When you have a lot on your plate, the idea of making a photography contract can easily be pushed aside. Many photographers and small business owners simply do not have time to create or put together a photography contract even though they desperately need it. In that case, you can contact a third party, like Honeybook, which will help make your job a bit easier.
Not only will a contract help your business look more professional, but it will also get a load off your back. Still, if you need some more convincing as to why you need a photography contract, keep reading.
Professional photographers are often asked by their friends and family to cover some important events. Frequently, photographers avoid relying on a contract when they’re working with someone close to them. After all, most people think their uncle or college friend will not do anything to harm their business.
However, in most cases, your friends and family do not realize how little they know about running a business. They don’t know how long it takes you to deliver those photos, edit them, and prepare the digitals and printed copies, how much you actually charge, and so on.
Your uncle Gary might post a photo without crediting you, which would seriously harm your business. Also, your college friend Tina might re-edit your photos after you’ve delivered them, thus posting sketchy-looking images with your name on them.
This is why a photography contract is important for absolutely all clients, including the people you are close to. It might help you avoid any anger or resentment that might arise from unfortunate situations with your friends and family.
Working with Companies
Photography doesn’t revolve only around important events in people’s lives. In many cases, photographers do their business with companies too.
Sometimes businesses offer to promote you in exchange for some free photos. Unfortunately, even though some companies agree to free promotion afterward, they don’t take it any further than an occasional ad. Mostly, they hand out a few business cards or tag the photographer online, but that’s all. These situations are quite frustrating for struggling professional photographers, but they often happen because there’s no contract involved.
This is why a contract is of utmost importance. As a photographer, you can outline a contract where you can clearly state what you expect from your client in exchange for your free services. In most cases, written contracts are legally binding, so you won’t have anything to worry about if there’s any trouble. Ultimately, in today’s competitive market, promotions are important more than ever, which is why you should make sure your clients have a clear understanding of what you expect from them.
Many inexperienced photographers believe that model and property releases are more important than photography contracts. Although they are necessary, we advise you to think about them only after you’ve drawn up a contract — perhaps they could be a part of it, even.
When the client signs the contract, the conditions that both parties have agreed to are clearly stated. If it comes to a misunderstanding, you can simply refer the client to the contract and point out that they have consented to such terms and conditions. If they have a change of heart or a problem, simply explain that they should have mentioned it before signing. This way, contracts can be much more than legal documents, especially for inexperienced photographers who are afraid to say no — they can be the bad guy.
Lastly, bear in mind that contracts are not only there to protect your rights as a photographer. They are also signed to take care of your clients’ interests. This means that it will be much easier for your client to do business with you and make the necessary transactions if a contract has been signed beforehand. Afterward, everyone will hear about your professionalism, and you will be able to get better clients and expand your business.