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Photo shoot contract: do you already know everything about how to protect yourself to comply with the law and avoid trouble?

Image Photo shoot contract: do you already know everything about how to protect yourself to comply with the law and avoid trouble?

The contract for the photo shoot is a very important document that should never be underestimated, even when you are in a relationship of acquaintance or friendship with those who ask you for shots at events or anniversaries.


Anyone who has a passion for photography - because it is not just a job - knows what it means. Photographing is a real art, it is telling stories, describing places, 'portraying' a state of mind that passes over a person's face ...


This is the most romantic part of photography, whether it is practiced for amateur interest or for a profession. But pay attention to how you move because even if it is art, it is not advisable to let it express itself freely. Ethics and professionalism are two concepts that do not leave too much room for misinformation or neglect.


Because? Because there are current - and very inelastic - regulations on privacy and the right to photography.

In this article, we discover together the legal implications that you need to know to be fully compliant with the law and how to protect yourself with a contract for a state of the art photo shoot, complete with all the necessary elements.


Photograph legally to prevent any risk

'A picture is worth a thousand words', claimed the Chinese philosopher Confucius as early as the fifth century BC. A statement that is more than truthful, considering that a photograph is often more explanatory than many written pages.

This is why any amateur or professional photographer, whether in the case of street photography or portraiture, must know how to behave and what strategies to implement to avoid legal risks.


Portrait photography and privacy, all the legislation you need to know

Portrait photography is a photographic genre subject to very specific legislation.

When it is decided to immortalize a person, in fact, the 'protagonist' of the photographic portrait must be made aware of all the aspects related to the photo shoot that concerns him.

According to the provisions of art. 97 paragraph 2 Law no. 633/41, the photograph must not harm the honor, reputation or decorum of the person portrayed.

This is why it is important - in respect of the person at the center of the photo shoots - that the photo shoot is agreed upon and planned in every respect.


Photographic service agreed between the parties, what to specify in the contract?

Before starting the photo shoot, the photographer must sign a professional work contract with the portrayed, or with the person being portrayed.

In this agreement - written and signed between the professional and the client - various elements must be included to protect both parties.

Let's see in detail which ones.


Precise identification of the contracting parts

The photographer and the client must enter into a contract in which the two contracting parties are clearly identifiable; hence the importance of specifying all the details, namely name and surname, place and date of birth, tax code, VAT number and residential address.


Object and accessory elements of the contract

Not only must the type of contract be highlighted, but other information relating to the setting must also be identified in writing:

  • studio for shooting or other places where the shots take place
  • number of preliminary meetings and planned inspections
  • delivery material to the customer (photographs already printed, on a pen or other support).


Nothing must escape the contract.

It is therefore important to establish in advance also the quantity of photographs to be delivered, the dimensions with any expected enlargements, and the duration of the professional relationship in order to avoid surprises during the days of the agreed service.

To protect the photographer's material, it is also useful to mention the availability of a place to store the equipment during breaks and to indicate in writing the possession of any professional insurance policy.

Finally, do not forget the clause authorizing the use of personal data and an annotation on a possible right of withdrawal.



If you think you want to reuse the photographic material produced at a later time, to enrich your portfolio, it is essential to ask the client for written authorization.

Remember to always specify in a specific clause that you keep the copyright on the photographs that are the subject of the photo shoot you made.


The fee on the remuneration due for your professional service is also an element that must not be missing in the contract, together with other information such as the percentage to be paid in the event of a possible down payment and the date of the balance for the settlement of the agreed amount.


Delivery of the material

To avoid unpleasant implications in the final phase of your performance, it is essential to agree in writing the date of delivery of the material, perhaps adding a few more days to cover any unforeseen events. It is also very useful to foresee a possible delay, not subject to penalties.


Date and signature

Finally, the contract in duplicate - which must be accompanied by photocopies of the identity documents of the contractor and the client - must be dated and countersigned by both parties, even in the so-called unfair clauses.


Law Firm

Lawyer Paola CHIAPPINI

Via Mira, 4/10


T.: 010/3624308; 333/8099295