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ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers

Workshop: Contract Toolkit – Understanding and Writing Killer Contracts

By May 19, 2020May 29th, 2020Strictly Business Blog, Webinars


Everything is a contract. Every agreement, every purchase, every lease, every… well, everything is a contract. And as a photographer and small business owner your career and your success depend on having the right documents in the right place at the right time. In this five-session each Tuesday in June, ASMP General Counsel and intellectual property lawyer Thomas Maddrey will give you the tools you need to have to read and understand contracts, write rock-solid agreements, and take your business to the next level.

Of course, the entire program will be given in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and specific clauses you need to know today will be discussed. This course, limited to 15-people, is a chance to go hands-on with Thomas and ask all the questions you have while getting all the information you need. Each week you will write your own agreements and clauses that can be put into your toolkit immediately.

At the end of the five sessions, each participant will get 30-minutes of one-on-one time with Thomas to be used in the next 60 days where you can review your work, directly, and get the feedback you need. Topics include:

Week One: The Foundations of All Agreements; Drafting Releases
In this session, we’ll start by looking at what makes a contract valid. Then we will talk about the language that all contracts share. Essentially, we will cover a year of law school in an hour. Finally, we will take this knowledge and apply it to drafting model, property, and liability releases.

Week Two: Making Sure Things Go Right; Drafting Corporate / Portrait / Commercial Assignment Contracts
Successful contracts share certain qualities, and identifying these qualities not only helps you write great agreements but read and understand bad ones as well. Putting together the principals learned in the first two sessions, we will draft your primary photo agreements, no matter if you photograph products, people, or anything in between.

Week Three: When Things Go Wrong; Drafting Force Majeure, Indemnification, and Deposit / Refund Provisions
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way all creators and businesses view their contracts. From force majeure provisions to clients demanding refunds, photographers have faced unprecedented challenges in enforcing and defending their contracts. This session will be dedicated to figuring it all out and determining what you need to say when the next emergency strikes. You will leave the session with actual clauses to immediately place in your agreements.

Week Four: Unique Tools for Contracts; Drafting Copyright and License Agreements
We’ve all seen words like “whereas,” “shall,” and “herein” next to phrases like “for good and valuable consideration…” And we all have thought that these words and phrases make you sound like a pretentious fool. I agree. So we will discuss how to use some unique tools when putting together your agreements that can bring clarity and simplicity that make you look like a pro. We will also discuss license agreements generally, copyright licenses specifically, and how to make your licenses bulletproof.

Week Five: Putting It All Together – Making Your Agreement Make You Money
At the end of the course, we are going to tie together everything we have discussed to date, see how the pieces fit and use that information to write rock-solid, fair, and logical contracts. We will discuss why some contracts fail, why certain contracts succeed, and how you can tell the difference. This session will cover questions, answers, and plenty of examples you can take home and use.

Tuesdays @ 12pm EST
June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Registration for Members Opens May 14th
Registration for Non-member Opens May 22th
Registration closes on June 1st

!! Course information including online video links will be sent after registration closes !!


About Thomas Maddrey

©2019 Thisbe Grace

Thomas Maddrey is General Counsel for ASMP and the founding partner and managing member of Maddrey PLLC, an art law and intellectual property firm in Dallas, TX. For over a decade, Thomas was a commercial photographer and editorial shooter. Realizing that his entrepreneurial endeavors and artistic background give him a unique perspective on the laws and cases facing those groups, Thomas founded Maddrey PLLC to focus on creatives and their specific legal issues. In his role at ASMP, Thomas regularly assists clients with legal issues, drafts amicus briefs that are filed across the judicial system, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and advises clients on all aspects of copyright and trademark law. You can find him at, or


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