This photography services agreement is between , an individuala(n) (the "Photographer") and , an individuala(n) (the "Hiring Party").

The Hiring Party wishes to engage the Photographer as an independent contractor for the Hiring Party for the purpose of taking photographs (the "Images") at the Hiring Party's event on at , ,   and , ,   and ,   and , ,   and , , (the "Event").

The Photographer wishes to take the Photographs and provide the Services (as defined below) at the Event in accordance with this agreement.

The parties therefore agree as follows:


  • (a) Engagement. The Hiring Party retains the Photographer to provide and the Photographer shall provide the photography services described in subsection (b) (the "Services").
  • (b) Services. The Photographer shall:
    • (i) devote as much productive time, energy, and ability to the performance of its duties under this agreement as may be necessary to provide the required Services in a timely and productive manner;
    • (ii) perform the Services in a safe, good, and workmanlike manner by fully trained, skilled, competent, and experienced personnel using at all times adequate equipment in good working order. The Photographer may delegate incidental responsibilities to the Photographer's staff, but primary responsibility for fulfilling the Services remains with the Photographer;
    •  (iii)  provide at least individuals to take pictures at the Event, including the Photographer;
    • (iv)(iii) take photographs at the Event for hours;
    • (v)(iv) provide all equipment and supplies required to perform the Services; and
    • (vi)(v) consult with the Hiring Party about specific photographs or individuals to be photographed at the Event;
  • (c) Hiring Party's Obligations. The Hiring Party shall:
    • (i) make timely payments of amounts earned by the Photographer under this agreement;
    • (ii) obtain permits and necessary permission for all locations at which the Photographer will be providing Services;  and
    •  (iii) provide a meal for the Photographer (and any of its assistants) at the Event; and
    • (iv)(iii) provide relevant information to assist the Photographer with the performance of the Services., including providing a shot list at least 5 days before the Event.


  • (a) Fee. As full compensation for the Services, the Hiring Party shall pay the Photographer the sum of $ (the "Fee"), to be paid as follows:
    • (i) $ when this agreement is signed (the "Deposit"); and
    • (ii) The balance days before the Event.
  • (b) No Payments in Certain Circumstances. No payment will be payable to the Photographer under any of the following circumstances:
    • (i) if prohibited under applicable government law, regulation, or policy; or
    • (ii) if the Photographer did not directly perform or complete the Services.
  • (c) No Other Compensation. The compensation set out above will be the Photographer's sole compensation under this agreement.
  • (d) Expenses. Any ordinary and necessary expenses incurred by the Photographer or its staff in the performance of this agreement, including travel expenses to the Event, will be the Photographer's Hiring Party's responsibility.
  • (e) Taxes. The Photographer is solely responsible for the payment of all income, social security, employment-related, or other taxes incurred as a result of the performance of the Services by the Photographer under this agreement, and for all obligations, reports, and timely notifications relating to those taxes. The Hiring Party has no obligation to pay or withhold any sums for those taxes.
  • (f) Other Benefits. The Photographer has no claim against the Hiring Party under this agreement or otherwise for vacation pay, sick leave, retirement benefits, social security, worker's compensation, health or disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, or employee benefits of any kind.


  • (a) Schedule. The Hiring Party shall confirm the schedule of activities at the Event at least one week before the Event.
  • (b) ShotList. Any shot lists provided to the Photographer will be used for organizational purposes only, and in no way constitute a guarantee that those shots will be taken or completed.
  • (c)(b) Venue and Location Limitations. The Photographer is limited by the rules and guidelines of the location and site management at the Event. Negotiation with the officials for moderation of any guidelines is the Hiring Party's responsibility; the Photographer may offer technical recommendations but is not responsible for negotiation.
  • (d)(c) Limitation of Liability. The Photographer will endeavor to produce and deliver Photographs of the Event, but is not responsible for requested photos not taken or missed, lack of coverage resulting from weather conditions, behavior of subjects, lack of available light, location restrictions, other cameras or flashes, or other conditions beyond the control of the Photographer.

