If a company ever contacts you to do a product photoshoot for them, ensure that you have your legal documents in order.
With a product photography contract, you make sure that you are getting paid for your work. It also holds you and that all parties involved up to everyone's end of the deal.
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What is a product photography contract?
A product photography contract is a document used for documentation of agreements between a photographer and a client.
It outlines the agreements between the two parties and creates a legal foundation for both of them. It outlines how the photographer provides their service and how the client compensates them.
It also includes specific details such as payment, delivery, handling of products and much more.
Why use a contract for product photography?
As a photographer, you should use it because it covers you legally. In this way, no one can take advantage of your work. It also makes sure that there is a legal agreement set for you to deliver.
It states your payment, rights and delivery times, so you have an agreement with the company. It also clarifies what you should do in the post-production, so there is less time spent sending it back and forth.
How does a product photography contract work?
You typically fill out the product photography contract as a word document together with the parties involved. You insert every agreement regarding compensation, the shoot, the post-production, delivery, rights and liabilities.
By outlining everything beforehand, you make sure that the entire process will progress smoothly. Lastly, you both sign the document with the date of the signature to fulfil the contract agreements.
The following sections are necessary for the contract to cover both parties.
The 6 elements of a product photography contract
You always start a contract by defining who the client and the photographer are. It makes it easier to navigate who has which responsibility in the various agreements. It is also the section where you would write the project name.
In this section, you clarify the date, time and location of the shoot. It makes it easier for both parties to plan for the actual shoot. The client needs to make sure they have a studio and have all of the products ready.
The client will also outline the hours of work they want to hire the photographer for, so they know whether it will be a 3-hour or 8-hour photo shoot. Furthermore, the client will have to clearly outline how many different products they want photos for, how many pictures they want for each product and their format and resolution.
Lastly, the client agrees that if any lack of pre-planning interferes with the work, the photographer is not liable for any reduction in output.
In this section, the you decide how the pictures should be altered and modified in post-production. If the client has any particular demands, they can note them. Or they can let the photographer do what they think is best.
Here you decide on the deadline for the delivery of the final photographs. You should also clarify when the client should receive the raw pictures. Hereafter, the client should write a list of images they approve of, so the photographer can carry on with the post-production.
In this section, you will agree on payment for the job. You will also decide the deposit, which is typically 50% of the price, and the delivery date of the payments. Here you can include a clause that allows the client to extend the workday, giving extra compensation to the photographer.
You will also include a section stating whether or not the client has to pay royalties for using the images.
You typically include a part that outlines the extent of compensation for the photographer in terms of meals, travelling costs and more.
If the photographer can't complete the job, the agreement should specify that they will give a complete refund to the client. Furthermore, the client agrees to indemnify the photographer.
You would also include a section that covers the photographer in case the client loses the images. If they want the photographer to spend time restoring them, the photographer receives compensation accordingly.
Furthermore, you would include a section stating the rightful copyright owner and transference of rights to use the images.
I hope this article helped you understand the contents and importance of a product photography contract.
Now that you've got your legal documents in order, you can focus on your craft. If you want to improve your photography, check our article on Photography 101.
What should be in a product photography contract?
A product photography contract should contain the parties involved, the time, date and location of the photoshoot and details about post-production, delivery, payment and liabilities.