Why Photographers Need a Photography Contract to Protect Themselves!

By Darielle Teitelbaum

Photographer

You wear many hats in your photography business — you spend hours behind the lens, but even more hours are spent marketing, editing, delivering your images, networking, and staying relevant on social media. What often gets left to the wayside is properly planning the legal side of your business, like having a photography contract in place that has been drafted by a lawyer. While it may feel daunting and even perhaps a little intense to have your clients read through and sign a document full of legal jargon, having a photography contract in place is a crucial part of your business that will not only protect your business and your work, but also your time! (Plus the right contract won't have all the jargon and will be written in your brand voice, enter AWE Contracts!).

While it may feel uncomfortable to have a friend or a family member sign a contract before a shoot, the purpose of your contract is actually to build and maintain your relationship in a transparent and healthy way. A photography contract protects your business and your work by setting clear expectations between yourself and your client (even if they are a friend or a family member!), answers any questions your client may have down the line before even getting started, and secures the business deal.

Having a photography contract in place not only protects you and your work, but it also sets a professional standard for your business. Within this legal contract, you set out your terms and conditions as well as your processes and expectations (think payment schedule, what a client will receive, image licensing and ownership, when you’ll deliver the final products, number of edits, etc.). It also provides security in knowing that your client is invested in your business and won’t flake last minute. If there’s no agreement in place and no deposit paid to retain you for your work, there’s nothing stopping someone from walking away or worse, ghosting you. 

As a professional photographer, having a signed contract is just as important as having extra memory cards and batteries -- without it, you might miss a lot of opportunities or get stuck with no backup plan. Make your contract review and signature part of your client’s journey to working with you. With the legal side taken care of, you can focus on the many other tasks you have in the pipeline!

While photography contract templates exist online, you want to make sure the legal jargon used is, in fact, legal. The best way to ensure you’re actually being protected with this document is to have it drafted, or at the very least reviewed, by a lawyer like us at AWE Legal. We’re here to help you with the legal side of your business so you can continue to focus on the many other hats you wear daily.  Our new contract shop, AWE Contracts, makes the process even easier and more accessible, as no lawyers or high legal fees are involved at all (aside from drafting the reliable legal templates!). We have photography and videography contract templates tailored to your business needs.

Each contract is robust, lawyer-drafted and uses simple and clear language that you can brand and feel confident sharing with your clients. Browse our site and check out the Photography Kit to feel confident that you have all the of the essential contract templates you'll need to run your photography business! The Kit includes your Photography Contract (that has a waiver built-in), an Independent Contractor Agreement, Website Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, and a GDPR Guide and Checklist. All of our contract templates come with a User Guide, are quick-downloads, customizable and will provided a layer of protection and professionalism that you didn't even realize was missing from your business! The investment you make now will set you up for success later.

Email us at: hello@awecontracts with any questions, as we love helping to support fellow creatives and entrepreneurs.