Booking + Photography Client Contracts

The best of the best photographers always ensure that their clients are cooperative and respect their shooting rights, as well as are happy with their photos they receive. We’re bringing you the best tips and advice on how to set up a flawless client contract, so you’ll be worry free when shooting for your clients!

1. Creating packages

When you create packages, you can customize the time, price, and number of photos you are giving to your clients. An example would be charging $65 for a shoot that lasts 2 hours with 20 edited photos. You can create several options for your clients with different amounts and prices, that allows them to feel flexible with a shoot tailored to them. This is especially wonderful for a visual for not just your clients, but you as well, so you can set a realistic price (more on that later) for your level of shooting.

2. Add space for general rules/notes to add to your contract

Having the name, date, location, and time, as well as any other general information is very critical to have in writing before you agree to shoot with any client. And most of all, don’t worry about having too many details - the biggest rule of thumb is if it’s in writing on a hard copy, it’s good to go.

3. Terms + Conditions

No, not the long and complicated ones that no one reads ;) We’re talking 5-7 simple, clear, rules/terms that validate your rights and the models rights. Having them pay up front and allow you to include your shots in your own branding and advertising of yourself, not only makes everything out in the open for the both of you, but also avoids any confusion and complications later.

4. Make it required to fill out the form in their handwriting, not digitally.

This way you can prove if ever need be, that they filled out their form and it’s in their penmanship. It may sound like an extra and unnecessary step, but unless you are 100% sure that this is someone who you’ve either shot with before, or know on a personal/professional level, the extra measure is worth it. Having said that, also have them sign their form as it is very easy to fill anything else out without it being their true handwriting. Their signature validates it because it’s the mark they leave everywhere they have gone prior.

5. Hold up your end of it, too.

When in doubt, keep it professional. When shooting, don’t be in doubt to begin with. Having the confidence that you haven’t disregarded any of your own terms and conditions, gives you the credibility and the benefit of the doubt to other new clients. It also provides you with a strong guard to fall back on if ever necessary. Keep your contracts and give a copy to clients as well to ensure common ground between the both of you.

6. Wording

Wording and phrasing your contract in a formal, concise and clear manner is extremely beneficial when showing you authority and professional experience. Use formal language, and make your thoughts clear without being too wordy. At the same time, don’t undermine the vocabulary you have access too and are capable of using, so take that into very important consideration.

7. Set your boundaries

As with everything else, setting your boundaries are extremely important. If a client doesn’t agree with your contract, don’t adjust it for them, but refuse the shoot. Even if it’s your first time shooting, be aware that there'll be more opportunities to come, and if setting up/arranging one shoot doesn’t work out, there will still be several more to come. That being said, make sure your rules and conditions are reasonable. Don’t include anything that crosses a line, or is out of line. Keep everything cordial and respectful of both of your rights.

8. Understand the greater good.

Creating a contract is by no means an “extra” step. It’s vital to ensuring you and your clients safety, and protects the model and the photographer’s rights.

The wonderful thing about it is you can customize it to you, and it doesn’t take a lot to write down boundaries that, with one signature, can make all the difference.

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