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Model releases

What should a model release include?

We recommend that you use our standard model release (listed below):

If you choose to another release, try to include the following points for a stronger model release:

  • Name of the photographer
  • Description of the shoot and the date
  • Model’s name, contact details (full printed name, address, contact numbers, id number, age) and signature
  • A passport photo of the model should be attached to the release
  • Cover a broad range of uses
  • Consideration agreed by the model (ie. model’s payment)

The model release should include a series of clauses to:

  • allow any licensee, assign or person or entity acting under the permission of the photographer to use the photograph.
  • waive any right to inspect or approve the finish product or the use of the photograph.
  • provide for a release to save the photographer or any person or entity representing his/her work or acting under his/her permission harmless from any liability arising from the use of any photograph,
  • A passport photo of the model should be attached to the release,

If the model is a minor the release should be signed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor and should always be required even if the model is a relative of the photographer.

The release should also be signed by a witness and also include the same contact details required from the model.

For a consent to be valid, it must be signed by someone who can understand what they are granting and who has the right to give the consent. Therefore the model release should be in a language that could be read and understood by the person giving the consent.

Model releases for travel or street photography (short forms)

The Model Release Short Form is sometimes called a pocket release. We consider this release to be especially appropriate for travel/street photographers taking photos of people in public places, where the alternative to this pocket release might be no release at all. Whenever you can, you should try to get a model release as this can make the difference between selling the image or not. Although these subjects are not obliged to sign a model release as they are not being paid to be photographed, if you are friendly and ask nicely, they might be willing to sign it for you.

While the Model Release Short Form is certainly better than nothing, it does not provide the overall protection of larger and more comprehensive model releases. You can download a sample pocket release here.

If you have any doubts, or need further information, please contact
Eva Cascales.

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