Having a proper contract for photography services is important for a few reasons that are better to learn through advice rather than experience. Beyond the reasons listed in this guide, this is your business. It’s time to take your skills seriously and establish the compensation rates you deserve to be compensated for. You received the education, went through the training, and that shows dedication to your work. So make sure you’re getting the most out of your time with the right photography forms and contracts to hold clients accountable and ensure you always get paid efficiently and on time for your work.
There are a thousand reasons why you should be collecting a retainer (note, not a deposit, but a non refundable retainer – there is a difference), but we’ll stick to just the top three. We asked industry expert, photographer and lawyer, Rachel Brenke – aka The LawTog, for her input here.
- Using a photographer contact form starts your client relationship off on the right foot. Rachel recommends the retainer, along with a contract to set the stage for the professional relationship very early on. “Retainers paired with contract signing demonstrate an act manifesting the intent to enter into a legal relationship.” – TheLawTog
- Collecting standard photography contacts not only firms up your confidence that you won’t get bailed on, but your client will also be more likely to hold up their end of the bargain when money is involved. “Both parties having money on the line helps to put skin in the game.” – TheLawTog
- You’ll be more likely to attract your ideal clients when you request a retainer. Those who aren’t really serious or appreciative of your work aren’t going to be interested in paying a retainer. “Retainers act to prevent flaky or irresponsible clients from abusing your resources (time, money, and energy!)” – TheLawTog
Even a simple photography contract can make a big difference in your business. It starts off your relationship with your client by showing them that you’re a legitimate and well-organized business owner, you expect to be paid promptly, and you’re only going to work with clients who are willing to respect your guidelines. That’s how a boss runs a business and you’ll be so thankful you are protecting your intellectual work by utilizing contracts for your photography services.