Photography Contract Law and Legal Definition

Photography contract is a contract entered by a photographer to sell the license or use of his/her photograph with exact controls regarding how often the photograph will be used. This contract will also specify on what territory the photograph will be used, and exactly for what products. An additional contract and royalty would apply for each additional use of the photograph. For example, the photographer may sell the use of one photograph to different companies for use on calendars, cereal boxes, magazines, greeting cards, or many other products, in many countries.

The time duration of the contract may be for one year or other duration. The photographer usually charges a royalty as well as a one-time fee, which may or may not then be deducted from the royalties, depending on the terms of the contract. The Contract may be for non-exclusive use of the photograph (meaning the photographer can sell the same photograph for more than one use during the same year) or for exclusive use of the photograph (i.e. only that company may use the photograph during the term). For example, a contract may stipulate non-exclusive use of the photograph on print greeting cards for one year within the U.S. with certain up front fee and royalty per unit printed. The Contract can also stipulate that the photographer is entitled to audit the company for determination of royalty payments. Royalties vary depending on the industry buying the photograph and the use, for example, royalties for a photograph used on a poster or in television advertising may be higher than the royalty for use on a limited run of brochures.