Photography contract

A photography contract template suitable for any type of assignment, including events (such as weddings and sports matches), commercial (such as products or buildings), and portrait work. It has been drawn to give the photographer strong legal protection whilst at the same time being acceptable to the client. We have included a range of options around retention of ownership of image copyright.
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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Easily create a professional photography contract

This is a template designed for professional photographers to use to create client contracts on an assignment by assignment basis.

Photography is slightly different to other types of service in that the service generates an intellectual property product. Thus, the contract contains terms relating to the service (such as where and when to shoot) but also terms relating to IP licensing, such as who the final owner of the work will be. As a photographer, your contract should consider:

  • your service level provision, when difficult circumstances will sometimes mean that taking the pictures again isn't possible
  • ownership and licensing of the photographs
  • delivery of the photos (whether digital or physical)

Key features of this document

Covers practical aspects as well as the legal necessities

We have worked with photographers to produce this agreement. Not only is it legally strong, but also full of practical, commercial options to reflect how you work. These can be edited easily, or deleted, to suit your exact requirement.

Easily edited by you and accepted by your clients

Our use of plain English has several advantages in this type of contract: not only does it make the template easy to edit, but it also makes the contract less intimidating for your client to sign. Being easy to understand reduces the probability of future disputes.

The agreement is in the third person. We think it is useful for your clients to see this as a binding legal document. However, if you prefer a less formal approach, it is still just as binding in law if you edit the text so as to refer to “you” and “I” and so on.

Multiple alternative licence options suit many types of assignment

The contract can be used for many types of assignments, including:

  • weddings and parties
  • sports events
  • portraits and modelling
  • product shots
  • documentary and journalism
  • property (real estate)

As well as covering the situation where you are hired to be the photographer, the contract template can also be used where you take photographs speculatively (for example, at a sports event) and later sell the images.

Reuse the template for different assignments

When you buy this template, you buy a licence to reuse it for subsequent assignments. Create master versions for different types of work, or create each new contract from the original template.

Contracts can be negotiated or fixed

You can present the contract and ask client to sign as it is, or you can allow a negotiation of terms to shape the final document.

Includes model release provisions

Unlike many photography contract templates available on the Internet, we include model release provisions in this agreement, which means you don't have to find this elsewhere as a separate document, then persuade everyone who might be in a photograph to sign it.

Strong protection of copyright

The most important part of this contract is your retention of ownership of copyright and your licence to your client. We have heard so often about multiple, unauthorised, re-use, for example in estate agents sale particulars. This contract is the best way to protect yourself, your rights, and your income.

Contents of this agreement

  • Definitions and interpretation
  • Preliminary legal matters
  • The photography assignment
  • Price and payment
  • Selection procedure for client to choose photos
  • Cancellation
  • Licence of images to client
  • Licence of “model” rights to photographer
  • Special requirements
  • Photographer’s obligations - flexible
  • Use of sub-contractors
  • Confidentiality
  • Limitation of liability
  • Duration and termination
  • Other legal provisions
  • Extensive helpful and informative drafting notes

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current Indian law.

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Rakesh Taneja

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