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Crafting a solid real estate photography contract is essential for any professional photographer, providing crucial legal protection and ensuring your clients’ satisfaction. 

Join us as we explore helpful tips on writing the perfect contracts to ensure that both parties are safe – because when it comes to protecting what matters most, no detail should be overlooked!

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s first take a look at why you should use a real estate photography contract when photographing properties.

Why Create Real Estate Photography Contracts?

real estate photography contracts

When photographing for real estate, it’s important to make sure you have the proper contracts in order. That way, everyone involved can feel secure and confident with their agreement. 

In other words, doing so allows both parties to move confidently forward. It also ensures that you as a photographer get paid on time without any surprises or misunderstandings about the agreed-upon rates of payment. 

Not only does it protect you from clients potentially misusing your photos but it also safeguards agents, brokers, and home sellers who count on receiving quality services according to their expectations.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Now that you know why you should create a contract before shooting properties, let’s take a look at how to write one.

Writing Real Estate Photography Contracts (Step-by-Step)

To begin, here’s a quick overview of what a real estate photography contract should include:

  1. Information of Both Parties
  2. Scope of the Agreement
  3. Payment
  4. Requirements
  5. Delivery
  6. Rights/Licensing
  7. Property Release
  8. Signature

Let’s look into all of these parts of the agreement in more detail next.

1. Information of Both Parties

real estate photography contracts

As photographers and real estate agents, it pays to know that the person you’re working with is legally responsible for any shoot or property. 

To ensure smooth sailing throughout your project together, we recommend obtaining all contact information – phone number, email address, and physical location – of both parties before getting started.

2. Scope of the Agreement

real estate photography contracts

When planning a real estate photography session, all the details should be laid out clearly to ensure everyone’s on the same page. 

Make sure your contract includes: 

  • The address of the property (including any codes or names)
  • Objectives of the shoot
  • Scheduled date/duration (to help the client prepare for the shoot)
  • Number of images needed
  • Personal preferences of the client, such as angles, lighting, effects, etc.
  • Plus, additional services requested like drone shots, Twilight shoots, or physical or virtual staging
  • Number of photographers
  • Basic or extensive photo editing
  • Cancellation policies
  • And don’t forget special requests from clients!

3. Payment

real estate photography contracts

Naturally, making sure you get paid accordingly is critical to creating a successful business relationship. 

That’s why it’s important to have an agreement when accepting bookings – outlining the payment details and what your client can expect in terms of cost breakdowns such as travel expenses, additional post-processing fees, or object removal charges if required. 

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to secure the session with an initial deposit.

Although this might make some photographers apprehensive of losing their clients, deposits provide peace of mind knowing that if plans are changed or requirements aren’t met you’re still covered for any reimbursement or rescheduling fees.

Consider including these factors:

  • Downpayment
  • Apart from cash, do you accept debit/credit cards or even international payment channels such as Paypal or Stripe
  • When the client should send the full payment
  • Possible travel expenses
  • Costs for extra post-processing like HDR, advanced object removal or day-to-dusk editing
  • Termination arrangements if the client needs to cancel their booking, get a refund, or reschedule

Having a signed agreement is key, guaranteeing that you get the most out of your services while making sure both parties benefit.

4. Requirements

Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp
Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp

Showing a property in its best light is key to success and it all starts with preparation! 

The owner is responsible for the preparation of the property to make it look fresh and appealing. But the photographer can always tidy up and do some staging as well as long as it’s not taking up too much of the shooting time.

Have clients follow these tips:

  • Clean and declutter the space and get rid of any personal items 
  • Make sure beds look inviting and tables are set artfully
  • Consider investing in minimal decorations for the interior, such as vases, candles, picture frames, or fruit bowls
  • Don’t forget about those small exterior details like mowing the lawn or tidying up gardens – when done properly they can really bring out that “wow” factor in photos 
  • And remember to give swimming pools some extra love before shooting too. You’ll want them sparkling clean so they grab potential buyers’ attention right away

Consider rescheduling the photo shoot if these preparations aren’t done and it would take you too long to tidy up the space. 

In addition, allow the possibility of rescheduling due to undesirable weather. It’s the photographer’s responsibility to check weather conditions before the actual shoot.

