If you’re a photography business owner, one of the most valuable activities you can invest time into is to build a library of the document templates that you’ll use to run your business like proposals, quotes, and contracts.

It’s amazing how many photographers skip the proposal or quote, and worse, they fail to require their clients to sign a contract. The problem with cutting corners with informal agreements like this is that you have no record of the terms that you and the client are mutually agreeing to.

Because of this, it’s unlikely that you’ll have legal recourse if you have a dispute over what was agreed to at what price, or if the client turns into a deadbeat and decides not pay the invoice. Furthermore, there is a myriad of legal risks you may expose your business to, should you not have a strong contract.

So by spending a little bit of time now to download, customize, and set up quotes, proposals, and contracts, you’ll minimize the hassle and frustration of trying to do it all after you land a new client and need to get the client set up quickly while also fulfilling the actual work.

Luckily for you, we’ve put together a roundup of twelve sample proposals, free contracts, and even a print order form that you can use to build out a library of documents.

Need a tool to customize, store, and send your documents to clients for eSigning?

So, to get you started, here are the essential templates you need to run your business smoothly:

Photography quote template

Need a short and sweet quote to send to the client instead of a full-blown proposal? This sample quote template will do the trick! It’s not specific to any use case or type of photography so you can customize it to the terms and policies that are specific to your business and offerings.

Photography proposal templates

This general photography proposal template is a very general template that covers the specifics of the session that you’re booking, what you’ll charge for the session, the billing and payment terms, and an authorization section for the client to sign off, indicating their approval.

You can use this proposal template as a starting point to create your own proposal, and then customize the finer points and details to match the needs of your business. Or, you can use it right out of the box!

  • Wedding photography proposal template

Every wedding photographer needs a stellar proposal to convince choosy brides (and grooms) that their business is the best choice for capturing the special moments of their big day.

Customize this free wedding photography proposal template to the strengths and needs of your business and its unique selling points, and you’ll be hearing wedding bells and seeing dollar signs as you book more weddings.

  • Event photography proposal template

Event photography is a lucrative niche as it bridges the gap between B2B and B2C and can apply to a whole host of event types — corporate events, birthday parties, galas and charity events, brand activations… and so forth and so on.

That said, events are a competitive market so a sharp proposal can mean the difference between the prospective client choosing you over another photographer. So grab our free event photography proposal template and customize the information like selling points and experience.

Photography contract templates

  • Wedding photography contract template

If you specialize in, or simply offer wedding photography along with other types of photography, then this is a specialized wedding photography contract template that you’ll want to add to your library of contracts. It covers the legal and financial aspects of a wedding photography agreement such as payment, cancellation, and liability. So if the bride gets cold feet, you’ll still get paid.

And it covers some of the things you might not think about like a model release, which allows you to use any photos for marketing purposes — this is an essential clause that you want to include in the contract by default since the caliber of your work is what will help you book more work.

If you don’t have legal permission to show prior a prior wedding’s photos online or on social media, then you’re doing yourself a huge disservice as a wedding photographer.

  • Photography session contract template

This session contract is a standard contract template for a typical session: think headshots, senior portraits, family photo sessions, etc. It’s very simple and covers the basics like session length, pricing, and payment.

It also includes language that ensures you own the intellectual property of the photos taken. So, the work cannot be used commercially by clients who are (likely) paying you a non-commercial rate.

  • Commercial photography contract

If you’ve never shot commercially before and you’re not sure where to start with creating a commercial contract, look no further. This example contract template for commercial photographywill get you up and running in two shakes.

As you’ll notice in the terms, this contract releases the unlimited, non-exclusive, non-transferrable rights to the client for commercial use of the purchased photography. This is very important and something commercial clients will expect to see but will also protect you from clients reselling the rights to the photos to another party, like a stock website.

  • Event photography contract

This free event photography contract is another useful addition to your document library as it differs from the wedding contract and the session contract. Specifically, it covers exclusivity for the event so that you are the only photographer contracted for this particular event.

It also releases you, as the photographer, from any liability for compromised photography as a result of the event’s public attendees or the weather, both of which are out of your control. This contract also covers the photos’ intellectual property, which you’ll retain ownership of, if and until you decide to transfer it.

  • Newborn photography contract

What professional photographer doesn’t love newborn sessions at the hospital? This sample newborn photography contract template will help you to cover the specific scenario of in-hospital sessions, even covering the uncertainties of what the session’s photos will yield given the conditions, hospital staff, and environmental requirements… like, you know, nap time.

  • Portrait contract

This portrait contract template is more detailed and covers the ins-and-outs of portraiture sessions such as lighting, backdrops and the risk of interfering traffic in public spaces. Because this template is specific for portrait shoots, it also covers retouching and recoloring.

This template also covers usage by the photographer of the images for marketing purposes, as similar to wedding photography, portrait photographers will need to be able to show their work as proof that they know how to shoot for this specific type of photography.

  • Photography services contract

Last but not least, for photography contract templates, this photography services contract template is a very general agreement that can be used for just about any type of photography-related services. It lacks the specificity of the other templates we mention above, but it is a tremendously useful starting point for filling in the particulars regarding your specific use case and business needs.

Also note, it includes a breakdown of different fee types you might include in the pricing section such as an hourly services fee vs. equipment rental which can have tax implications, so check with a CPA on how to best break down the fees.

Photography order form template

  • Order form

Once you’ve completed a session, you’ll need to manage the orders for prints. That’s where this order form template comes in — it’s a free template that you can add to your ever-growing repertoire of documents for running your business.

This sample order form allows you to create custom packages of different sizes of photo prints as well as individual prints. Better yet, when you use it with PandaDoc, clients can configure their order to exactly the packages/individual prints they want and send it to you electronically.

By creating a customized selection of the templates that’ll fit best the needs of your company, you’ll invest in the future of the business.

You’ll have smoother day-to-day operations as you can quickly and efficiently get new customers set up instead of needing to create each document from scratch. You’ll also be taking a step toward mitigating the risks from potential legal or financial issues that can arise.