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What does a photography contract cost? If you are a photographer looking to start your own business, you may ask this question. Let’s explore this question and review some general information about photography contracts and what they entail.

How Much Does a Photography Contract Cost?

A photography contract is a legally binding services freelance contract executed between a professional photographer and a client who needs photography services.

The purpose of a photography contract is to:

  • Provide the parties with a description of the services the photographer will provide
  • Outline payment for the services
  • Clarify each party’s rights and obligations throughout the business transaction

When most people think about hiring a photographer, it is usually for an event like a wedding. Still, photographers are hired for many different reasons, including:

  • Graduation photos
  • Family photos
  • Parties like weddings or engagement parties
  • Professional headshots
  • Real estate photos for listings
  • Photos for businesses for advertising
  • Media and marketing purposes

When a photographer is hired to complete a job, they should consistently execute a photography contract with their client. This contract ensures that the photographer is paid for their services and protected from all liability.

For this reason, it is common for photographers to hire an experienced lawyer to draft their photography contracts. An experienced lawyer will know what terms and conditions should be included in a photography contract to protect the photographer and their business.

The lawyer will ensure that the contract complies with all state and local laws concerning freelance contracts. As a result, the agreement is legally binding and enforceable.

Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a photography contract is $410.00.

What's Typically Included in a Photography Contract

Photography contracts will include information about both parties, the scope of the agreed-upon services, and how payment should be made. Photography contracts are unique because photographers must produce, edit, and deliver images to their clients. The contract must cover this additional work.

Photography contracts should include the following terms and conditions:

  • Party information. The names and contact information for the freelancer and the customer, including a clear statement of who is paying for the photography services.
  • Scope of work. The scope of work will vary depending on the type of photography project. The number of hours spent capturing images, editing, and the number of prints delivered should be covered in this section.
  • Payment terms. A detailed payment terms section in a photography contract will help ensure prompt payment by customers. This section should include deposits, cancellations, and purchasing additional prints or photo packages.
  • Days to produce work. Photographers will often produce samples of final proofs and then allow the client to choose which samples they want to order. A schedule for edited samples and final products should be detailed in the agreement.
  • Copyright. Even though a client pays for the photoshoot, the photographer generally retains copyright over the images. Details about copyright and ownership need to be included.
  • Usage rights. Whether a photographer’s client is private or commercial, the photographer should detail how their images can be used and whether a watermark is required for posting to social media.
  • Deliverables. A photographer may take thousands of images at an event, but they rarely deliver every photo to a client. The number of images a photographer will provide should be included in the contract.

Additional clauses may be required depending on the project or type of photography the photographer engages in. It is best to consult with an attorney familiar with photography contracts for additional guidance.

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Examples of Photography Contract Projects

Photography Contract Drafting

Photography contracts are important to getting paid and running a successful photography business. For this reason, many photographers hire an attorney to draft a customized contract they can use with their clients.

A lawyer can draft a personalized photography contract detailing the photographer’s services and payment terms agreement.

A lawyer will ensure that the contract adheres to state laws surrounding freelance work and that the contract securely protects the business and is legally binding.

Photography Contract Review

Some photographers may choose to draft their photography contracts using a template. While this is possible, it is highly recommended that the photographer hires an attorney to review the contract before using it with clients.

Contract templates generally contain vague boilerplate contract language. Therefore, they may not be specific enough to thoroughly protect a photographer and their work. In addition, different states have different contract laws that a template may not follow.

When a lawyer reviews a freelance contract on your behalf, they will check for missing information and mistakes and whether the contract follows local and state laws. This ensures that you are fully protected under the agreement.

Drafting a Photography Contract Cost

When a photographer hires a lawyer to draft a photography contract, they must pay the legal fees. In addition, a lawyer will charge the photographer for time spent drafting the contract, consultations, and revisions.

According to ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average photography contract drafting costs are $350.00 across all states.

Reviewing a Photography Contract Cost

Hiring a lawyer to review a photography contract will also incur legal fees because it takes time and expertise to review and revise a legally binding agreement.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows that the average photography contract review costs $450.00 across all states.

How Do Lawyers Charge for a Photography Contract?

Hourly Rates for a Photography Contract

It is common for lawyers across all legal fields to use an hourly rate fee structure. Under an hourly rate, the lawyer will inform the client of their set rate, then charge them based on how many hours they spent working on the case or project.

This fee structure requires the lawyer to keep track of their hours and periodically bill the client. It also ensures that the lawyer is fairly compensated for their time on a case or task.

The marketplace data for ContractsCounsel shows that the average hourly rate for a contract lawyer specializing in photography contracts ranges from $200 to $350 per hour.

Flat Fee Rates for a Photography Contract

Flat fee rates are becoming a more popular fee structure for attorneys who are hired for short-term projects, like drafting or reviewing a photography contract. Under this fee agreement, the lawyer will quote a total price for the legal services. They usually require this fee to be paid before beginning work on the project.

Although payment is due in full and upfront, clients tend to benefit from the arrangement because they know exactly how much their legal services will cost, and there are no surprise bills.

ContractsCounsel's marketplace data shows that a photography contract's average flat fee rate costs $410.00.

Get Help with a Photography Contract

Do you need help with a photography contract project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive flat fee bids from corporate lawyers to handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel’s platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top tier service.


ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


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