NGOs taking the initiative to develop photography

Photoshare - A Service of Knowledge for Health (K4Health)
Communicating health and development issues through photography
Photographer Contracts Guide
Staff contracting with hired professional photographers should fully understand the terms of the contract
prior to entering any verbal or written agreement. Signed contracts should clearly define the
ownership/copyright of photographs; expected outputs, deadlines, fees, permissions/releases and limits
of use. Contracting photographers should receive clear instructions about content and type of
photography (editorial or commercial), and technical specifications. In most cases it is beneficial to
coordinate with program staff and graphic designers to ensure client needs are meet. Ask your in-country
counterparts to assist you in providing names of a few reliable photographers (from newspapers,
television, freelance, etc.) that you can contact.
I. Copyright/Ownership – Limits of Use
The copyright owner has the exclusive right to make copies, to prepare derivative works, to sell or
distribute copies, and to display the work publicly. Photographers often as a condition of service insist on
retaining copyright for the images they produce. This may limit future use of a photograph, and result in
additional fees. A credit line acknowledging the photographer may be necessary if copyright/ownership is
retained by the photographer.
II. Image Output
The photos you receive should be originals of high print quality. If applicable, original prints, negatives, or
slides should be obtained. Photographs produced with a digital camera should be at minimum no less
than 1600x1200 pixels (see chart below for sample outputs). Digitals files should meet archival standard
and remain unaltered and delivered as camera JPEG or RAW file formats.
Max Print Size at 300dpi (Inches)
*1600 x 1200
1.9 ~ 2
4 x 5.3
2048 x 1536
5 x 6.8
3072 x 2048
6.8 x 10.2
III. Permissions/Releases
Based on a photographs intended use (editorial or commercial), photographer contracts should explain
the requirements for verbal and written consent. Verbal consent should be obtained for all images
intended for editorial purposes (non-profit educational or research use or other non-commercial use).
Completion of an Editorial Photography Subject Consent and Release Form is the best practice. A
Commercial Photography Subject Consent and Release Form (model release) is required for any photo
intended for commercial use. The agreement should define the photographer’s responsibility and make
clear that the photographer assumes all responsibility for claims that result from false information
knowingly provided by the photographer (copyright, captions model releases).
IV. Fees /Deadlines
Contracts should clearly state any and all fees for service (deposits, travel, time, processing and delivery).
Read any contract carefully to ensure there are no additional fees (royalties) associated with the quantity
and format of distribution (print and electronic dissemination).
Based at:
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health / Center for Communication Programs • 111 Market Place, Suite 310 • Baltimore, Maryland 212 02, USA
410-659-6300 / Fax 410-659-6266 • Web site: