Photography Contract

Protecting yourself and your work as a photographer should be at the forefront of any photographer’s mind. Yet, many of us often overlook this facet of running a business. Contacting and working with a lawyer who specialises in business law can help you protect yourself from dishonest and disagreeable clients should a problem arise. Despite which genre of photography your work happens to fall in–perhaps you are a multi-faceted photographer–having a solid contract that is suited to your specific needs will take the guess work out of a job for both you and your client. Below, you can find an assortment of pre-made contracts which are available for use, free of charge.

Portrait Photography Contract – A plain language contract suitable for use when you will be taking portraits of clients either in the studio or at an event. Includes payment, copyright, and creative license terms.

Contract for the Sale of Fine Art Photography – Covers the sellers terms involved in the sale of a piece of fine art photography including but not limited to price, insurance, framing, and a section for an in-depth description of the piece to eliminate any confusion.

Gallery Contract for Sale of Photography - This contract is useful for the consignment of photography to a professional gallery and includes sections for sale and payment procedures as well as loss of risk terms.

Model Release – A necessary document if you’re working with models and talent. Protects the photographer from potential remuneration claims made by talent.

Minor Model Release – Essential model release for working with minors. To be signed by the minors parents or guardian.

Licensing Contract to Merchandise Images – Useful for when you wish to sell your images to clients for merchandising rights.


While having contracts made specifically for your business by a lawyer is ultimately the safest route to protect yourself, the contracts listed above are an excellent starting point. They can be altered to meet your needs and are available for use free of charge. Feel free to download and use the contracts as needed; however, these contracts may not be all inclusive for every type of situation, so you can adapt them to have your own personalised contract requirements.
It is that peace of mind of a well written contract that will give you piece of mind. I have been using a models release form now for several years and for me, that little additional upfront cost has saved me not only problems that I have seen arise with other fellow photographers, but also the heart ache I have seen when photographers go to sell their work, as no company in their right mind will buy work from you without the consent of those in your work and as harsh as that may sound, it is a very true reality that faces everyone who wants to sell their work, be it images or digital art work.