I, Rachel Brenke, have single-handedly been working with small business owners for over a decade.  Between TheLawTog® and my internationally-sought after law firm – I have seen the ins-and-outs of what photographers need.  

That’s why there is NO reason any photographer should be scared or worried about legalities of their business.  I have done the heavy lifting through transactional and litigation matters, and I know exactly what is needed.

Here is a listing of all the needs that I recommend for photographers:

 

 

MUST HAVE

  • Contract This contract should cover all of the pertinent areas any photography business owner should have to cover themselves legally for a portrait photography session and creates the relationship with the client. Includes provisions such as: retainer with liquidated damages, payment schedule, cancellation, rescheduling, late arrivals, location and travel, styling, completion schedule, use of independent contractor, photographic materials defined, artistic rights, copyright ownership, creative control, products included and additional purchases, gallery proofing, cooperation, control of subjects to be photographed, photo/video during session, failure to perform, substitute photographer, standard price list, indemnification and liability, legal miscellany (attorneys fees, jurisdiction, venue, waiver, etc.), and notice.

 

  • Model Release A model release is a legal release typically signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph in one form or another. This form also releases any claims the client may have to future compensation for use of images. Our download includes two model releases (general and limited).

 

  • Print ReleaseThe print release form is readily customizable to be included with digital file orders to outline the do’s and don’ts that the client can do with your art. This gives the client the permission to print only – does not give permissions for commercial or other uses. This does reemphasize the copyright laws.

 

GOOD TO HAVE

  • Final Sale – This is for use at the sales session to protect the sale. This can be used to prevent any issues with clients amending or attempting to cancel order after it has been placed. It should list your client’s product, quantity, price, and description, designation of shipment or delivery method of product, and also language to protect for: risk of loss, balances due, taxes, warranty, and final sale notice to client.

 

  • Product Delivery Acknowledgement This agreement is to be signed by clients upon acceptance of products. It binds and reminds the client that by accepting the products all sales are final and no refunds will be given.

 

  • Payment Plan -Use payment plans as an “ace in the sleeve” way to make larger sales with your clients. By having a payment plan contract, authorization to charge, and guidance – you’ll be set to start taking larger amounts of money while servicing your clients.

 

MAY NEED

  • Second Photographer Agreement- From assignment duties and use of equipment to copyrights and portfolio usage, the complexities of teaming up with a second photographer are intimidating. At the same time, if you’ve photographed a wedding or large-scale event, you know this partnership is crucial to your success. If you plan to hire (or be hired as) a second photographer for an event, such as a wedding, it is essential to complete a Second Shooter Contract.

 

  • Third-Party Payer Document – When a party other than your main client wants to pay, it is important to get authorization for payment and to ensure that the third-party payer understands their rights and responsibilities solely as a payer, and not as a party to the contract

 

So, I’m supposed to just listen to a lawyer?

Nope! Although the years of experience and seeing photography businesses crumble without contracts should be enough. Take a look at what our community members have said about being legit and protected.

What and when should I get contracts?

Unsure what you need?

We have a handy-dandy custom tool to help you find the documents you need!

 

FAQS

  • Does a lawyer have to draft it? No, but don’t you want to avoid issues rather than pay to clean them up later. Lawyers are trained and experienced in proper contract drafting.
  • How does a template form save me money?  Most aren’t awesome photography-experienced AS photographers like us 🙂 Here’s a longer explanation
  • How long should my contract be? Quality over quantity, my friend
  • How much does it cost to get a contract drafted? In many areas, just a main services contract can run $800+ (versus our $300 for contract, model release and print release in the All-in-One bundles)

 

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