PPAS Photography Service Contract template (Accredited Members Only)

This is the PPAS Contract Template, updated 2022

Click on the individual headings to expand/close the section

This is a template of terms and conditions tailored by Bird and Bird ATMD strictly for PPAS Accredited Professionals’ use only.

These terms are included in official quotations for photography-related projects to set the scope of engagement between Client and Vendor. It also importantly serves as a framework for arbitration and recompense when things don’t go as planned.

This template is designed to be used either wholly or in part to supplement existing Terms and Conditions. As different projects may have different scopes of work, please make use of the drafting notes included in each section as a guide in creating your customised T&Cs. Having a blanket set of T&Cs (not customised) for every project only serves to complicate negotiations and confuse the Client. 

The terms written in this PPAS are to be used responsibly and with caution. PPAS shall not be responsible for the usage, misuse or misinterpretation of any content provided. If you have any queries with regards to the content provided, please contact PPAS directly.

Drafting Notes: 

  1. These terms and conditions are prepared on the basis that they will be appended to a quotation which sets out the commercial terms of the engagement. If any of these terms are to be varied for purposes of the engagement, the varied terms should be set out in the quotation.
  2. Sections marked with * are key and should generally be included in every contract.
  3. Options are provided in some cases. In that case, the options will be encased in square brackets (e.g., [refundable / non-refundable]). Please delete accordingly depending on the preferred option. 
  4. Please read the clauses carefully and ensure that you understand their effect before using them.

INTRODUCTION TO INTERPRETATIONS & DEFINITIONS LIST

PPAS strongly advise having an Interpretation and Definition list for words that might be used subjectively within your contracts. This will be helpful to define the full integrity of critical wordings used.

The following words and expressions shall have the following meanings in this Agreement:

“Agreement / Contract” - This service terms and conditions which Clients will have to consent to prior to booking [ Company ] Services.

[ Company short-form ]” - [ Company full name ]

“Photographer” - [ Company ] represented photographers. *Drafting Note: Can change “Photographer” to anything you want to call yourself, but be sure it’s coherent across the document*

“Client” - The customer(s) that [ Company ] allocates to the Photographer to carry out the Services and Projects as invoiced.

“Photography” - The recording of a still image by any method.*Drafting Note: Can change “still image” to “image” or “video” according to relevance*

“Rate / Fee” - All sums due to [ Company ] in the invoice which shall be payable in Singapore Dollars in Singapore. *Drafting Note: Or any currency you operate in*

“Works” — all materials, soft copy documents, hard copy documents, hardware documents,  images, operating or training manuals, instructions, notes and data in whatever form, prepared or produced by the Representee in providing the Services.

“Material” — Images, film or sound recordings produced in regard to the invoice sent to the Client.

“Invoice” — Invoice to Client that [ Company ] allocates to our Photographers.

“Project” - Services rendered to the Clients based on the invoice that [ Company ] allocates to the Photographer.

“Alter” - Altering of soft-copy images either by cropping, adding of styling effects, filters, retouching and/or editing via means of softwares. 

“Interest Rate” - [ Insert your Interest Rate terms here if any ] *Drafting Note: Eg. “Interest rate of x% shall be applied to unpaid balance every 30days after the indicated payment due date. Also note that interest rates that are above the bank’s lending rates can be be deemed unreasonable.”

“Expedited Fee” - [ Insert your Expedited Fee terms here if any]

The Client engages the Photographer, and the Photographer shall provide to the Client the services (“Services”) specified in the quotation to which these Standard Terms and Conditions are appended (“Quotation”) on the terms set out in the Quotation and herein. The Quotation and these Standard Terms and Conditions, taken together, shall comprise the agreement between the parties (“Agreement”). If and to the extent that these terms Standard Terms and Conditions are inconsistent or conflict with any terms specified in the Quotation, the terms in the Quotation shall prevail and control.

In consideration of the provision of the Services by the Photographer, the Client agrees to pay to the Photographer:

  • a [refundable / non-refundable] deposit in the sum specified in the Quotation on signature of the Quotation; and

  • the balance of the agreed fees shall be paid in the following manner:

  • [ X ] % on completion of the photoshoot; and

  • [ X ] % on delivery to the Client of the agreed deliverables. Drafting note: The above payment schedule and milestones is provided by way of example only and should be modified as needed.

Unless stated otherwise in the Quotation, all sums specified in the Quotation are in Singapore Dollars (S$).

Expenses. The Client agrees to pay (i) all expenses specified in the Quotation or in this Agreement; and (ii) any additional expenses as may be agreed to by and between the parties from time to time, including but not limited to any expenses that may arise from any agreed changes to the scope of the Services or the deliverables.

Payment due date and late charges. All payments shall be made within 14 days after receipt by the Client of the relevant invoice. If the Client fails to make full payment by the agreed time, the Photographer reserves the right to charge interest on any overdue amount at a rate of [ X ] % per month from the payment due date until the date when the Client has made payment in full. Drafting note: As an industry practice, the interest is typically between 1-7%. To specify in the placeholder provided as appropriate.

In the event that the Client has engaged the Contractor to provide the Services on behalf of a third party (“Ultimate Client”), the Client acknowledges and agrees that it shall make payment to the Photographer in accordance with this Agreement regardless of whether it has received payment from the Ultimate Client.

Drafting note: To be inserted if overseas and/or overnight shoots are part of the photographer’s offerings. In such event, it is recommended that the parties agree on a budget for the photographer’s airfare, accommodation and any other expenses. The agreed budget should be set out in the quotation.

