Entrepreneurship: Keep It Legal

If there’s one thing they made clear at film school it was to always get written permission and cover your bases. Every video project we turned in was to be accompanied by the appropriate forms which they provided us with. This applies to photography and audio recordings, etc as well. Unfortunately, my computer crashed and the forms from school were lost to me. So, I’m spending all kinds of “fun” hours researching and writing up my own versions of the forms  I might need when photographing people.

It’s amazing how much thought goes into each form! It would be so convenient to just download someone else’s and use that but I’m not sure if that infringes on some kind of copyright or something and copy-and-pasting sections from various examples to frankenstein together would clearly be plagiarism. So yay! <sarcasm>

Anyway, for the convenience of anyone else out there who decides to write their own photography contracts and releases too, I’ve created a list below naming everything I can think of and explaining their purpose. Hope this helps!


MODEL RELEASE: this is for obtaining permission to capture/use a subject’s image when you do a photo-shoot with a model as the subject. Model Release_Outline

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACT: this is for when a client pays you to take their picture (i would suggest having different ones for weddings, events, individual/family portraits, and model headshots, etc) Photography Contract_Outline

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY AGREEMENT: this one (I believe) is for if you set up a station at an event for people to come get their pictures taken at (like at prom)

CROWD NOTICE/RELEASE: use this when taking pictures (for profit) at an event (like a graduation or festival). It should be posted on every entrance to the building or meeting room or every couple of yards (if outdoors) to inform random people that by being there they may appear in some of the images and that they should speak with you if they do not wish to be seen. Crowd Release Notice_Outline

PRINT RELEASE: this is a document you give to clients after taking their pictures so that they can verify to businesses that they have permission to print their pictures. Print Release_Outline

PHOTO LICENSING CONTRACT: AKA “License Of Rights” Contract is between you and a company that wants to use your work. this spells out exactly how they are allowed to use the photo graphs, which photographs and what compensation or royalties are owed to you etc

GALLERY CONTRACT FOR SALE OF PHOTOGRAPHY: a contract from you allowing a gallery to sell certain pieces of your work.

LOCATIONS AGREEMENT: a contract granting permission from privately owned business/locations to you to take pictures there.   Photography Location Agreement_Outline

LOCATIONS RELEASE: a follow up from the Locations Agreement, this is a signed statement from the location owner/manager stating that you have completed the session, are released from the agreement, and have left the property as you found it (nothing else is owed from either party)

SECOND SHOOTER CONTRACT: if you have an assistant this explains who owns what photos, what rights they do or don’t have to any materials, how they are to deliver the pictures to you and how much you are paying them to help

EQUIPMENT RENTAL AGREEMENT: this is a contract allowing another photographer to rent/use your equipment


P.S. Upon writing these, it is advisable to have a lawyer look everything over for you.


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