Free Photography Contract Templates [2021 UPDATE]


If you’re stepping into the world of paid photography, having a photography contact in place is an absolute must here in 2021.

Even if there’s no exchange of money for your photography, it’s still a good idea to have some form of contract in place, just to ensure your rights are properly covered.

Not everyone can afford a lawyer to create a customised photography contract template, which is why I’ve included a few here for you to download for free.

As soon as you’re in a position to invest in a lawyer’s time, I’d highly recommend you have them look over your contract, and make 100% sure it’s legally binding and relevant to your country/state’s laws.

Disclaimer: the contract templates below are intended to be used as a guideline for you to customise, and eventually have verified by a lawyer. Shotkit will not be held responsible for any damages, lawsuits, or disputes that may arise from the use of these templates.

What is a Photography Contract?

A photography contract is a written agreement that specifies all the tasks to be carried out by a photographer. Depending on the nature of the photography work to be undertaken, the photography contract will include the type of services, the length of the agreement and the amount of compensation.

Once signed, the photography contract binds both parties to the agreement until the job is complete or the contract is terminated.

What Should Photography Contracts Include in 2021?

photography contracts - photographers contract for wedding photography business and legal rights for model needs

If you’re going to be creating your own contract from scratch, there are several items that are absolutely essential, and a few that might only be relevant based on the nature of the work.

As a starting guideline, here are 11 things you should think about including when writing a generic photography contract.

  1. Contact Information for photographer and client – name, address, email, phone
  2. Start/End time and date
  3. Payment Terms – pricing, payment schedule, deposits, retainers…
  4. Extra Fees – travel, second photographers, permits, late payments…
  5. Deliverables – what photographer and client will deliver, and when
  6. Cancellation Policy – what photographer is responsible for, refund of deposit…
  7. Image Rights – photo copyright ownership, transfer of usage rights, time period…
  8. Model Release – one for each person shown
  9. Image Copyright – who owns copyright to the images, is client able to edit images…
  10. Liability Limitations – inability to perform job, loss of files, acts of God…
  11. Signature Blocks – one for each page of contract

Remember this isn’t an exhaustive list of items to include when drafting your photography contract – it’s merely meant as a guide, from which you can base your own version, should you decide to make one.

Haven’t got time to do it yourself? Here’s how you can download a bundle of 4 of the most common photography contract templates…

Photography Contract Template Bundle | Free Download

I paid a law graduate (LLB) with experience in legal drafting to create 4 photography contract templates for me, then bundled them together for you to download for free.

You’ll need to customise each one to suit your own needs – remember to edit the highlighted sections, making sure to include the provisions and terms relevant to you.

As mentioned above, these contract templates are meant purely as guidelines. When you are ready to invest properly into your work, enlist the help of a qualified lawyer to look over the contract and make it legally binding.

Here’s what’s included in the free bundle:

1. Free Photography Contract

This is a generic photography template that can be adjusted to almost any work you undertake, whether free photography or paid – just remember to tailor it to the particular shoot, so as not to confuse your client.

2. Wedding Photography Contract

If you’re a wedding photographer who’s shooting your first wedding, make doubly-sure you’re properly covered! Get a lawyer to look over this wedding contract after you’ve customised it to your needs. You’ll also have to ensure you have photography business insurance and limited liability cover – mine is for $10 million (!!), but different venues require different levels of cover.

Reminder: this wedding photography contract (or any of the contracts provided here) isn’t a legal document until approved by a lawyer.

3. Model Release

If you’re taking a photo of a person, you’ll need them to sign a model release if you intend to publish their photo. No release is required for publication of a photo taken of an identifiable person when the person is in a public place – however, it’s always best to double check your rights.

4. Portrait Photography Contract

This can be easily amended for engagement shoots, one-on-one portrait sessions, family photography, and everything in between. If you intend to use the subject(s) photos commercially, it’s best to get them to sign a model release too. If they’re under-age, make sure you get their parent or guardian to sign it.

How to Download the Photography Contracts Bundle

In order to download the 4 free photography contracts templates, just enter your email address, so I can send you a link to download the template bundle.

By entering your details, you’ll be automatically signed up to the free Shotkit newsletter.

I promise to never spam you, but you’re free to unsubscribe at any time – sound like a fair deal? 🙂