If the Photographer is requested by the Client to travel outside of Singapore for any photoshoot, the Client shall pay the Photographer's reasonable travel expenses. If the Photographer is required to stay overnight at any location, the Client shall pay the Photographer’s reasonable hotel accommodation expenses in accordance with the agreed budget for these expenses.

In the event that additional reasonable travel or accommodation expenses are incurred arising from or in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and any measures, recommendations, regulations and legislation imposed by the government or public health authorities in relation to the same from time to time, the Client shall pay the additional expenses. Such additional expenses include but are not limited to:

  • The costs of any COVID-19 tests as the Photographer may be required to take prior to, during and after travel; and
  • In the event that the Photographer is required to serve quarantine upon arrival in any country or return to his/her home country, (i) the Photographer’s reasonable accommodation expenses in a hotel or other quarantine facility; and (ii) the sum of S$ [ X ] per day of quarantine (on the basis that the Photographer will not be able to undertake any assignments during the quarantine period).

If the Client wishes to make any change to its brief provided to the Photographer at any time (whether during pre-production, the photoshoot or post-production), it shall notify the Photographer and the Photographer shall provide the Client with a calculation of any variation to the agreed fees required to accommodate the change. If the Client agrees to the variation, the Photographer shall prepare a revised or supplementary invoice, and shall implement the change upon acceptance by the Client of the terms of such revised or supplementary invoice.

Drafting Note: To include if a fixed session or time slot is agreed to and the client’s timely arrival is of essence.

The Client agrees and acknowledges that it shall be solely responsible for arriving for the allotted session on time. If the Client arrives late for the session for any reason, the Photographer shall be entitled to terminate the session at the end of the allotted time-slot and shall not be liable to refund to the Client any part or all of the fees paid, or to the compensate the Client in any way, on account of this. 

The Client may postpone or cancel the provision of the Services or any element of the Services subject to the following terms and conditions.

Postponement

  • If notice is provided late or not provided at all, or for any second or subsequent postponements of the photoshoot (even if prior notice is provided), the Client agrees that it shall be charged a postponement fee equivalent to [ X ]% of the agreed fees.  

  • Postponement due to weather. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing, where the photoshoot is to be conducted outdoors, the Client may postpone the photoshoot in the event of inclement weather (e.g., thunderstorms) by giving prior notice to the Photographer. However, if less than X hours’ prior notice is given prior to the start time of the photoshoot, the Photographer reserves the right to charge a postponement fee equivalent to [ X ]% of the agreed fees. 

  • For any postponement, the parties shall discuss and agree on a suitable replacement date and time. The Client acknowledges that the timing of performance of the Photographer's obligations after any postponement shall be subject to the Photographer's prior professional commitments.

Cancellation 

The Client agrees that the following cancellation fees shall apply:

  • If at least [ X ] days’ prior notice is given – No cancellation charge, but any deposit paid will be forfeited.
  • If less than [ X ] days’ but at least [48 hours] prior notice is given – Any deposit paid will be forfeited. Additionally, the Client shall be entitled to charge a cancellation fee equivalent to [ X ]% of the agreed fees for the [relevant] Services.
  • Less than [ X ] hours prior notice or no notice – Any deposit paid will be forfeited.  Additionally, the Client shall be entitled to charge a cancellation fee equivalent to 100% of the agreed fees for the [relevant] Services.

Drafting Note: If the Agreement is for, say, a number of shoots to be carried out on different days and the cancellation relates to only one shoot, then is may be reasonable to determine the cancellation fee based on the agreed fees only for the cancelled shoot. The word “relevant” should be included in this instance. Else, it may be omitted.  

Expenses

The Client agrees that in the event of any postponement or cancellation, it shall bear all expenses incurred by the Photographer up to the time of such postponement or cancellation.

Payment due date and late charges

Any postponement or cancellation fee shall be paid within 14 days after receipt by the Client of the relevant invoice. If the Client fails to make full payment by the agreed time, the Photographer reserves the right to charge interest on any overdue amount at a rate of X % per month from the payment due date until the date when the Client has made payment in full. Additionally, the Photographer shall be entitled to retain possession of any and all materials or property provided by the Client to the Photographer, and all deliverables under the Agreement, until receipt of full payment from the Client.

Drafting note: The above terms are provided by way of example only and should be modified as needed. Realistically, unless the Client has made payment or part-payment, it will likely be difficult to obtain additional payments from the Client after cancellation.

In the event that a re-shoot is required: 

  • as a result of any negligence or technical error on the part of the Photographer, the Photographer agrees that there shall be no charges for the re-shoot and to bear all expenses relating to the same;

  • as a result of any negligence or technical error on the part of a third party (e.g., processing lab or delivery service), the Photographer agrees that there [ will / will not be ] charges for the re-shoot and the Client agrees to bear all expenses relating to the same; and

  • for any other reason (including on the Client’s request), the Client agrees to pay the Photographer’s full charges for the re-shoot and all expenses relating to the same. 

[The parties agree that the expenses shall comprise ____________________.]  Drafting note: This is optional but best to specify to avoid dispute.

Drafting note: These terms are important if rights or permissions are required to include certain elements (e.g., trade marks) in the photographs to be shot, or the Photographer will be photographing people or in places where a permit is required.