4. DELIVERY SCHEDULE. The Photographer shall deliver the Photographs as follows:

  • (a) High-resolution jpeg filesProof sheetsPrints/slidesAlbums no later than ;.
  • (b) High-resolution jpeg filesProof sheetsPrints/slidesAlbums  no later than ;.
  • (c) High-resolution jpeg filesProof sheetsPrints/slidesAlbums  no later than ;.
  • (d) High-resolution jpeg filesProof sheetsPrints/slidesAlbums  no later than ;.
  • (e) High-resolution jpeg filesProof sheetsPrints/slidesAlbums  no later than .


The Hiring Party acknowledges that any change to the time, date, or location of the Event (each a "Material Event Change") made after the effective date of this agreement may (a) cause the Photographer to become unable or unavailable to provide the Services, (b) impact the quality of the Services, or (c) result in a need for the provision of services in addition to the Services. The Photographer shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate a Material Event Change. If the Photographer cannot accommodate a Material Event Change, the Photographer may, at its sole option, terminate this agreement on provision of written notice to the Hiring Party. If the Photographer can accommodate a Material Event Change, but only by providing services in addition to the Services, these additional services and any associated costs will be determined and agreed to by the parties at the time of that Material Event Change.


If the Hiring Party asks to supplement the Services with the purchase of additional services offered by the Photographer, and the Photographer agrees and can fulfill that request, the Photographer will bill those additional services to the Hiring Party at then agreed-on rates.


The Photographer will be the only professional photography service provider retained by the Hiring Party at the Event. Guests of the Hiring Party may take informal photographs during the Event for noncommercial purposes, provided those individuals do not interfere with the Photographer's duties. If in the Photographer's opinion, those individuals are interfering with the Photographer's provision of its Services, the Hiring Party shall require those individuals interfering with the Photographer to stop all further shots. The Hiring Party may use a videographer at the Event, which will not violate this agreement.


  • (a) Ownership Rights. The Photographer will be the sole and exclusive owner of the Photographs and all rights with respect to those Photographs (collectively, "Rights"), including all rights in and to the Photographs created by the Photographer, in all media and all forms of exploitation whether now known or hereafter devised, including all allied and subsidiary rights, such as merchandising rights, noninteractive and interactive electronic publication rights, multimedia rights, publication rights including for publicity and advertising purposes.
  • (b) Creative Rights. The Photographer may edit the Photographs in its discretion, and may not offer all images shot to the Hiring Party. The Photographer reserves the right to edit and release only those Photographs deemed creditable as professional in quality and within the Photographer's artistic standards.
  • (c) License. The Photographer grants the Hiring Party a nonexclusive, nontransferable license to use the Photographs for unlimited personal use only.


The Hiring Party hereby grants the Photographer the limited perpetual right to use, publish, and exhibit, on the internet and in other publications, any digital images or photographs of the Hiring Party taken at the Event and details of the Event, solely to promote the Photographer's business.

 10.  9.  9.  8 TERM AND TERMINATION.

