Most photographers are in this business for profit, with many single-handedly operating their small businesses, meaning they end up with a lot on their plates. Although most photographers hope that every shoot and transaction will go smoothly, we’ve heard numerous horror stories over the years. For that reason, it’s better to have a prepared photography contract that summarizes the services you offer as a professional.
With time, you’ll notice that your contracts will need to be updated and changed, so you might want to opt for a photography contract by Honeybook to take care of your needs in advance. If you’re still on the fence about getting a photography contract, read on to learn why you need one.
It might sound unnecessary at first, but one of your primary needs should be to protect yourself and your business. With a written document, both you and your client will have less to worry about as nothing will be lost in translation. So, if things look shaky, you will have a contract that outlines previously agreed upon services, meaning you will be backed up.
For example, let’s say the contract states that you will deliver 400 edited anniversary photos, but the client decides they want to have all of the photos, including another 1,000 unedited photos. In that case, you can look back at the contract and settle the dispute.
Don’t forget to include references that also protect your client. Their interests are just as vital as yours.
Another fundamental reason to have a photography contract is to manage expectations. Sometimes clients have unreasonable expectations, so a legal agreement can help keep those at bay. Similarly, at times we think we’re communicating clearly, but it turns out that our words are coming across differently. For that reason, a contract outlining every detail might be necessary.
Make sure you clearly state the terms surrounding the copyright, type and time of payment, number of edited photographs, how they are to be used, etc. This way, the client knows what to expect and when each item will be delivered.
Not only are contracts necessary for protection and managing expectations, but they will also encourage your clients to take you seriously. Staying professional may sometimes be challenging in this line of work, but if you opt for a photography contract, you’re minimizing the risk of something going wrong.
This is especially important if things do not go according to plan. Verbal contracts can be binding in a court of law, but written agreements are much safer as they are detailed and signed by both parties. For such cases, you will feel more secure as any miscommunication will be easier to prove in a court of law.
Similarly, the clients might gain more confidence in you and your work if they see you take care of business professionally. Plus, they will see the terms they’re agreeing to, which can make them feel more confident in their decision to hire you.
Aside from the basics, there are many more reasons why a photography contract is an integral part of running a business. Take a look at a few more reasons why these contracts should be part of your every business deal. Having a contract helps you:
Provide a point of reference in cases of dispute
Outline details regarding payments
Outline imagery delivery details
Clarify reasons for contract termination
Prevent possible legal issues
The reasons mentioned above should be enough to convince you to opt for a photography contract before your next gig. Whether you’re just now starting or you have years of experience under your belt, we wholeheartedly recommend creating a contract that will protect the future of your business.