What To Include In Your Photography Contract. Terms and Conditions.

Clement Eastwood | The Art Shire
4 min readNov 30, 2022

Do you own a computer? Whatever you install any software, you’re given terms and conditions to read, which we rarely read. You don’t want your contract to be like that, long and boring. It should be concise and straight to the point. A thing your prospect and client will understand. You don’t want to write anything confusing in a contract. You want to make it plain and understandable.

Photo by Mari Helin on Unsplash

Alright, so terms and conditions.

A Terms and Conditions agreement is where you let the public know the terms, rules and guidelines for using your services. So, your contract of terms and conditions should include these.

  1. Let it be known that you shall be the only one on set. By this I mean you’re the only one who is going to be the only photographer for them. Whether it be weddings, headshots, commercial, etc. You’re going to be the only photographer there.
  2. Include that if there is a case of emergency on your side and you cannot show up for the photo session, you will provide them with another photographer who is as competent and professional as you.
  3. You’re not delivering any images until you’re paid in full. Yes, this includes previews. They’re getting nothing until you’re paid in full.
  4. Include also that you reserve the right to use the images for promotional purposes. Digital files remain the exclusive property of the photographer unless a shared copyright is entered. So you own the photos and you can do what you wish with it. Let’s say you’re shooting a father’s son. How do you go about it? Mostly, the one standing in front of the camera is the client, but in this scenario, the father is the client, not the son. This way, you’re ensuring you get in an agreement with the one who is responsible and not the one in front of your lens. This happens in cooperate institutions as well. The boss is in charge and you need him or her agreeing to your terms and conditions.
  5. Shared copyright. You’re co-owners of the images you produce, but you want to also include that whenever they share the photo you made anywhere they are to give you credit. Let’s say on their website or social media.
  6. You want to add that deposits are non-refundable. This is totally you up to you. You can add this or not add this. You also want to add that you’re not booked until a deposit has been made. This way, you’re taken seriously. A deposit reserves the date and time they have booked. Unless situations beyond your control seem to deter you from showing up, you’re not giving back the deposit. You will want to give back the deposit when you don’t show up due to reasons beyond your control. This helps your photographer client relationship.
  7. You also want to include that when you lose their files, you’re going to refund a 100% of their money. This is also up to you. OR you’re going to have to set a time and day for the shoot again, but this time without any fee. Bills on you. This is wonderful customer service. You’re running a business you want your client satisfied, not angry with you.
  8. You want to add that yesterday’s price is not today’s price. What do I mean? I mean, as time flies, you’re going to gain more skills and knowledge and I bet purchase more equipment, and this goes especially for past clients who think the price is going to stay the same after months or years since they hired your services. No, it doesn’t stay the same. I know a photographer who increases his fee by 5-15% every quarter. You’re only saying that they can’t get the same price for your service what they got 6 months ago. This should be non-negotiable.
  9. You want to add that this contract cannot be changed unless it’s done in writing and signed by them and you. Meaning, any modifications of the contract must be in writing and signed by both parties.

I hope this helped. You can add more or less to your contract depending on where you’re from but this should be a standard. Don’t you think? If you have anymore to add to it, please leave your answers in the comment section.

I’m Clement Eastwood, a photographer and an author who has made it his mission to educate photographers. Tap on this link to have access to my books on photography. And here’s a link to my podcast.



Clement Eastwood | The Art Shire

Assisting photographers in transforming their passion into a source of income. | Author