Are you a professional photographer? Need a professional and flexible photography contract template to make your job easier?
Professional photography is not your average office job. It's the kind of job where your clients rarely visit your office, because you're always out on location to meet them. You need a professional and flexible photography contract template to make your job easier.
Working with clients who are spread far and wide makes traditional paperwork a little challenging. Have you ever spent hours checking out locations, discussing lighting and shots, and preparing to make a big sale just to discover you've forgotten to bring a printed contract for the client to sign? Even worse, is your pre-written contract unusable because the project is unusual or has specific requirements? There is a solution that should alleviate these frustrations.
At Formidable Forms, we want to help you build the perfect photography contract template - one that is flexible enough to handle diverse projects and all of your clients. We think that something like this needs to be accessible from any internet connected device on the planet. It should also be something that can be completed 100% digitally (Signature & all!), so you don't have to worry about bringing a printed copy with you each time.
What would the perfect photography contract template include?
My have a good friend is a professional photographer, so I asked him what a perfect photography contract would need. His answer included the following:
- Client's name, address & contact details
- Venue/location address & venue contact information
- Dates, times & locations
- A detailed shot list and model list
- Additional notes/conditions for unusual jobs
- Full terms and conditions - the form will not progress until the "I agree" checkbox is marked
- Digital signatures for both the photographer & the client
- The ability to accept a deposit payment online, instantly
- Email delivery of the completed contracts to both the client & the photographer
If you can think of anything we missed, please mention it in the comments below!
Following are some simple steps for creating this type of photography contract template with the Formidable Forms plugin for WordPress. The process is simple for all skill levels.
Step 1 - Build the form
Honestly, if you've used Formidable before, this bit is easy. I'm going to use a multi-page form. Page one will contain basic fields for client details. Page two collects venue details. Page three is where the client can request dates, times, and locations for the photo shoot. Page four collects additional details and variations. Finally, the last page will include the full terms & conditions, signature fields and deposit payment options.
Standard single line text fields will do most of it, and I'll use repeatable sections the shot-list. I'll also use date and time fields on page three, and a paragraph field on page four to allow for any wordy additions to the standard contract. If you were expecting a photography contract template to be complex to build, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised so far!
Step 2 - Conditionally hide the submit button
*** Conditional logic on the Submit button is now a built-in feature of Formidable Forms! ***
Step 3 - Allow digital signatures
The Digital Signature plugin is one of my favorite Formidable extensions. It gives a simple but effective method to allow digital signatures on any form. Your users may draw their signature with a trackpad/mouse or just type it, so it will work on any device - but just like signing for a parcel, it gives a unique digital input for your form. If your services are high value, you may wish to double check your local laws to make sure that digital signatures are upheld by by the courts where you live, though they are legally binding in many countries.
Step 4 - Setup your form actions
Not every photography project requires the same deposit, so I'm going to include two fields to calculate the deposit payable. First I'll add a number field for "Total Cost", and then a dropdown for "Deposit Amount" with options of 0%, 25%, and 50%. A hidden field will then calculate the deposit payable and forward the amount to my Stripe payment action. You can also use Paypal if you prefer, but I personally find the secure card processing interface that keeps users on your website provides a more professional experience.
Finally, it's time to setup the instant email delivery of contracts. It's important to set the "trigger this action after" option correctly so the contracts are only sent out after payment clears.
I'm setting up two email notifications - the first will go directly to my office and I'm not overly concerned with formatting this to look pretty, the [default-message] shortcode should be just fine. The 2nd email will go to the client, so I'm going to modify the message, add in some HTML and styling to make it look professional and attractive. I would include my company logo, all the details of the agreement, and my contact information in the message. Because this is something the client will see, I want to make sure the email looks as good as the form on my website.
Pro tip - Aggressive spam filters are increasingly blocking & deleting form generated emails that are sent via the standard WordPress system. If you haven't already done so, install and configure an SMTP plugin to send your emails via your main email server, maximizing deliverability of important messages. You may also want to investigate Sendgrid or SendInBlue services if you still experience email deliverability issues.
** Bonus **
A client's email address is a valuable thing and it can be leveraged in your ongoing marketing efforts. You can configure your client email message to include current promotions, optional extras or "recommend a friend" type promotions that can help increase the value of your sale.
Also - if you use Mailchimp, you can use our Mailchimp add-on to automatically add clients to your list and include them in future marketing campaigns.
Don't just build the perfect photography contract template - go one extra step and include the form actions that maximize its impact & generate more sales!