The Client agrees that it shall be solely responsible for procuring all necessary rights, releases, consents and permits which may be required for the photoshoot and use of the images, including but not limited to any required rights and consents in relation to the use of intellectual property rights or other rights and interests, and permits to photograph in any location. 

The Client shall indemnify the Photographer against all liabilities, costs, expenses, damages, and losses suffered or incurred by the Photographer arising out of or in connection with any claim by a third party for infringement or violation of its rights, and any fines imposed on the Photographer arising out of or in connection with any failure to obtain the requisite permits.

Selection of images

The Photographer will deliver proofs of the images taken for the Client’s selection within [ X ] days after completion of the photoshoot. The Client shall inform the Photographer in writing of the selection of the images for editing and inclusion in the deliverables within [ X ] days after delivery of the proofs. All selections made are final. The Photographer shall deliver the final edited images within [ X ] days after the Client informs the Photographer of its selection.

Creative control

The Photographer reserves the right not to deliver proofs of some of the images taken at the photoshoot for creative control reasons (e.g., where the image is blurred or its style or composition is not ideal), and to discretion to make final edits to the selected images as he deems fit (e.g., to achieve the best results). 

Additional processing

Additional fees (e.g., digital imaging or retouching fees) are chargeable if the Client requests additional processing of the final edited images.

Archival and deletion of images

All the proofs will be archived once the Client has made its selection. If the Client wishes to see the proofs again for the purpose of selecting additional images to be included in the deliverables (subject to applicable charges), an extraction fee of $ [ X ] applies. All images and proofs shall be deleted from the Photographer’s archives after the expiry of [ X ] days after delivery of the deliverables to the Client.

Drafting notes: 

  1. This clause provides for the copyright in the images to remain with the Photographer unless the Client opts to purchase it for a fee. Note that the option for purchase is limited to copyright in “the images included in the deliverables”. This is so as the Photographer may retain the copyright in and control of the images which he chooses not to show to the Client for creative control reasons. If the Client does not agree to this, the clause will have to be amended accordingly.
  2. This clause provides for the copyright in the images to remain with the Photographer unless the Client opts to purchase it for a fee. Note that the option for purchase is limited to copyright in “the images included in the deliverables”. This is so as the Photographer may retain the copyright in and control of the images which he chooses not to show to the Client for creative control reasons. If the Client does not agree to this, the clause will have to be amended accordingly.
  3. This clause provides for the copyright in the images to remain with the Photographer unless the Client opts to purchase it for a fee. Note that the option for purchase is limited to copyright in “the images included in the deliverables”. This is so as the Photographer may retain the copyright in and control of the images which he chooses not to show to the Client for creative control reasons. If the Client does not agree to this, the clause will have to be amended accordingly.

The Photographer shall retain all copyright in the images, including in their original and processed formats. The Client shall be entitled to purchase the copyright in the proofs delivered to the Client and the images which are included in the deliverables by paying [a fee / the fee set out in the Quotation] (“Assignment Fee”). If the Client elects to purchase the copyright, the said copyright shall be assigned to the Client on payment of the Assignment Fee. 

If the Client does not elect to purchase the copyright in the proofs delivered to the Client and the images which are included in the deliverables (collectively, “Works”) so that the copyright remains with the Photographer, upon full payment of the agreed fee, the Client shall be granted a right in perpetuity to reproduce, transmit, make available online or otherwise use the Works, in whole or in part, [anywhere around the world / in [ list of territories ],] for [ its private, non-commercial purposes / the purposes of __________].

If the Client elects to purchase the copyright in the Works, on assignment of the copyright to the Client, the Client shall grant the Photographer a right in perpetuity to reproduce, transmit, make available online or otherwise use the Works, in whole or in part, anywhere around the world, solely for the purposes of showcasing the Photographer’s portfolio of works.

OPTION 2

Drafting note: In this option, the Photographer retains the copyright and grants the Client a right to use the images for certain purposes. 

The Photographer shall retain all copyright in the images, including in their original and processed formats. The Client shall be granted a right to reproduce, transmit, make available online or otherwise use the Works, in whole or in part, subject to the following:

Number of images: [ X ]

Country: [ Singapore or specific countries only OR worldwide ]

Term: [ 1 year from the date of delivery of the images ]

Physical Media: [ Calendars, brochures ]

Electronic Media: [ Client’s website and social media platforms ]

User: [ Client only, not including Client’s affiliates, subsidiaries or other third parties ]

OPTION 3

Drafting note: In this option, the copyright is assigned to the Client and the Photographer is granted a right to use the images for portfolio purposes.

All copyright and other interests in the images, including in their original and processed formats, shall be assigned to the Client. The Client shall grant the Photographer a right in perpetuity to reproduce, transmit, make available online or otherwise use the Works, in whole or in part, anywhere around the world, solely for the purposes of showcasing the Photographer’s portfolio of works.

Drafting notes: 

  1. Moral rights are personal to the creator of a work and not assignable. Thus, even if copyright in the images is assigned to the Client, the moral rights belong to the Photographer. However, moral rights may be waived and the Client may require the Photographer to do so, in order that the Client will not be fettered in its ability to alter the images for its purposes. This need not be included if the Client does not insist on it so that the photographer may retain his moral rights.
  2. The words in square brackets at the end provide for the retention of the new right of creators to be identified. For photographs, the main instances when identification is required are when the photograph is exhibited in public or made available online. If desirable, the Photographer can stipulate the name by which he wishes to be identified, and when and how the identification should appear.

