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What you should know about the photographer's contract

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Above all, we must realize that not all of the records that we would like to include to protect our interests, will be in accordance with law regulations. After consultation with the law office, I woud like to provide you with a short guide. I will try to answer the question "What should you know about the photographer's contract?"

The contract should involve a detailed description of the order

We should include in the contract every, even the smallest detail that may be relevant to each of the parties. First of all, we should clearly define what the subject of the order is. It is also important to describe the responsibilities of the photographer and the customer.

The contract is meant to oblige the photographer to respect consumer rights

Photography is not only art, but also business. The photographer in the contract acts as an entrepreneur and the person ordering the service, as a consumer. It means one thing - the law strictly regulates the so-called prohibited clauses, which the photographer cannot include in the contract.

The contract must be personalized according to the order

Ready made contracts are a convenient way in this situation, but not every contract will be appropriate for our order. First of all, the contract must be personalized for the photographer, order and a client.

Keep up to date with the legal provisions in the contract

Law rules evolve, especially those regarding consumer rights. Therefore, you must be up to date with the legal acts which you refer to in the contract. Even the best contract prepared a few years ago may be incompatible with current law regulations.

Deposit, advance payment

A deposit a is an early payment of a part of the total amount for the order, which is counted as part of the payment after the order has been completed. If the contract is not executed, it should be returned to the customer. Another option is a prepayment of a part of the total sum for the order which, if the order is not executed for reasons attributable to the client, is not reimbursable. However, if the order is not executed due to reasons attributable to the photographer, the payment is returned to the client in a double amount. It should be remembered that the down payment does not only protect the photographer, but also the client. In the photographic industry, a down payment is usually applied, which is absolutely understandable.

Changes in the contract

The contract most often includes the following clause: "Any and all amendments hereto shall be in a written form; otherwise, they will be null and void.", which complicates the introduction of any changes to the contract if not in writing. It is worth to include in the contract issues regarding annexes, with the possibility of sending them via e-mail. However, if the contract does not contain provisions regarding the introduction of changes and annexes, nothing prevents you from making such arrangements and modifications by e-mail. Any oral arrangements, which in this case are also acceptable, should be confirmed by e-mail for security reasons.

Records in the agreement regarding the dissemination of the image

The consent for the distribution of the image does not have to be included in the contract. However, it should be ensured that this consent is given in a way that can be proved. Such consent, of course, can rely on testimonies of witnesses. However, remember that the best evidence is the one that indicates the consent with no doubt.

A lawsuit against the photographer

The client may sue the photographer. Photographer, in accordance with the contract, is responsible for the photographs he has made. He is responsible for their amount, if stated in the contract, specification or character as well as the capture of the agreed events. If the photos do not match the photos from the portfolio, you need to check if there was an impact of weather conditions or lighting independent of the photographer. In this case, there can be no question of improper performance of the service.

The most important parts of the contract

- definition of the parties in the contract, names, surnames, addresses, identification documents, - specification of the subject of the contract, - specification of the date of performance of the contract, - specification of the conditions and the way of payment, - defining the obligations of the parties during the performance of the contract, - definition of copyright, - determining the right to disseminate the image of people in the pictures, - determination of reaction in case of random events, - determining the manner and procedure of acting in the event of a dispute between the parties.

The above tips are just an outline of what the contract should look like. Outline, which, first and foremost will help the customer to check the contract of the photographer, because it is usually the photographer who provides this document. Always analyse the contract thoroughly, this is the first step to being fully satisfied with the photographer. If there are records that you do not understand, ask for their explanation in writing. I hope that I have clarified a bit the issues regarding photographer's contract. I invite you to the discussion.

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