I want you to take a moment to be honest with yourself and answer the following questions in your head:
- Are you having all of your clients sign a boudoir specific contract prior to their boudoir shoot?
- Do you have a product delivery agreement?
- Do you educate your clients on copyrights?
- Do you have an agreement with your second shooter or makeup artist (independent contractor)?
- Did a lawyer draft your contract to make sure it will hold up in court?
- Does your contract cover for boudoir specific potential incidents?
If not, then I would add this to the top of your to do list – “Get legit contract.”
Not only is this to protect yourself in case of a lawsuit but also to educate both parties!
If you’re not educating your clients about copyrights, delivery time frame, payments, etc. then you’re likely to get burned. Typically It’s not that the client wants to “burn” you by taking images off of your website, cropping our your logo and sticking them on their facebook. It’s that they honestly don’t know that that’s wrong! They see the photos and think, “OMFG LOVE!” and they are then off to show them to the world in any way they can.
Legally bound contracts are also needed if you work with independent contractors! Do you have a second shooter or work with a makeup artist? If so it’s essential for you to have them sign an “independent contractor” agreement. Again this is to protect yourself and educate. This will also take the responsibility of makeup/hair liabilities off of you.
If you’re like most photographers you’ve likely pieced together a photography contract from free contracts online, friends contracts, or free legal forms online. I too did this when I was first starting out. I pieced contracts together and *HOPED* that they would stand up in court. I also did it though because I didn’t have the money to go to a lawyer and I didn’t know of any good boudoir photography contracts for sale online.