The Photographer waives absolutely his moral rights arising under the Singapore Copyright Act 2021 (“the Act”) and, so far as is legally possible, any broadly equivalent rights he may have in any territory of the world [, except that the Photographer retains the right to be identified as the author of the images delivered under this Agreement arising under section 371 of the Act].

The Client [ may / may not ] share web/blog post links and social media albums through the use of the share functions and dissemination of direct links. The Client shall not copy, download, screenshot, or capture the photographs in any other fashion. Under the Singapore Copyright Act, the Client shall identify the Photographer in the caption of all photographs uploaded to social media websites as a form of accreditation using [ _______________________]

The Client is not allowed to post-process images via third-party applications including Facebook, Instagram, and other Applications as they technically mean altering our works without license and permission.

Drafting Note: This clause is useful if the photographer wishes to limit his liability to pay compensation to the client. In this case, we have provided for the liability to be capped at the agreed fees. Please note that the cap does not apply to the events identified in the first paragraph. For these events, liability cannot be capped under the law.

Nothing in this Agreement excludes or limits the Photographer’s liability for (i) death or personal injury caused by negligence; (ii) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; (iii) the tort of deceit; or (iv) any other liability which may not be limited or excluded by law.

Subject to the above, the Photographer’s total liability for any loss or damage incurred or suffered by the Client arising out of or in connection with this Agreement, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise, shall be limited to a sum equal to the amount of agreed fees.

The Client shall be responsible for obtaining insurance against non-delivery, loss or damage to any objects, documents or other material furnished by the Client to the Photographer. 

Drafting note: This is quite draconian, and the client may require the photographer to be responsible for material in its possession instead, including obtaining insurance for the same. If this is a concern, this clause should be left out.

The Photographer may engage third party vendors (e.g., hair stylist or make-up artist) on the Client’s behalf, to provide services to the Client before or during a photoshoot. In such event, the Client agrees that the Photographer shall not be liable to the Client for the acts or omissions of such third party vendors, or any claim, losses, or damage whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the services provided by such third party vendors.

If the Photographer’s performance of the Services, including the delivery of the agreed deliverables, is delayed by an event outside the Photographer’s control, the Photographer will notify the Customer as soon as possible and will take reasonable steps to minimise the delay. Provided that the Photographer does this, it will not be liable for the delay.

Drafting notes: 

  1. Option 1 is to be used when contracting directly with the individuals to be photographed (e.g., wedding couples). It provides for the grant of consent from the Client, and also requires the Client to obtain consent from all other persons who may be photographed (e.g., at the wedding).
  2. Option 2 is to be used when contracting with a commercial entity. In this case, the clause requires the Client to ensure that it complies with the applicable data protection legislation. The requirement for the Client to obtain consent from persons who may be photographed (e.g., at a photoshoot or an event organized by the client) remains unchanged.

OPTION 1

The Client hereby: (i) agrees and consents to the Photographer collecting, using and disclosing its Personal Data; and (ii) acknowledges and agrees that the Photographer may collect, use and disclose the Personal Data of any other individuals who may be participating in the photoshoot or may be captured in the images taken by the Photographer, for the purpose of fulfilling the Photographer’s obligations or exercising the Photographer’s rights under this Agreement, and such other purposes as may be notified by the Client to the Photographer from time to time. 

Further, the Client represents and warrants that, to the extent required by applicable Data Protection Legislation, it shall be responsible for (i) obtaining the consent of all individuals participating in the photoshoot for the collection, use and disclosure of their Personal Data by the Photographer; and (ii) notifying such persons of the purposes for which their Personal Data will be collected, used and disclosed by the Photographer. The Client further agrees and undertakes to notify the Photographer promptly upon it becoming aware of the withdrawal by any such individual of their consent.

In this clause, “Data Protection Legislation” means any statutes, regulations, orders, regulatory requirements, by laws, ordinances, rules, subordinate legislation and other similar legal instruments in force from time to time that regulate the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Data, including but not limited to the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act 2012; and “Personal Data” shall have the meaning set out in the applicable Data Protection Legislation.

OPTION 2

Each party shall, at its own expense, ensure that it complies with, and assists the other party to comply with, the requirements of all applicable Data Protection Legislation.

The Client acknowledges and agrees that the Photographer may collect, use and disclose the Personal Data of any individuals who may be participating in the photoshoot or may be captured in the images taken by the Photographer, for the purpose of fulfilling the Photographer’s obligations or exercising the Photographer’s rights under this Agreement, and such other purposes as may be notified by the Client to the Photographer from time to time.

Further, the Client represents and warrants that, to the extent required by applicable Data Protection Legislation, it shall be responsible for (i) obtaining the consent of all individuals participating in the photoshoot for the collection, use and disclosure of their Personal Data by the Photographer; and (ii) notifying such persons of the purposes for which their Personal Data will be collected, used and disclosed by the Photographer, namely, for the purpose of the Photographer fulfilling its obligations or exercising its rights under this Agreement or such other purposes as may be notified by the Client to the Photographer from time to time. The Client further agrees and undertakes to notify the Photographer promptly upon it becoming aware of the withdrawal by any such individual of their consent to the collection, use and/or disclosure of their Personal Data by the Photographer. 

In this clause, “Data Protection Legislation” means any statutes, regulations, orders, regulatory requirements, by laws, ordinances, rules, subordinate legislation and other similar legal instruments in force from time to time that regulate the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Data, including but not limited to the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act 2012; and “Personal Data” shall have the meaning set out in the applicable Data Protection Legislation.

