Photography Legal Agreements

Photography is a lot of fun and can sure be a great job, but it would be wrong to assume that there are no legal matters to take care of. If you want to be a professional photographer you will need a number of legal documents at your disposal.

As an example for Wedding Photography services , let’s say you are asked to cover a wedding for you school buddy. He would be expecting you to hand over all of the images, have the sole rights to your images.

What if you missed the ‘ring shot’? Can he now turn around and say he does not want to pay you? What if there where other photographers that were invited too and blocked your view?

What if your friend now wishes to use your images to promote his/her business?

Who owns the copyright to your images? Issues such as these could be easily addressed if you have formed a legally binding contract Agreement with the client, in this case, the wedding couple.
TIME
Having a proper agreement in place will also help you define the scope of work that is expected of you.

What if the plan for the day was for a four hour event but due to various reasons the day became twice as long?

What if the party goes on until the early hours of the morning but you’ve been working since 8am?

Are you expected to stay for the same amount of money?

Limiting the hours of work and specifically mentioning the deliverables will make your life a lot easier. If you are forced to stay longer you may now also bill the client for the extra time.
100%.

CHARGES

“We will pay the difference after we see the pictures”. Have you heard this before? Some of you might feel somewhat embarrassed or uncomfortable charging the full amount before the wedding but this is a very big mistake. What if you have completed the job and the client, with the good intentions to start with, now feels they spent too much money on the wedding and feel the need to re-negotiate?

You might get the “You didn’t take enough pictures of uncle Bob” or “Your pictures are not as good as I expected”. What will you do then? Charging the full amount in advance puts your mind at ease and rids you from this head ache all together. When you come to the wedding you are free to be creative and it serves everybody’s best interests. Having an agreement in place can give the client all the assurances they need. If they still do not trust you it might be a good reason to reconsider the whole assignment.

Factors to consider in a Legal Agreement

    • Having a legal contract for photography services such as wedding, projects, promotional
    • Charging for extra time and not limiting the hours of work
    • Charging 100% in advance
    • Clear outlining the Clients details: 

Name, contact, address
Venue
Time duration
Delivery date
Services to Be Expected
Signature

Sample agreements for professional photographers are easily available online. To help you start out you can check out using a simple google search that will give you surprising results. BUT

Below is a Simple Sample Wedding Contract we have Created

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AGREEMENT

Bride’s Name…….…….

Phone:……………. / Contact person:………..……….

Email:….……………………………………………………….

Groom’s Name:………………..

Phone:……….………. / Contact person……….………

Email:……………………………………………………………………

Wedding Date: ……………………..

Location of ceremony: …………………….…..

Location of Reception:……………………………..

Location of Photo-session: ………………….………

Photography Videography Details

……………………………………

…………………………………….

…………………………………..

 Total Amount Kshs. 0.00

Deposit Paid Kshs 0.00

Balance Kshs 0.00

Crew arrival time: ………..…

Crew departure time..……………………….

PAYMENT

a) The CLIENT should pay a deposit of at least Kshs 0.00 upon signing of the contract.

b) The client shall pay Y% of the total amount either in cash or Cheque to COMPANY X PHOTOGRAPHY before the wedding day. The remaining Y% should be paid on the wedding day or two weeks after the wedding day.

c) The client shall be required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable reservation retainer equal to X% of the total photography fee. No date is reserved until the contract and the retainer are received.

d) In the event the Client fails to remit payment as specified, the Photographer shall have the right to immediately terminate this Agreement with no further obligation, retain any monies already paid, and not attend this event

e) The client shall pick up the end product as soon as being called by COMPANY X PHOTOGRAPHY and preferably within X months after being called by the service provider.

CANCELLATION

a) The contract will be considered cancelled if the client defaults in paying Y% of the total amount before the wedding date as agreed in this contract. The photographer will not be obliged to attend the event.

b) In case of a change in dates the client shall give at least X months’ notice in writing to inform the service provider of the said cancellation. In return the Client shall be refunded the entire amount paid upon the time of cancellation.

c) If the client gives less than X months’ notice in writing to the service provider the entire amount paid upon cancellation shall be forfeited to the service provider for opportunity lose.

d) The service provider shall terminate the contract by giving X months notice in writing to the client.

e) In case of cancellation by the service provider in (d) above the service provider shall refund the entire money paid by the client.

f) If the service provider gives less than X months’ notice to the client the service provider shall refund the entire amount paid by the client plus Y% interest agreed upon by both parties in writing.

The terms of this contract are accepted by:

__________________________                     ____________________

               Client                                                        Date

_______________________                         ____________________

On behalf of  X PHOTOGRAPHY                      Date

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