  • (a) Term. This agreement will become effective as described in section 23. Unless it is terminated earlier in accordance with subsection (b), this agreement will continue until the Services have been satisfactorily completed and the Photographer has been paid in full for those Services (the "Term").
  • (b) Termination. This agreement may be terminated:
    • (i) by either party on provision of 30 days' written notice to the other party, with or without cause;
    • (ii) by either party for a material breach of any provision of this agreement by the other party, if the other party's material breach is not cured within 7 days of receipt of written notice of the breach;
    • (iii) by the Hiring Party at any time and without prior notice, if the Photographer is convicted of any crime or offense, fails or refuses to comply with the written policies or reasonable directives of the Hiring Party, or is guilty of serious misconduct in connection with performance under this agreement;
    • (iv) by the Photographer, immediately on written notice, if the Photographer cannot accommodate a Material Event Change (as defined in section 5 above);
    • (v) by the Photographer, on provision of 5 days' written notice to the Hiring Party, if the Hiring Party does not pay the Deposit.; or
    • (vi) automatically, on the death of the Photographer.
  • (c) Effect of Termination.
    • (i) After the termination of this agreement for any reason, the Hiring Party shall promptly pay the Photographer for Services rendered before the effective date of the termination. However, the Hiring Party will not pay the Photographer if (A) prohibited under applicable government law, regulation, or policy, or (B) if the Photographer is guilty of serious misconduct in connection with performance under this agreement.
    • (ii) Except as otherwise provided, following the termination of this agreement, the Photographer shall promptly refund to the Hiring Party any payments, excluding the Deposit, already made by the Hiring Party for any Services that have not been rendered before the effective date of the termination.
    • (iii) If the Hiring Party terminates the agreement under subsection 10(b)(i) fewer than 7 days before the Event, except if the Hiring Party cancels the Event or the delay or failure to perform results from a Force Majeure Event (as defined in section 13 below), the Hiring Party will forfeit any payments, including the Deposit, already made to the Photographer and shall immediately pay any remaining balance of the Fee to the Photographer.
    • (iv) If this agreement is terminated pursuant to subsection 10(b)(iv), the Photographer will be released from its obligations and liabilities under this agreement.
  • (d) No other compensation, of any nature or type, will be payable after the termination of this agreement.


The relationship of the parties under the agreement is one of independent contractors, and no joint venture, partnership, agency, employer-employee, or similar relationship is created in or by this agreement. Neither party may assume or create obligations on the other party's behalf, and neither party may take any action that creates the appearance of that authority.

 12.  11.  11.  10.INDEMNIFICATION.

  • (a) Of Hiring Party by Photographer. At all times after the effective date of this agreement, the Photographer shall indemnify the Hiring Party against any award, charge, claim, compensatory damages, cost, damages, exemplary damages, diminution in value, expense, fee, fine, interest, judgment, liability, settlement payment, penalty, or other loss (a "Loss") or any attorney's or other professional's fee and disbursement, court filing fee, court cost, arbitration fee, arbitration cost, witness fee, and each other fee and cost of investigating and defending or asserting a claim for indemnification (a "Litigation Expense") arising out of:
    • (i) the Photographer's negligence or willful misconduct arising from the Photographer's carrying out of its obligations under this agreement; or
    • (ii) the Photographer's breach of any of its obligations or representations under this agreement.
  • (b) Of Photographer by Hiring Party. The Hiring Party shall at all times indemnify the Photographer against a Loss or Litigation Expense caused by any breach of any of the representations or agreements made by the Hiring Party under this agreement.

 13.  12.  12.  11. FORCE MAJEURE.

A party will not be considered in breach or in default because of, and will not be liable to the other party for, any delay or failure to perform its obligations under this agreement by reason of fire, earthquake, flood, explosion, strike, riot, war, terrorism, or similar event beyond that party's reasonable control (each a "Force Majeure Event"). However, if a Force Majeure Event occurs, the affected party shall, as soon as practicable:

  • (a) notify the other party of the Force Majeure Event and its impact on performance under this agreement; and
  • (b) use reasonable efforts to resolve any issues resulting from the Force Majeure Event and perform its obligations under this agreement.

 14.  13.  13.  12. CHOICE OF LAW; ATTORNEYS' FEES.

  • (a) Choice of Law. The laws of the state of govern this agreement (without giving effect to its conflicts of law principles).
  • (b) Choice of Forum. Both parties consent to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in , .

 15.  14.  14.  13. AMENDMENTS.

No amendment to this agreement will be effective unless it is in writing and signed by both parties.

 16.  15.  15.  14. ASSIGNMENT AND DELEGATION.

