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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Bradshaw

Top 4 contract changes portrait photographers need to make to switch from digitals included to IPS

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

You’re mooo-oovin on uuup Tooo the east siiide To a deelux service for the discerning eye

mooo-oovin on uuup

Tooo the east siiide

You’re finally getting a bigger piece of the pie

I may have taken some liberties with the lyrics, but real talk, can I get that dress and shawl, yall?

She rocks it way better than I could, but I'm still jealous.

So you’ve moved on up to selling your images separately from your photoshoot or mini session (yes, you can do IPS with mini sessions if you like!).

First off, Congrats!

So you thought you were going to recycle your old contract, because what changed? Right?

Actually, your entire business model has changed. And you already know that because you dealt with

  • The stress you had over whether people will buy the images after they see them

  • Creating a new payment process for folks (check out a discussion on IPS payment options on this post)

  • How to set up your in-person sales (IPS) session, be it in person or virtual, make it a party or more of a product display

  • And so much more

That is a huge change in your business!

Any time there is a huge change in your business, it’s time to go check those contracts to make sure they still fit you.

No one wants to be caught in the 2 sizes too small jeans from high school. So why would you do the same for your business?

So, here’s 4 quick things you should check before you make that switch. When photographers make the switch from digitals included in the session fee to IPS, these come up again and again.

  1. Remove all mentions of a guaranteed number of images or digitals. You are not selling digitals initially anymore. You are selling your time and the experience you have created. Selling the images/products/digitals comes later (and should have its own contract *hint*hint*).

  2. Replace your online gallery delivery section/clause with a reveal party section. Before, you just sent a link and said ‘here ya go, do what you want. Now we’ve got a whole ‘nother interaction with the client that some shadiness could happen in. What if they show up late? Can they bring friends? Can someone other than the order or pay for products? How long will you hang on to their digitals for them to order?

  3. Show your client a pricing list of your packages/prints BEFORE they book the session with you. Bonus points for including the current price list in your early communications. No one wants to deal with an angry client with sticker shock.

  4. Put a disclaimer on your price list that prices/packages are subject to change without notice. You never know what could happen. They could reschedule for a year from their original session. Maybe canvas skyrockets in price between their first inquiry and actually signing a contract.

As always, there is more than this in your specific situation, but these are the big ones that can get you in trouble. Remember, legal protections in your business evolve with your business. It’s not a 1 and done sort of thing.

But you’ll always have this space to come back to as you evolve.

If you decide you don't want to go back and review your own contracts, that's cool. Just make sure someone else is doing it for you (*cough* hire a CLO *cough*) or you are grabbing the client contract where images aren’t included from the store



**Disclaimer: This is only general information, not legal advice specific to your situation, and does not create a client-attorney relationship between you and Samantha Bradshaw, a Virginia licensed small business lawyer, or InLine Legal, a 100% virtual law firm. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer in your area.

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