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5. Delivery

Real Estate Flyer by PhotoUp
Real Estate Flyer by PhotoUp

When it comes to the actual turnaround time, detailed agreements should also cover all aspects of delivery including: 

  • When to send digital files and physical prints
  • MLS photo sizes
  • Image resolution and aspect ratio for client’s website, digital flyers, etc. 
  • Ensure you discuss which file format will be used – JPEG or RAW
  • The agreed method of distribution such as email transfers via WeTransfer, Google Drive, DropBox, USB
  • Sending low-resolution images for approval, plus copyright usage notes
  • Post-production can take just as long if not longer than shooting so let your contracts specify the number of revisions allowed to avoid needless headaches down the line

6. Rights/Licensing

real estate photography contracts

About 2.5 billion photos get stolen every day, with the US accounting for nearly 23% of image theft. 

Before you trust your images to anyone, make sure both parties understand the terms of use with a clear license agreement. That way no one can have any misunderstandings about who owns the rights for the work and how it will be used. 

For example, when the real estate photographer provides a digital copy of their work, they remain the only owner of the images, while the client only buys a license to use them. So a common copyright infringement is when a real estate agent transfers the images to another party without the photographer’s permission.

Problems like this can be avoided with a license agreement and everyone respects copyright guidelines – leaving photographers free to capture beautiful moments in time that help market homes.

7. Property Release

Real Estate Photographer Websites by PhotoUp
Real Estate Photographer Websites by PhotoUp

As a real estate photographer, the last thing you want to happen is to submit your final images to a publication or include them in your online portfolio and find out that they don’t meet expectations. 

To make sure this doesn’t happen, adding a property release clause into every contract can be extremely helpful! 

This way, clients are acknowledging that they agree with all terms and conditions when it comes to using photos of their properties, which gives peace of mind to both parties involved.

8. Signature

real estate photography contracts

Let’s make sure to tie up the contract with a neat bow! 

Signing and dating your copy makes it official- when everyone has their name on the dotted line, you’ll be all set.

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Real Estate Photo Editing

PhotoUp is the end-to-end business platform for real estate photographers.

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Recent statistics show that buyers spend 60% of their time checking images, and only 20% read the listing description. It’s, therefore, essential to present clients with a professional online portfolio that makes their property stand out. 

In other words, you need to make sure your images are polished and perfected before sharing them, especially online where they can be seen by so many potential buyers and clients. 

With experienced photo editing professionals on hand to help make your photos shine, creating stunning photos has never been easier! 

Whether you are looking for a one-time touch-up or a long-term service tailored to your needs, you can count on a dedicated real estate photo editing service like PhotoUp to deliver the highest quality experience.

With PhotoUp’s talented team of editors and a commitment to providing excellence at every step of the process, you can trust your images with us. We can help with editing services like:

  • Image brightness and exposure correction 
  • Color and tone adjustments 
  • Window masking and glare reduction
  • Clutter and advanced object removal
  • Line and angle corrections
  • HDR editing and manual blending
  • Harsh shadows and lack of light 
  • Sky replacements
  • Twilight and day-to-dusk editing
  • And much more!

But that’s not all…

Watercolor House Portraits by PhotoUp
Watercolor House Portraits by PhotoUp

PhotoUp also offers a full ecosystem of real estate marketing services such as:

Plus, our easy-to-use platform allows you to quickly upload and get photos edited for all sorts of job demands – from regular editing to virtual staging and walk-through videos. 

We have everything you need to market real estate under one roof!

PhotoUp Real Estate Photo Editing Uploader 

For more information, have a look at our real estate photo editing uploader demo to see how easy it is to get started:

As simple as that!

So real estate photographers, don’t wait!  

Sign up for a free PhotoUp account today and maximize your potential in creating beautiful real estate photography.

Did we say that our photo editing starts at the low cost of $1.15 per image?! And for a limited time, you’ll even get 10 free edits when signing up for an account!

We hope this blog post helped you learn how to write real estate photography contracts. Before you go, you may also want to check out the following related resources:

Stina Pettersson

Professional Blogger

Stina is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and professional blogger who's passionate about real estate photo editing, being outdoors with her pup, and sweaty gym sessions. She loves the written word and has been writing for publications like Forbes and Thrive Global. Originally from Sweden, she's called South Florida her home since 2013.

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