  • (a) No Assignment. Neither party may assign any of its rights under this agreement, except with the prior written consent of the other party. All voluntary assignments of rights are limited by this subsection.
  • (b) No Delegation. Neither party may delegate any performance under this agreement, except with the prior written consent of the Hiring Party.
  • (c) Enforceability of an Assignment or Delegation. If a purported assignment or purported delegation is made, or if both are made, in violation of this section, it is void and they are void.


  • (a) Counterparts. The parties may execute this agreement in any number of counterparts, each of which is an original but all of which constitute one and the same instrument.
  • (b) Electronic Signatures. This agreement, agreements ancillary to this agreement, and related documents entered into in connection with this agreement are signed when a party's signature is delivered by facsimile, email, or other electronic medium. These signatures must be treated in all respects as having the same force and effect as original signatures.

 18.  17.  17.  16. SEVERABILITY.

If any provision in this agreement is, for any reason, held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any respect, that invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability will not affect any other provisions of this agreement, but this agreement will be construed as if the invalid, illegal, or unenforceable provisions had never been contained in this agreement, unless the deletion of those provisions would result in such a material change that would cause completion of the transactions contemplated by this agreement to be unreasonable.

 19.  18.  18.  17. NOTICES.

  • (a) Writing; Permitted Delivery Methods. Each party giving or making any notice, request, demand, or other communication required or permitted by this agreement shall give that notice in writing and use one of the following types of delivery, each of which is a writing for purposes of this agreement: personal delivery, mail (registered or certified mail, postage prepaid, return-receipt requested), nationally recognized overnight courier (fees prepaid), facsimile, or email.
  • (b) Addresses. A party shall address notices under this section to a party at the following addresses:
  • If to the Photographer:
  • ,
  • If to the Hiring Party:
  • ,
  • (c) Effectiveness. A notice is effective only if the party giving notice complies with subsections (a) and (b) and if the recipient receives the notice.

 20.  19. 19.  18WAIVER.

No waiver of a breach, failure of any condition, or any right or remedy contained in or granted by the provisions of this agreement will be effective unless it is in writing and signed by the party waiving the breach, failure, right, or remedy. No waiver of any breach, failure, right, or remedy will be deemed a waiver of any other breach, failure, right, or remedy, whether or not similar, and no waiver will constitute a continuing waiver, unless the writing so specifies.

21. 20.  20 19. ENTIRE AGREEMENT.

This agreement constitutes the final agreement of the parties. It is the complete and exclusive expression of the parties' agreement with respect to the subject matter of this agreement. All prior and contemporaneous communications, negotiations, and agreements between the parties relating to the subject matter of this agreement are expressly merged into and superseded by this agreement. The provisions of this agreement may not be explained, supplemented, or qualified by evidence of trade usage or a prior course of dealings. Neither party was induced to enter this agreement by, and neither party is relying on, any statement, representation, warranty, or agreement of the other party except those set forth expressly in this agreement. Except as set forth expressly in this agreement, there are no conditions precedent to this agreement's effectiveness.

 22.  21. 21.  20HEADINGS.

The descriptive headings of the sections and subsections of this agreement are for convenience only, and do not affect this agreement's construction or interpretation.

 23.  22.  22.  21EFFECTIVENESS.

This agreement will become effective when all parties have signed it. The date this agreement is signed by the last party to sign it (as indicated by the date associated with that party's signature) will be deemed the date of this agreement.


Each party shall use all reasonable efforts to take, or cause to be taken, all actions necessary or desirable to consummate and make effective the transactions this agreement contemplates or to evidence or carry out the intent and purposes of this agreement.


Each party is signing this agreement on the date stated opposite that party's signature.

Date: _____________________________By: _________________________________________________________
Date: _____________________________By: _________________________________________________________

Free Photography Services Agreement Template

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How-to guides, articles, and any other content appearing on this page are for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice, and are no substitute for the advice of an attorney.

