Do I HAVE to sign the contract?
This is an example of one of my contracts. I will not to a photo shoot unless the client and myself both sign the contract. The reason for this is to protect myself and the client. Even if we're friends or family. This contract clears up any miscommunications we might have.
This contract states how long I have to edit the photos and provide a link of them to you. It also states how many photos you will get to choose out of the album. It provides the client with the highly coveted PRINT RELEASE. If you've gotten professional photos done before, you may have run into an issue with print releases. If a print release does not come with the photo package, you do not have rights to print the photos or post them on social media. I have heard horror stories of some photographers who hold out on the print release until after the photos are taken and request the client pays more for the print release. I've seen this happen at a friend's wedding. Since they didn't find this out until after the wedding and they really wanted the photos, they ended up having to pay hundreds of dollars after the fact to get the photos. I do not feel morally comfortable doing this. I know how important it is to print and post the photos on social media, which is why I made sure to include a print release in the contract.
I want to be completely transparent about everything I offer and exactly what the client will pay in total. If there are any parts of the contract that you would like explanation on, please reach out to me. I can bring a paper copy for you to sign at the photo shoot or I can send it electronically for you to sign.