Photography services are services necessary to complete the sale of the resulting photographs, e.g., sitting fees. Therefore, if the photographs are transferred by a tangible medium (e.g., printed photographs or a compact disc containing photographs), any charge for photographic services is taxable as part of the sale of the photographs. Separation of the charge for photography services from the charge for the tangible personal property does not remove the tax obligation on the value of the service.
However, if the photographs are transferred without using a tangible medium (e.g., the photographs are downloaded to a computer via the internet), then the entire sales price, including any charge for the services, would not be subject to sales tax. Additionally, if a customer does not purchase the resulting photographs, the photography services alone are not taxable.
This article does not apply to photographs sold as final artwork (in digital or tangible medium), as defined by Tennessee sales tax law. Sales of final artwork transferred electronically or by tangible medium are subject to sales and use tax.
Reference: Letter Ruling 12-33. Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 1320-05-01.48.