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3 Important Things Your Photography Contract is Probably Missing

So you’re ready to turn your hobby into a business!? YAY! Let’s bring on the photography business tips!

Or maybe you just want to make sure all your bases are covered in your current photography business contract!

One of the first things we recommend to our photographer friends before they take on any paying clients is to make sure they’re legally covered by a foolproof contract!

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking your first photography gig. But trust us – you don’t want to go without a solid contract that’s going to cover all the bases!

Over the years, we’ve perfected our photography contract and have even added things that we would’ve never thought about when we first started!

Houston Photography Coach

Having a detailed photography contract has not only made our lives easier but it’s also made our client relationships even stronger.

Because nobody wants to deal with awkward convos after the fact, that’s for sure! We’re all about full transparency from start to finish!

So whether you’re a wedding, family or senior photographer, you’re going to want to whip out your handy little notebook and take some notes. We could’ve saved ourselves a lot of headaches if we would’ve applied these tips sooner, so we want to help you out, friends!

You probably know you need the typical liability clause, model release, and cancellation policy but here are 3 things you might not have thought about to include in your photography contract!

(Psssttt…we automate our contract sending process & beyond in our Cotton workflows! Grab them here 👇🏼)

3 Important Things Your Photography Contract is Probably Missing

1. Exclusive Photographer & Responsibilities

You know Uncle Bob who just wants “a few pictures” and ends up getting in your shot every time? Yeah…this clause helps prevent that! You don’t want family or friends showing up and shooting right alongside you and then posting their images everywhere either. #majorfacepalm

This clause also helps to put the responsibility on your bride and groom/your client. It’s their job to make sure no one gets in your way so you can do your job and deliver what you promised! While we still want to be sweet and respectful, it’s good for your client to know this in advance. Most of the time, they don’t know that this is an issue we face so it’s super helpful for you to educate them on it!

Keep in mind that this clause applies to any event, not just weddings!

Read this next: 3 Ways To Give Your Brides an Amazing Wedding Day Experience

Intimate Destination Wedding in Glenwood Springs, ColoradoChateau Cocomar Wedding Photographer

2. Image Delivery Timeline Commitment

We’re all about underpromising and overdelivering – especially when it comes to image delivery! We’ve heard horror stories from people about waiting over a year for their wedding images! Yikes!

You want to set expectations for image delivery from the start. If you know it’s going to take you 6 weeks to deliver a wedding gallery, state on your contract 8-12 weeks. That gives you more than enough time to deliver the images if unexpected things come up in your life.

We know 12 weeks may sound like a long time but it’s crucial to give yourself that buffer just in case something comes up!

Houston Wedding Photographer

3. Social Media Credit & Editing

Social media is huge for us photographers yet it’s so easy to forget about!

Make sure you have a section in your photography contract that ensures you’ll be credited correctly whenever your client posts your images online. A lot of our clients come from social media, so having our profile there is SO important for us!

Your client should be made aware that they’re in charge of keeping their family and friends in the know about this clause, too! Don’t forget to also add a line about your no-editing policy. This should help prevent them from adding filters to your photos on places like Instagram.

And remember, your client is never intentionally adding that heinous Instagram filter to ruin the beautiful art you created for them! Most of the time, they have no idea that this might offend you. So don’t stress about it! Be grateful that your sweet clients are sharing your photos! But simply including a quick line to educate them will help them understand.

Protect your beautiful images, friends!

Belize Wedding Photographer

I hope these three additions to your contract help to protect you and take your photography business to the next level!

Have something in your photography contract that has made your life 10 times easier? Let us know in the comments below!


Michelle & the whole Cotton team




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website design by Alyssa Renee Made
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Cocktails, baby giggles, best friends
& one big family hug!

in love & engaged, let's elope (!)
from the ring to the first kiss

wedding photography

Lifestyle Photography

secrets to sun-soaked portraits, happy clients & a heart-centered business

Cotton coaching

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