Writing out a simple contract

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by cameracrack, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Hi
    I am planning on taking some portraits of two of my friends children. This is the first time I am actually planning out a portrait session with the intent to possibly use them as part of my portfolio.
    I thought it would be a good idea to write up a simple contract to protect myself. So I was wondering if there are any websites that anyone can recommend to help me put one together. Thanks a ton in advanced.
    Liana
     
  2. Try a Google search for
    contract
    photography contract
    model release
    and you will find a number of examples for your review.
     
  3. John Harrington's book "Best Business Practices for Photographers"
    ASMP book "Business Practices for Professional Photographers"
    Tad Crawford "Business and Legal Forms for Photographers" with files on CD
    All available from Amazon and maybe from your public library.
    <Chas>
     
  4. to write up a simple contract​
    The books mentioned are good ones.
    Starting out, "simple" is the key.
    Writing an agreement/contract that looks like 2 mega companies about to merge will scare away many clients.
    While wordy contracts filled with legalese are quite necessary for some, they are not for the majority of budding photographers.
    This does not mean you agree with a handshake only.
    Plain language will work since the reality of being sued is minimal until you begin taking on bigger and bigger jobs. The bigger the job (i.e) money, the bigger your exposure to problems.
     
  5. I would go for the books rather than the googled samples because those often turn out to be garbage despite their authoritative sounding language. Kevin's comments are useful too.
     
  6. There are several iPhone apps on photography contracts. They even sign the screen with their finger and you email them the contract. One thing is missing is a way to shoot and store a video as part of a contract, something often times used in a contract about people imaging. Look into them if you already use an iPhone.
     
  7. Thank you so much for all the information. I am going to look up those books, maybe I'll find one at the library.
    I do want it to be something simple since I am offering my services for free. I just want my friends to understand that I am keeping the rights to the photos and they can use them but I would want credit. That's about it.
     
  8. I do want it to be something simple since I am offering my services for free.​
    Then technically, it's not a contract but an agreement. A contract is an exchange. Usually product or service in exchange for consideration (payment).
    If we agree that you will give me a pound of potatoes and I will give you a couple of cabbages in exchange but I fail to give you the cabbages then I would be in breach of contract and still liable to pay you with the cabbages. However if you told me that you were going to bake me a cake but no cake appeared, that is not a breach of contract and I would not be able to take you to court to force you to give me a cake..... and I do like cake!
    I just want my friends to understand that I am keeping the rights to the photos and they can use them but I would want credit. That's about it.​
    What you really want is to grant usage rights to your friends so they know what they can and can't do with them. The wording needs to be clear so they know that they can only be used the way you want them to be used.
     
  9. Then technically, it's not a contract but an agreement. A contract is an exchange. Usually product or service in exchange for consideration (payment).​
    You left out the part where Liana says, "I just want my friends to understand that I am keeping the rights to the photos and they can use them but I would want credit." The obligation of giving credit is the consideration the clients exchange for the service. Interestingly, the quote is used in later in the post in a way that suggests usage without a contract but actually IS a contract.
    What you really want is to grant usage rights to your friends so they know what they can and can't do with them. The wording needs to be clear so they know that they can only be used the way you want them to be used.​
    In other words, they are granted a usage rights in exchange for an obligation to give credit since that's "the way [she] want them to be used". Its a contract whether verbal or written. Usage rights given in exchange for credit obligations.
     
  10. Its a contract whether verbal or written. Usage rights given in exchange for credit obligations.
    Fine point but very true.
    Wayne
     
  11. Legally speaking an "agreement" is enforceable only if it is a contract. That means it needs "consideration" which is nothing more than both parties to it giving up something of value to support the agreement, which is the "meeting of the minds" part of the contract. The OP providing photo services and prints or a disk is consideration passing from her, and the other side giving up any right to reproduce the photo without giving her credit is their valuable consideration. So that works as a contract.
     
  12. The OP providing photo services and prints or a disk is consideration passing from her, and the other side giving up any right to reproduce the photo without giving her credit is their valuable consideration.​
    That's assuming the other party had those rights. If they have to be given by the photographer only to be given back again then it's not much of a contract.
     

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