Waiver

No failure or delay by a party to exercise any right or remedy provided under this Agreement or by law shall constitute a waiver of that or any other right or remedy, nor shall it prevent or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy. No single or partial exercise of such right or remedy shall prevent or restrict the further exercise of that or any other right or remedy.

Entire Agreement

This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes and extinguishes all previous agreements, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between us, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter.

The parties agree that neither of them shall have any remedies in respect of any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in this Agreement. The parties further agree that neither of them shall have any claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in this Agreement.

Third Party Rights

This agreement does not give rise to any rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act (Cap. 53B) to enforce any term of this Agreement.

Variation

No variation of this agreement shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by the parties (or their authorised representatives).

Drafting note: 

  1. Governing law - The template clauses are drafted in accordance with Singapore law. The clause below therefore provides for Singapore law to apply. If the contract is to be governed by foreign law, then it may be necessary to have it reviewed by a foreign lawyer for compliance with the foreign law.
  2. Jurisdiction - Exclusive jurisdiction means any disputes have to be brought before the Singapore courts. Non-exclusive jurisdiction provides for the option to bring the dispute before a foreign court. Exclusive jurisdiction is the default choice if both parties are based in Singapore. If the client is based elsewhere, however, consider providing for non-exclusive jurisdiction so that any judgment obtained can be more easily enforced against the client.

This Agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Singapore law.

The parties agree irrevocably that the Singapore courts shall have [exclusive OR non-exclusive] jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with this Agreement or its subject matter or formation (including non-contractual disputes or claims). 

Construction

Any rule of construction to the effect that ambiguities are to be resolved against the drafting party shall not apply in interpreting this Contract. The language in this Agreement / Contract shall be interpreted as to its fair meaning and not strictly for or against any party.

This template of terms and conditions tailored by Bird and Bird ATMD strictly for PPAS Accredited Professionals’ use only. Copyright PPAS 2022


Photography and Film Production Insurance

What are some key risk exposures you ought to be concerned about as a photographer or TV commercial producer or film maker?

Regardless of the type of work you do, you will face different risk exposures. The key is to manage these exposures in the most cost effective manner without taking on financial risks you cannot possibly afford to shoulder.

The most common risk exposures include:

1. Professional job and contractual risks (Professional Indemnity Insurance coverage is given to all active PPAS Full Accredited Members)

There is a wide range of liabilities the professional is exposed to in their day-to-day operation – from errors and omissions, to contractual liabilities, to loss of documents, to defamation and intellectual property infringement, just to name a few. A professional indemnity insurance will help give the insured a certain amount of protection and peace of mind against legal actions taken against them, which may be a result of errors or issues that occurred during daily operations.

2. Damage or Loss to Property

The property could be third party property, own property, or property you have accepted responsibility for and is in your control (for example, hired in equipment, props, sets and wardrobe). There is also the film stock or digital images - both completed and raw stock.

For equipment coverage, you should be aware that almost all forms of property insurance excludes coverage whilst the property is in the hands of the airlines.

A liability policy will take care of third party property. Your own property (equipment) should be insured, preferably, in an “All Risks” policy that allows worldwide transit including when the gear is checked in.

Insuring the film stock or digital images means having coverage for the cost of re- shooting the footage that is either lost or damaged.

3. Liability

This refers to your liability towards third parties in respect of injury to third parties or damage to third party property in the course of your work.

4. Extra Expenses

You could have a situation where your hired in equipment is damaged and you need another to continue with the production. The cost of hiring an additional unit will cost you extra money.

Or you could have your key crew or cast fall ill or suffer an accident during the production and you need to replace this person in order to continue production.

These are known as extra expenses and can be insured.

5. Injury to Cast/Crew/Talent

This sometimes happens and you need to compensate them for the injury sustained as well as for medical expenses incurred to treat the injury. When working overseas, there is also the need for medical evacuation or repatriation of the person back home.
In this respect, you should note that not all off-the-shelf travel insurance will insure you for your work as most of these are designed for the holiday traveller – you should check before you buy.

There are also other special situations to consider – such as, when you’re doing aerial or underwater photography; when you have to perform work on an oil rig or oil installation or down in a mine shaft, etc., or when you have to enter a war zone or area where there is conflict. All these situations can be insured.

6. Risk of Cancellation, Postponement or Abandonment

There is a financial risk when the project you’ve undertaken has to be abandoned because a situation beyond your control has forced you to do so. For example, these situations could include natural catastrophes and acts of God, strikes, riots, travel delays, revoking of approved licences, injuries to cast and crew causing work stoppages, etc..

In such situations, you would want to recover as much of the expenses you’ve incurred as is possible. This, fortunately, can be insured.

7. Weather Insurance

This should be considered depending on the type of project you’re undertaking – this insurance operates just like item (6) above but is extended to include weather related situations.

Do contact the PPAS membership services to enquire about the type of insurance coverage you might need for your business or upcoming job.


Industry Practices: Commercial Photography

What is Commercial Photography?

Commercial photography encompasses a wide range of categories, and a common question asked by new and aspiring professional photographers is whether their work qualifies as commercial photography.

In general, commercial images are sold or licensed by the photographer, to individuals or companies who will use it to sell products and services, or to convey a message. Commercial images carry economic value, i.e. they help to create economic returns by being part of the process of generating business, brand equity or economic goodwill for the image owner and/or licensee.

In a nutshell, if your image will be used by a paying client to promote a product, service or company/organisation, it qualifies as commercial work.

