Being an Architectural Photographer is much more than being an artist, it’s a business. As a business, both you and your client have obligations and responsibilities.
So first of all before we dive into contracting I have a few disclaimers and thoughts. The first of all them is that I am not a lawyer and you should advise a law professional.
The second thing is that contracting should be simple for both sides, Also take in mind that working with large corporations, meaning they have lawyers that represent them and anything beyond singing on a quote with some numbers will require a review of their lawyers so make sure that if you do work with large companies and you do have a contract that it was done by a professional as well.
Personally, I prefer the simple method and I share several key points in my quote that clients do need to sign off.
Table of Contents
Regardless of whom you work with, you should always have someone official signing and approving your project, starting with company details (full name, full address, phone, and website).
The second and the most important thing is the name and title of the person who will be signing off this contract on behalf of the business, this should include a full name, title, date, and signature.
Also, you need to make sure that if you work with an architect, designer, vendor, or agent, they have the right to bring someone to photograph the place professionally.
Now you might have talked with the client back and forth several times via email, but when it comes to the contract you should put all the final details in writing, have in mind things like:
- Project Location (full address)
- Time and Day – date, starting time, and duration of the shoot
- Number of Images – always use up to X images
- Resources – anything you need to make this project happen.
- Post Production (photos/time/revisions)
- Time – When will you provide the images
- Format – Which format will you send the images in?
- Size – We always like to write an approx 18mp +
Agreeing on a price is one thing, it’s important that you set a clear payment schedule that works for you and your client.
We personally work based on 50% to confirm the booking and 50% with photo delivery.
Its always recommended to get a deposit when booking to make sure your client is committed to the project.
While business is a trust-building process, it’s always recommended to protect you and your work by getting paid a deposit that covers your expenses and time, and the balance when delivering the final images.
One of the most important elements when working with clients, is you should always have in mind, what happens if the client is not attending the photoshoot? What if they are “not happy with the results” what if they sent you some requests that are not possible to act on? An AS-IS is focused on the client accepting images in an as-is condition meaning, if they weren’t a present in the photoshoot, they can’t have claimed about the final images.
Keep it simple and to the point, for how much time can the client use the photos, where they can use them, and in what type of media.
Can they transfer the rights to 3rd party or not? Can they re-sell your work yes or no?
Don’t overburden your clients with terminology, keep it simple but be fair in what they can but also with what they can’t do with the images to avoid any future misunderstanding.
As a part of taking great imagery of architecture that is done by others like an architect and interior design and also owned by others (property owner), you must make sure that your client can sign off a property release statement that allows your usage of the photos, don’t forget like you license your work (images) you need the approval to use other people work like the architect.
In basics, you should determine in which legal jurisdiction in any case of an issue to carries, meaning if you leave in Germany you don’t want to handle any dispute if the client’s business or project is in another city or country.
Like every good contract, its does not worth anything if no one signed it, both you and your client.
Contracts are meant to protect not only you but also your clients, keep it simple and to the point, not everyone is a lawyer and can understand the high language of the law, be fair and explain what you offer, when, and how you would deliver and also cover yourself in any case that Aries.
please advise with a leagal professional when it comes to contracting, the list is just few topics to have in mind when working within the industry