Unusual Things To Make Sure You Put In Your Photography Contract -I bet you don’t have these in there!
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So let me just put this out there…. if you don’t have a photography contract right now- get one.
You don’t even have to be an official business. A photography contract protects both you and your client, even if you’re just portfolio building right now and not charging anything. It’s important that both you and the client know exactly what they’re going to get and exactly what you’re going to be doing with the images. If you ARE accepting payment and are a full-fledged business, well it’s even more important to make sure you protect yourself.
If you don’t have a contract at all yet- make that a priority, like today. And it’s not necessary or required that it’s digital. You can totally keep it simple to start, BUT digital contracts are really the way to go if you’re serious about a photography business. (Don’t know how to create it digitally? You can check out Honeybook which offers both digital contracts and collecting payment digitally double win!)
So you know the basic things that should be in your contract right? Like your pricing & payment. That’s kind of a no-brainer. But through the years I’ve learned and added things into my contract that I never thought of in the beginning. Let’s run through these unusual things to make sure you put into your photography contract.
Make sure to add in your contract your policy if the weather isn’t perfectly bright and sunny. Will you shoot in the rain? Will you shoot if it’s overcast? How about the temperatures… if it’s too hot or too cold? Make sure you’re very clear in your contract that cancellation because of weather is and your hands.
What You Plan On Doing With The Images
As a photographer you have a different idea on what you’re going to be doing with the images then your client does. Your client wants to take beautiful family photos and print them up and place them over the fireplace or put them on Christmas cards. You on the other hand, especially if you are a new photography business, probably want to use them to promote yourself. You want to use them as part of your portfolio or in social media. Make sure to include in your contract what you will be doing with the images and always remember if the client is uncomfortable with their images appearing online, you need to respect that and remember that they are paying for your service.
I know that I always show up early to every photo session and I would imagine that my clients would too. I mean, if I was paying to have my photo taken I would want to make sure I would get there with plenty of time, but that’s not always the case. I hear that a lot from photographers who get very frustrated with clients who show up 20, 30, 40 minutes late or more. What is your policy on a client that shows up late? Do you have a specific start and end time in your contract? Will there be a rescheduling fee if they show up too late? You want to think about that and make sure that it’s stated clearly in your contract.
Hopefully this won’t happen to you, but if it does, what’s your plan B? Will you cancel the session? Will you have a backup photographer? Make sure you have that stated somewhere in your contract just in case. Oh and make sure you stock up on that vitamin C!
What happens if someone in the session doesn’t want to cooperate? Maybe it’s the kids that are crying and cranky or maybe it’s Dad that just doesn’t want to be there. Every so often there’s someone that might not want to cooperate. As a professional photographer you want to make sure but you’re doing everything you can to make people feel comfortable and get the best shots in, but sometimes things just don’t go that way so make sure to lay out what happens if there’s a lack of cooperation.
Whatever you choose to include in your contract make sure that you at LEAST HAVE ONE (<—was that clear enough;) ) and if you’re unsure where to get one Honeybook is a great resource. They not only offer digital contracts and digital payments which makes things so much easier for you but they have several digital contract templates ready to go for you to make setting up your contracts even easier.
I’ve actually partnered with them to share with you 50% off your first year using Honeybook digital contracts and payments- BUT first make sure it’s a good fit for you. You can sign up here for free for the first seven days and then if it is for you, you get half off your first year.
Make things easy for yourself with digital contracts. Make sure you’ve covered yourself with the basics plus anything you think might come your way. That will help protect you and the client. And remember, your contract might change and evolve over time and that’s OK. And no matter how unusual you think something might seem…add it in if it makes sense to your business!
Is there something unusual you’ve needed to add to YOUR photography contract?? Let us know!