Some examples of commercial photography are listed as follows:

  1. Conceptual
  2. Fashion
  3. Beauty
  4. Lifestyle
  5. Food & Beverage
  6. Corporate
  7. Automobile
  8. Product / Still Life
  9. Portraiture
  10. Fine Art
  11. Industrial
  12. Photojournalism
  13. Public Relations / Events
  14. Stock Image
  15. Architectural / Interior
  16. Sports
  17. Editorial
  18. Landscape

Industry Rates in Professional Photography: Year 2008/09 Survey Results

DESCRIPTION DAILY RATE
COMMERCIAL & ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHY
Highly Skilled / Specialist Photographer S$3,500 & above
Skilled & Experienced Photographer S$2,500 & above
Competent Photographer S$1,500 & above
CORPORATE & INDUSTRIAL PHOTOGTAPHY
Minimum Fees S$400 - S$600 & above
Half Day Fees S$1,000 - S$1,500 & above
Full Day Fees S$1,600 - S$2,500 & above
FASHION, INTERIOR & OTHERS FOR EDITORIAL & MAGAZINES. (Publisher only)
Cover Page (excluding retouching [D.I.]) S$500 - S$1,000 & above
Per Image Page (Double Page Spreads [DPS] are counted as 2 images) S$150 - S$250 & above
Advertorial Page Double the rate of an equivalent editorial
WEEKLY/MONTHLY RETAIL ADS FOR DEPARTMENTAL STORES, SUPERMARKETS & OTHER RETAILERS
Food and Beverage (prepared/styled food for Menu or Ad. Does not include packaged food) S$250 - S$300 per image & above
Products (shots are delivered "as shot", i.e. without any retouching and/or etching out; [includes packaged food])
a.) at minimum 30 images S$50 per image & above
b.) at minimum 50 images S$30 per image & above
Products (shots are delivered "etched out" but without retouching; [includes packaged food])
a.) at minimum 10 images (each image contains 5 products shot as a group) S$100 - S$150 per image & above
When Models/Talents are required Commercial & Advertising Rates Apply
EVENTS PHOTOGRAPHY
1st Hour S$200 & above
Each subsequent Hour S$150 & above
4 hours package, including min. 200 images delivered S$450 & above

Note: The rates above are average values taken from a representative pool of professional photographers in 2008/09. 

Important: Rates typically differ according to technical/artistic difficulty, time and skill level required. As a rule, it is critical to give an accurate brief to the photographer. This helps the client avoid additional and unnecessary costs.

Loading Fees

The number people that will see the image you create for your clients can determine its commercial value. In advertising, the better the coverage (estimated number of people the ad will reach), the more likely the advertisement will create sales eventually. Of course, there are other major factors that contribute to effectiveness of an ad, however, for professional photographers, talents, writers and other creative professionals, advertising coverage is the usual basis on which to charge loading fees.

Loading fees are a standard billing component for most, if not all, commercial photography assignments. Loading fees serve to ensure fairness and equitability in payouts for the creative contributors of commercial works like print ads, TV commercials, bus ads, point-of-sale materials, direct mailers and even free gifts or premiums. These commercial works are broadly categorised as either Above the line (ATL) or Below the line (BTL). In a nutshell, loading fees are much higher for above the line works due to their wider and higher coverage. Besides coverage, loading fees also include the number of media, number of countries and usage timelines for the assigned images.

First Usage

If the photographer is quoting for new assignment, the photography charges should be calculated to reflect the types of media that the images will be used in. Charges would be higher for ATL usage compared to BTL due to higher coverage. Apart from ATL/BTL usage, charges should also reflect the number of different media, number of countries included and usage timeline. Charges for these items are usually included together with photography fees as a single sum in the quotation, but can also be placed as separate items, as some photographers prefer.

Repeat Usage

If the client chooses to use the images again after the first assignment is delivered, a new quotation should be created to reflect the extended the usage timeline, increased the number of media and/or usage of the images in more countries. These items can be billed under the heading of Loading Fees or Re-usage Fees. Photography Fees no longer apply.

Media types commonly classified by Ad Agencies

Above-the-Line

Electronic Media

  1. Free-to-Air TV Commercials
  2. Cable/Satellite TV Ads or similar
  3. TV Mobile
  4. Cinema Commercials
  5. Video Wall
  6. Website/Online
  7. 3G Mini Drama

Mass Print Media

  1. Press (Newspaper)
  2. Press (Magazine)
  3. Electronic Posters
  4. Posters/Banners/Murals in Retail Stores
  5. Light Boxes (Dura Trans)
  6. Overhead Bridge Displays
  7. Escalator Panels

Outdoor Print Media

  1. Billboards
  2. Building Banners and Signage
  3. Life Size Standee
  4. Phone Booth
  5. Posters in Tunnels
  6. Hoardings
  7. Window Decals
  8. Lift Decals (Interior/Exterior)
  9. Bus-Stop Posters and Light boxes
  10. Vending Machine Ads
  11. Other print media which are highly visible by the public

Transit Media

  1. Airport/Ferry Terminal/Train Station/Subway (MRT) Station/Bus Terminal:
    • Banners
    • Light Boxes (Dura Trans)
    • Posters
    • Murals
  2. Bus Panel – Interior and Exterior
  3. Bus - Wholly Painted
  4. Bus Stop Dura Trans
  5. Car Park Dura Trans
  6. Taxi Bumper Decals
  7. Taxi In-Cabin
  8. Taxi Top Dura Trans
  9. Taxi Wholly Painted
  10. Train/MRT:

    • In-Cabin Ad
    • In-train Doors
    • In-train Floor
    • In-train Panels
    • In-train Poles
    • In-train Seats
    • In-train Windows
    • Station Doors
    • Station Dura Trans
    • Station Floors
    • Station Pillars
    • Station Posters
    • Station Seats
    • Station Walls

11. Train/MRT Wholly Painted
12. Out-Stations (Outside Entrance Displays/Ads)
13. Private/Commercial Vehicle Wholly Painted – eg. Delivery vans, Private Buses, etc.