Photography services agreement: How-to guide

From time to time, companies need photographers to help create lasting images, which can be used to sell products, tell stories, or record events. Alternatively, individuals may want to hire a photographer for personal use, hoping to provide lasting memories of special occasions.

A photography services agreement, also called a photography contract, outlines each party’s rights and responsibilities and allows them to negotiate and determine the services to be provided. 

A comprehensive photography service agreement template can provide a good starting point for your contracting arrangement. To kickstart, you can use LegalZoom’s professional template for your requirements. Our template could be easily customized for your needs. Just pay a nominal fee, and edit our template as per your project. 

However, before signing, the photographer and the hiring party must discuss the terms of the agreement, settling questions about working terms, payment, and other obligations.

Photography contract: Do’s and don’ts checklist

Details regarding the photography assignment

Before hiring a photographer, ensure you know what you want, including the style and image. Be clear on why the photographer is being hired for:

  • Is it for a casual company photo, a formal portrait, or a personal event? Personal events can be birthday parties, weddings, baby showers, etc. For weddings, wedding photographers are usually hired to do the job. These photographers provide exclusive wedding photography services to their clients. A more formal setup can cover business events, like conferences, seminars, product launches, etc.
  • Should the photographer take photos in black and white or in color?
  • Do they require a studio or rent some other property to do the photoshoot?
  • Will they provide follow-up editing services?
  • Who will bear the cost of equipment like tripods, lights, white screens, and other provisions?

Discuss the terms and conditions

Before making the agreement in writing, discuss the terms and conditions of the contract. It should include a detailed description of the photographer’s duties, the hiring party’s obligations and requirements, deadlines for completion, and the expected end products (e.g., slides, photographs, etc.). 

Get the required permissions from a model by getting signatures on a model release form

In a photography contract, model releases should always be obtained if a model’s picture will be used for trade or advertising purposes. A model release form gives permission from a model to use their pictures for commercial purposes. 

You still need a model release if you are using employees as models.

Give ample time for reviews

The photographer and the client party should review the agreement once drafted. Clarify doubts and ensure all agreed-upon terms are included in the final document.

The parties must also sign two copies of the agreement, where one copy will be handed over to the photographer and the hiring party will keep the other.

Depending on the nature of its terms, you may decide to have your agreement witnessed or notarized. 

If you feel your arrangement is complicated, hire an attorney to help you draft a document that meets your needs.

Key elements of a photography services contract

The following instructions will help you understand the terms of your photography contract. 


This section identifies the document as a photography services agreement. Provide the date on which the agreement will become effective (often the date on which it is signed). 

You must also provide the details of the involved parties and, if applicable, the type of organization(s) they are. In a photography services contract, the company or client hiring the skilled photographer is called the “hiring party,” and the party taking the pictures is called the “photographer.”


The “whereas” clauses, referred to as recitals, define the world of the agreement and offer key background information about the parties. Generally, the recitals in a photography services agreement include a simple statement of your intent to enter into a photography services arrangement.

Description and payment terms

In this section, include the details of the photo shoot, such as what kind of photos are required, the location of the shoot, whether a second photographer is needed to complete the assignment, etc. 

You must also add the compensation details like the amount to be paid and how and when it will be paid.


It lists each party’s responsibilities under the agreement. Essentially, the photographer agrees to take the pictures and perform the agreed-on services with adequate attention and care. The hiring party also agrees to help with this performance by providing the necessary information and guidance. 

Additional services

If the photos taken don’t fit the agreed-on standards, the hiring party can request new, more appropriate pictures. The parties will then jointly set a new due date. Suppose the hiring party is asking for new pictures based on another reason (e.g., a change of idea about what the pictures will be used for or a desire for a new campaign). In that case, the hiring party will be required to pay for the additional shots at the agreed-upon rates. 


