Contract template for one-time use of a photo, no payment

I get asked a bunch from people online to use one of my photos in a project. Most times I will charge the person. Sometimes I won’t. Here’s an example of a contract template I just drew up to handle requests. Before sending this out, I fill in all the blank fields.

[____insert client’s name____],

I’m honored that you would like to use my photo. Yes you may use my photo if you agree to the four legal conditions below.

Four legal points:

“Photographer” is Matt Maldre

“Publication” is [____insert name of client____]

1) Single Issue License. The photograph [____insert name of photo____] is to be published once in the [____insert name of client project____] of [____insert client’s name____].

2) Alterations. At no time may the photographic image(s) be altered by Publication/Presentation. Any proposed post-production work to occur on any and all photographic images must be set forth in writing by Publication prior thereto and pre approved by Photographer. (basically, if you monkey around with the image, let me know if you change anything in it)

3) Additional Licenses. Publication will not make any further license or use of the Photographs for any retrospective or additional use by the Publication, advertising, promotional, publicity, commercial tie-in, merchandising, or other use and may not assign, auction, transfer, give away or otherwise dispose of the Photographs without first obtaining the written consent of Photographer in each instance.

4) Copyright. Copyright in the Photographs will be retained by Photographer, subject to the restrictions and Photographer’s approval rights in this Agreement.

Four logistical points:

1) Upon agreement to the four legal points, the photo maybe downloaded at: [____insert URL, usually flickr URL____] If you need a higher resolution, please let me know.

2) If there’s any room anywhere for photo credits, you may credit it “¬©[____insert year here____] Matt Maldre. All rights reserved.”

3) If you’d like to use it for anything else beyond [____insert name of client project____] please let me know.

4) I would love to know more about [____insert name of client project, if needed____]. Can you tell me more?

Thank you again for inquiring about one of my photos. Please reply to this email if you agree to these terms and would like to use my photo.

I grabbed some of the lingo from the Photo Session Agreement on After a quick search, I couldn’t find any contracts that were just for one-time use of one photo. All the contracts I found were for photo shoots and wedding contracts, so I drafted this quickie up. I’m by no means a lawyer. But this is a little bit better than just saying, “yeah, go ahead and use my photo.” Because there might be some people out there who would use your photo and then sell it and then use it for other projects.

What do you think of this contract? What would you change?

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11 years ago

This is great info! No surprise! I always find great helpful info when I visit your site … today: first Jorts! Now this! (SERIOUSLY, very HELPFUL! Thanks for sharing it!)

Kristina Jarosik
Kristina Jarosik
11 years ago

I think you should check with a certain attorney that lives in Lincoln Park. Even though his expertise is intellectual property – copyright, patent. I’m sure he’s taken a contracts course and used it.

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