Below-the-Line

Electronic Media

  1. Train/MRT Platform Video
  2. 3G Video
  3. Automated Teller Machine Video (ATM)
  4. In-house Video
  5. In-store Video
  6. In-Flight Video
  7. Roadshow / Exhibition Video
  8. Q Video
  9. Corporate Video (Outdoor)
  10. Corporate Video (Internal)
  11. e-Direct Mailer (EDM)
  12. Email Blast
  13. Moving Spotlight (In-store/Out-store)

  1. ATM/Credit Cards
  2. ATM Displays
  3. Application/Contest Forms
  4. Booklets
  5. Brochures
  6. Buntings
  7. CD-ROMs
  8. Calendars/Pocket Calendars
  9. Catalogues
  10. Carrier/Shopping Bags
  11. Decals
  12. Direct Mailer (DM)
  13. Direct Mailer Pack*
  14. Flyers
  15. In-store Posters and POSM**
  16. Leaflets
  17. Newsletters
  18. Packaging

19. PR Kit*
20. Phone Cards
21. Sample Prints
22. Stationery – eg. Envelopes, Letterheads, Memo Pads, Note books, etc.
23. Stickers
24. T-Shirts
25. Take-ones
26. Tent Cards
27. Transit Cards
28. User Guides
29. Zo Cards

*Direct Mailer Pack / PR Kit: normally contains leaflets, brochures, inserts, booklets, application forms, etc.
**POSM: Point-of-Sale Materials eg. Aisle Displays, Hanging Mobiles, Shelf Talkers, Standees, Wobblers, etc.


Foreign Photographers: Guidelines for Shooting in Singapore

This guide is of special importance to foreign photographers and companies wishing to engage foreign photographers to shoot in Singapore. Since the IRAS levies a tax of 15% on the gross fees paid to non-resident professionals working in Singapore, it is important to include the tax amount as a chargeable item when you do your billing. Please refer to the following excerpts from the IRAS website for details:

If You are Employed for 60 Days or Less in a Year

  • You will be regarded as a non-resident. The number of days in Singapore include weekends and public holidays.
  • Your employment income is exempt from tax if you are here on short-term employment.
  • This exemption does not apply if you are a director of a company, a public entertainer or exercising a profession in Singapore. Professionals include foreign experts, foreign speakers, queen's counsels, consultants, trainers, coaches etc.

If You are Here for 61 Days to 182 Days in a Year

  • You will be regarded as a non-resident. The number of days in Singapore include weekends and public holidays.

As a non-resident:

  • You will only be taxed on all income earned in Singapore.
  • You will not be entitled to tax reliefs.
  • Your employment income will be taxed at a flat rate of 15% or the progressive resident rates depending on which results in a higher tax.
  • Director's fees and other income such as dividends, rent, etc. earned in or derived from Singapore will be taxed at the prevailing rate of 20%.
  • You are required to fill in Form M (Income Tax Return for Non-Residents).

Source: http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=562

Do I have to withhold tax?

The payer is required to:

  • Withhold tax at 15% of the gross income payable to the non-resident professional; OR
  • the non-resident rate of 20% if the non-resident professional elects to be taxed on net income;
  • File Form IR37C; and
  • pay the withholding tax by the 15th of the month following the month in which the payment is made to the professional

Only income/fee attributable to the non-resident professional’s services perform in Singapore is subject to withholding tax.

Confirmation of payment

You will receive the confirmation of payment letter within 14 days from the receipt of your Form IR37 and tax payment. Confirmation of Payment letter will not be issued if the Form IR37 is incomplete or the payment is less than $10.


Copyright Law in Singapore (Updated for Copyright Act 2021)

Some knowledge of copyright law is important for professional photographers. These laws may impact not only the composition of your works, but also form the main framework within which you derive financial benefits from your works, whether through the grant of assignments or licences of these rights.

In an effort to enhance your understanding of copyright laws, PPAS conducts regular outreach talks and seminars. Given its obvious brevity, this outline cannot replace legal counsel and advice. However, it is hoped that it provides you with a fundamental understanding of the subject of copyright and how it applies in your profession.

Copyright is a set of temporary rights conferred by the Copyright Act and granted to the owner of certain classes of works. In the realm of photography, these rights allow owners of photographic works to control the reproduction, publication and communication to the public (for example over the internet) of these works, and to sue for unauthorized use (also called “infringement”) of the same. These rights begin from the moment original photographic expressions are reduced into some material form. Copyright subsisting in a photograph continues to subsist until the expiration of 70 years after the expiration of the calendar year in which the photographic work is first published.

It must be brought to your attention that although most photographic works are capable of being protected under copyright, some are not.

To be capable of being protected under copyright, photographic works must firstly be original. Originality is essential to copyright protection. If your photograph is an exact reproduction of a previous work, no copyright may subsist in your photograph since it has no originality. In fact, if copyright still subsists in the previous work, you would even need to obtain the consent of the original photographer to reproduce it.