It indicates that the photography contract will last until termination or until the listed services are completed. It allows the parties to set a deadline by which all services must be finished.

Results and proceeds

It grants the hiring party ownership of all of the photos created by the photographer under the photography contract. This includes the right to alter the pictures and use them for commercial purposes. The photographer expressly waives all of these rights under this section.


This section permits the hiring party to control how the photographs will be used and how the photographer can use them. Essentially, the only thing the photographer can do without the hiring party’s permission is to use examples of the photographs as part of their portfolio. 

Use of photographer’s name

It allows the hiring party to use the photographer’s name in connection with the pictures during the agreement's term. 

No obligation to use

This clause states that although the hiring party has the right to use the photographer’s pictures, it doesn’t have to. If the hiring party doesn’t want to use a photographer’s work, they can freely do so. They aren’t answerable to the photographer for not using the photos.

Photographer’s representations and warranties

This section outlines the photographer’s promises under the photography service agreement. Essentially, the photographer agrees to enter into the arrangement based on the conditions listed in this section. 

Company’s rights

It allows the hiring party to use the photographs in any way it pleases and specifically waives any other party’s right to demand payment for that use. 

Third parties; taxes

According to this clause, the photographer can’t bind the hiring party into any agreements with any third parties. This section also reaffirms that the photographer is an independent contractor (i.e., not an employee) and is, therefore, responsible for paying its own taxes.


This clause explains that certain actions or events, including written notice or material breach, will cause the photography services contract to end out of time (i.e., before the services are completed or the end of the term, if any). You must provide the notice period a party should give if they intend to terminate or notify the other of a breach.

Default by photographer

This section explains the consequences if the photographer’s duties aren’t met. In other words, if the photographer fails to produce adequate pictures, they must allow the hiring party to declare a default and terminate the photography services contract or set a new delivery date for pictures.


It allocates responsibilities between the parties if problems arise in the future and protects the company from the financial consequences of the photographer’s negligent or intentional conduct.

Entire agreement

Here, the parties agree that the document they’re signing is “the agreement” about the agreed-upon terms and conditions. 


This explains that the hiring party may assign their obligations and interests without obtaining the photographer’s permission. However, the photographer is not entitled to assign their own interests under the agreement.


This clause indicates that any changes to the document are only effective if prior written consent is taken from the photographer and the hiring party.


This part lists the addresses to which all official or legal correspondence should be delivered. Provide the mailing address for both the hiring party and the photographer.

Governing law

It allows the parties to choose the state laws that will be used to interpret the document.


This clause protects the terms of the agreement as a whole, even if one part is later invalidated. For example, if a state law is passed prohibiting choice-of-law clauses, it will not undo the entire agreement. Instead, only the section dealing with the choice of law would be invalidated, leaving the remainder of the agreement enforceable.

Counterparts; electronic signatures

This provision allows both the photographer and client to sign the photography agreement using electronic devices or signatures. This is really helpful for a skilled photographer who provides photography services to clients based in different geographies.


This section indicates that the headings at the beginning of each section are meant to organize the document and should not be considered operational parts of the agreement.

Frequently asked questions

What’s a photography services agreement?

Photographers perform a vital service for their customers by capturing the moments that will become permanent memories of a special event. In the same way, creating a photography services agreement is essential to document both the photographer’s duties and client expectations.

What essential details are required to fill out a photography contract?

Here's the information you'll need to have handy to complete your photography contract:

  • Who it's coming from: Determine if a business or individual is sending the document and have the name and contact information ready.
  • Who it's going to: Know who this document is going to and have the individual or business name and contact information ready. If it's a business, make sure you know the business type (LLC, corporation, etc.).
  • Which state will govern it: Specify the state so it's clear what state laws apply to the document.
  • Format: Know whether physical prints, digital files, or both will be provided.
  • Dates, time, and frequency: Be clear about whether this agreement will be for a single event or a series and the duration.
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