draw up the contract from scratch for you, you can have him or her review the contract you have prepared using contract templates.

Should You Rely on Contract Templates?

You can check out some photography contract templates online to determine what your document needs to include. Keep in mind that each contract should be customized for a specific project. 

Another aspect you need to consider is that some platforms require payment for accessing or downloading contract templates.

What Should a Commercial Photography Contract Include?

To make sure you do not skip important parts in your commercial photography contract, consult the table below:

Contract Sections Additional Information

Contact information

The names and contact details of your:

  • Client(s)
  • Business
Dates
  • Contract start and end dates
  • Shoot(s) if applicable
Delivery results This part should include:

  • The total amount a client needs to settle
  • What you will deliver in exchange for the agreed payment
  • Date, time, and location for a one-time shoot
Cancellation policy You should cover the following:

  1. How and when you or your client can cancel the contract
  2. Non-refundable retainer 
  3. Whether:
    1. Additional fees will apply
    2. You will return a part of the deposit 
Payment schedule You should break down all expected payments, such as:

  • The amount of the retainer when booking the shoot
  • Several payments for large jobs
  • What will happen if any payment:
    • Is late
    • Bounces
Copyright ownership and transfer of use rights Photographers need to retain copyright and can grant their clients use rights for:

  1. A limited amount of time—common for commercial photography contracts
  2. Life—typical for personal photos, such as wedding photographs, family portraits, etc.    
Property and model releases If the photographs will be shown to the public, you need property and model release forms. If you are planning to use your clients’ images, you:

  • Should inform them about it
  • Can charge an extra fee if the client refuses to sign the release form
Liability limitations This part of the contract should cover what happens in case:

  1. There is damage
  2. The project cannot be performed

You can include events beyond your control here, such as:

  • Injury
  • Illness
  • Lost files
  • Force majeure
Editing and post-production This section should cover:

  1. What edits you provide (if any)
  2. Whether clients can edit your images
  3. How clients can use your photographs
Additional fees These fees can include, for instance:

  • Cancellations
  • Travel expenses
  • Extended shoot time
  • Major editing and changes
  • Late or bounced payments
  • Permit costs for some shooting locations

Create Contracts Tailored to Your Needs With DoNotPay 

DoNotPay keeps designing accommodating features to help you deal with various administrative matters. One of them is our Standardized Legal Documents product that can generate various legal documents and agreements efficiently. 

Whenever you need a customized document, access DoNotPay and follow these short steps: 

  1. Choose our Standardized Legal Documents product
  2. Enter the name of the document in the search field
  3. Answer a few basic questions 

Once you enter the necessary information concerning your personal or business requirements, we will use it to create a document to meet your needs.

What Documents Can DoNotPay Help You With?

You can access our AI-powered app to generate numerous documents, including the following:

Besides creating a legal document in three clicks and a few minutes, DoNotPay also offers you the option of drawing up as many contracts as you wish for the price of one monthly subscription!

Sign up for our service if you would like to avoid:

  1. Creating an agreement from scratch on your own
  2. Paying a hefty sum for a lawyer’s full service and time 
  3. Using general templates that might miss significant aspects of your business deal

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