Secondly, copyright can only subsist in a work if the work is reduced into some material form. One of the most vital principles of copyright law is that copyright does not protect ideas, but protects the form by which the ideas are expressed. Therefore, an idea for a great photograph is not protected by copyright until the photograph is made. Having an idea also does not entitle a person to a share of the copyright in the photograph. The copyright belongs to the person who makes the tangible expression of the concept or idea.

Once copyright subsists in a work, any unauthorized use by a third party of a copyright work gives rise on the part of the owner civil causes of action for damages; and in certain circumstances may even attract criminal sanctions especially where the infringement is for commercial purposes and is significant in terms of volume.

There are also special laws for recovery of statutory or aggravated damages where a fixed compensatory sum is prescribed once the copyright owner can prove his ownership and breach of his copyright. In such circumstances, the copyright owner is not required to prove how much revenue or earnings he has lost as a result of the infringement which would usually be a difficult undertaking.

Link to the Copyright Act: https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Acts-Supp/22-2021/Published/

There is no need for photographers in Singapore to take any further steps to ensure that their completed works are protected under copyright laws. As stated above, the moment an original photographic work is reduced into material form, copyright subsists. However the convenience of a non-registration system often also results in situations where copyright infringements are difficult to prove. These occasions typically arise where it is difficult in any one case to ascertain exactly at which point of time a particular work was completed by a photographer; and whether another photographer who claims also to have written the work may have copied the first work.

It is recommended that all photographic works carry a copyright notice, even though it is not required by law and even though the notices do not bestow any additional protection per se under the Copyright Act.

Copyright notices may serve to assist a photographer establish his claim of proprietorship in his works, but over and above that, they alert potential users of the work to whom they need to go to to obtain a licence to use the work. Copyright notices traditionally consist of 3 elements: the “©” copyright symbol, followed by the date of first publication of the photographic work, and the name of the owner of the work.

For example,

“© Professional Photographers Association (Singapore) 2021”

Generally, the person who creates a photographic work owns the copyright in the work. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Some of the exceptions are:

(1) Employment: If the work is created by an employee (not a freelancer) pursuant to the terms of his employment under a contract of employment or apprenticeship, the employer owns the copyright in the work;

(2) Special situation for newspaper/magazine/periodical employees: Where an employee of a newspaper, magazine or periodical creates a literary, dramatic or artistic work pursuant to the terms of his employment for the purpose of publication in a newspaper, magazine or periodical, the proprietor of the newspaper, magazine or periodical owns the copyright in respect of publication in or reproduction for the purpose of publication in any newspaper, magazine or periodical. The employee owns the remaining rights that make up the copyright bundle of exclusive rights; and

(3) Commissioning (Updated) : Copyright Act 2021 update stipulates that the default ownership of the work belongs to the creator of the work. Thus in a situation where a photographer is commissioned to produce pictures for the commissioning party (be it a client or another fellow photographer), proper agreement contracts that defines the copyright or usage licensing details should be agreed on beforehand.

However, in addition to the exceptions stated above, as mentioned in the introduction to this outline, an owner of a photographic work may at any time elect to transfer his rights to another party or entity either partially or wholly so as to derive financial benefits from his creations.

If you are the owner of the copyrights in certain photographic works, you may be entitled to sell those works for cash by way of a full assignment; or you may license someone to use your works for payment by way of royalties. Under the law, a “licence”, although to a layperson conjurs imagery of governmental consents and approvals, merely refers to a permission to use the works with certain limitations.

Licences do not have to be granted in writing although we do advise that all photographers grant licences in written form so as to avoid subsequent disagreements and disputes. Licences may be granted in relation to works for particular usages. When negotiating licences, special attention should be paid to the following considerations:

  • Whether the licence is exclusive to the licensee or non-exclusive;
  • Whether the licensee has the right to grant sub-licences;
  • Whether the licence granted to the licensee is transferable by the licensee to a third party;
  • Geographical limitations of the licence;
  • Duration of the licence;
  • Restrictions on use: whether the licence is to allow for copying, transferring, modifying, etc; and
  • Restrictions as to media and platforms: eg, no online distribution rights

In all commercial negotiations, much depends on the respective bargaining powers of the negotiating parties. Do remember however that there is no cardinal rule which dictates that a photographer has to transfer all copyrights to a client.

Remember also, that even though the client might be the originator of the concept or idea this does not entitle them to the copyright of the photograph which you, the photographer, originate.

In recent years, we have encouraged the trend to invoice clients of members of PPAS upon terms stating that any grants of rights to usage or ownership over photographic works to the client shall be contingent upon full payment by the client of the photographer’s invoice. Where grants of rights are stated to be so premised and contingent upon full payment, non-payment by a client may constitute both a breach of the client's contractual obligations and infringement of copyright in and to the photographic works. The addition of these rights in your arsenal may prove powerful against errant clients.

It has been reported to us by photographers that it has become quite commonplace that photographers are prohibited by building owners from taking pictures of public buildings on the grounds that the photographers have “no rights” to take such photographs. For the avoidance of doubt, the Copyright Act is clear on this point. Under Section 64, the copyright in a building or a model of a building is not infringed by the making of a painting, drawing, engraving or photograph of the building or model or by the inclusion of the building or model in a cinematograph film or in a television broadcast.

Further useful reading: https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/copyright-law-in-singapore/