You’re probably thinking, “Oh, no. This is gonna be long and boring.” and you’re probably feeling inclined to skip right over, but let me stop you from scrolling, because it’s a bridge you’re going to cross if you’re ever planning to hire a photographer at any point in your life.. So might as well know what you’re signing.
Let me preface this blog post by saying, when I first started my photography business I didn’t have a contract in place for a few years. I think I even thought by not having a contract I was more approachable. Can you believe?
I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking. I would sometimes have random issues with certain clients and I wasn’t even sure why these things were happening. I guess you could say at the time, I was uneducated in the “let’s run a service-based business” aspect. But here’s the honest truth, any issues that I thought were the clients’ fault was actually my own.
Let me repeat that.
Any issues that *I thought* were the clients’ fault was *actually* my own.
Yes, my friends. By not having a contract in place where two parties could come to an agreement on, I was not only allowing issues to arise, but I was welcoming them with open arms. I didn’t educate and explain things clearly to my clients beforehand which caused a misinformation or miscommunication to occur. And after listening to numerous business podcasts, watching business related YouTube content and reading other photographer’s blogs I suddenly like,
“DUH! I need a contract!”
So here I am several years into my business and telling you all about it.
What you need to know about photography contracts is this.
The contract your photographer is having you sign is not to be mean, “so strict”, or even intimidating. Contracts are one thing: an agreement.
You are signing an agreement about a variety of topics which I will break down below.
This list is to give you an idea of the basic line items usually listed in a photographer’s contract. Remember that all photography contracts vary from one to the next (sometimes even within the same photographer depending on the type of photography they are providing).
So always read the contract. I know sometimes they are long, dry and kind of boring to read, but you always want to make sure you understand what you’re signing and if you don’t understand something, your photographer should be able to explain to you what any of it means.
*Pro-Tip: Your photographer should always know what is written in the contract and if you ask them to explain it, they shouldn’t have any hesitation in answering. But also know that we take pride in the services and products we provide to each of our clients.
Be sure to be on the lookout for a deeper dive into some of the topics listed in my photography contract. Trust me, you’re going to want to read it.