Photography Contract Template

Looking for a free Photography Contract template? Then look no further. You’ll find one here. Our team has crafted an Photography Contract template that will help you create a contract between yourself and your client

Contract Template​

Free Photography Contract Template Samples


To help you grow your business we have made a quite simple yet reliable Photography Contract template in Word and PDF versions so you can use it repeatedly.

What’s in this template?
  •  Scope of services
  •  Cancellation Policy
  • Payment terms
Click here to get your free Photography Contract template

What is a Photography Contract?

A photography contract is a legally binding contract between the two parties, the photographer and client.

The term “client” can refer to anybody or any entity you’ve established a relationship with in this capacity. For example, a client may be an individual, a family, a business that is hiring you to take headshots of its executive team, or a government entity that may need to take pictures at a local election.

Do I always need to make a Photography Contract?

Having a photography contract for ALL clients is key, and even more so, it is necessary for business owners to enforce what’s in the agreement. Contracts are, in fact, all about building healthy relationships with your clients. 

Your clients may or may not be all that interested in contracts. That’s why it’s your job to make contracts part of your process with every client you photograph. Your clients will respect you and your work more when you confidently step into the role of a businessperson.

Contracts also make it easy for the photographers, who can’t say no to their clients directly, can blame the contract for it and say that it was stated in the contract for which we agreed. Business owners that have a written agreement takes a huge load off of their shoulders. 

While having this document is key, “provision stuffing” can do more harm than help. Instead of paying attention to the most important details in your contract, the clients are just sifting through handfuls of muck that isn’t even applicable. In court, these written agreements can be rendered invalid if they weigh too much in favor of protecting the photographer and don’t offer enough protection for the client. So don’t ever mention any unnecessary things that may not make any sense in your contract. 

The best way to be sure your business is covered is to make sure you have a photography contract and make sure you have a lawyer look it over before you use it with clients. Pay attention to special local or state stipulations that may work against you (or in your favor!) if you should ever be faced with a tough situation.

Importance of photography contract

A contract is important so that you and your client may know what to expect from each other clearly. The crucial part of a contract is that the parties involved should accept all the terms and conditions stated in the document. A good contract anticipates any potential conflicts or issues and accounts for them so you remain covered as the photographer and business owner.

A contract also serves as a relationship-building tool, showing your customers that you want to provide clear communication, set expectations, and fulfill promises. One of the biggest reasons to have a contract for your photography work is that it makes your business more valuable to clients because they know they can build a relationship with you based on trust.

How do I write a photography contract?

It’s hard to know where to even begin when you don’t know how to make a photography contract template.

There are plenty of free contract templates online. Be aware that any photography contract template found online will need some tweaking.

The free photography contract templates can be a good starting point. Especially if you don’t yet have the funds to hire a lawyer to create your photography contracts for you.

As soon as you’re able to invest in a lawyer’s time, though, We recommend that you do so.

Having a lawyer review your photography contracts will ensure that it’s a legally binding document. This could defend you in court, should that day ever come (and we hope it doesn’t!).

Download Photography Contract Template

Important Terms

What should be included in your photography contract?

It is paramount to take note of the distinctions between photography clients. They are usually considered either consumer and commercial. It depends on your business with whom you deal with.

You can define commercial photography as creating photos for use in materials that generate revenue. This can include packaging, marketing, and sales. Commercial pictures may include imagery of lifestyle, landscapes, portraits, architecture, food, and fashion. It also involves any other form of a photograph used to sell a product/service or advertise to someone.

A photography contract generally includes basics like both party names and info on payment. The following points should be included while making a photography contract:

    • Contact information for the two sides: This may be quite obvious. But both sides need to have their complete names and contact info. This is an era where individuals create arrangements on Instagram through a private message or a text message. Request a full name and some way to contact the client while offering your own details.
  • Start Date of Photo Contract and the Shoot Date (if relevant): It is important to have an agreement term that specifies the start date. This allows both sides to keep a record of when the contract began.
  • Service description which includes location and time: This is the main component of a photography contract. It is a summary of what each side will provide. It includes the client’s economic total and also what is being offered for the payment that you specify in return.
  • Information on the service payment, cancellation, and deposit: This is usually the last item but also very important. A photography contract for a session must also include a fixed price quote. Your organization can have sophisticated payment options, just like other companies. These can include preliminary charges, extra costs, due fees, taxes, policies in instances of cancellation, and more.
  • Deliverable items: Each agreement should state in clear terms what you (the contracted photographer), will give the client. Usually, this can take the form of the least amount of pictures you undertake to give the client. This may be any number like twelve hundred or twelve. It all depends on the specific event and your photography business management style.
  • Responsibility of the client: Photography is a two-way agreement between you and the client. It is not uncommon for you to require your client to assist or collaborate with you. This helps, so you can do your work more efficiently. The general photography contract can be a way to describe the expectations or obligations you want your client to perform.
  • Long-Term Rights to an Image for the two Parties: If there is a customer who pays you for taking some photos, a common question that comes up is who is the owner of them? You’ve taken them, so they’re your job. But since the client has bought them, this also means it is a form of ownership. Set clear license terms to avoid ambiguity if you want to retain certain rights.
  • Model Release: This is a provision that acts as a potential legal release option that the client/subject in question signs. In the case of a minor, a photograph’s guardian or parent will do. It gives the photographer permission to get a photo published in a form, which is usually for marketing and materials for a portfolio. In dealing with minor children, we cannot emphasize enough the significance of the inclusion of this provision.
Policy on Cancellation: This is an essential policy, as it aims to safeguard your time spent and keep your unexpected overhead low. It is also important to be up-to-date with your customer/client and highlight this provision specified in the contract. Ensure the client knows that a cancellation at the last minute or no-show will lead to a fee, especially when travel is involved.

Can I write my own photography contract?

You certainly can, but you could also make some massive mistakes by doing so. For example, many photography contracts say that a client needs to pay a Deposit and then a final payment. Then the contract states that if the client cancels the shoot, the photographer doesn’t have to give the money back. WRONG! In many states, the photographer would have to give the money back.

However, a simple change of wording can make it so the photographer keeps the deposit if the client cancels. All you need to say is that the payment is an ‘Initial Payment’ and state that the purpose is to reserve the photographer’s time which he or she will not advertise as being available. Otherwise, it may be treated as an unearned retainer.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about our Photography Contract Templates

 We recognize that your contract layout conditions may need to be changed to be in line together with your client’s needs. That’s why we have made Contract in Word format as well so  that you’ll be able make adjustments as you like. If you want to make important changes to the template, we propose you to get help of  a lawyer or conveyancer to make sure you still have protection.