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Protecting Your Rights_The Model Release Form

I was asked to post a model release form that might be considered acceptable for a range of subjects, jobs and opportunities faced by the photograph. The document is, therefore, generic. However, it could easily be adapted for specific areas of endeavor (e.g. weddings, travel photography, etc). In fact you should adapt it. It’s important to find a balance between legal lingo and plain, straightforward language. Of course you could also include your own business logo to help identify you and add an extra sense of professionalism to the document.

I am no lawyer. I can’t say with any certainty that the document below will provide you with legal certainty regarding the copyright or right to reproduce photographic images you’ve made of any individual. But it’s a good start and I feel its reasonable to assume that having your customer (e.g. family portraits) or model sign such a document, that you have carefully explained to them, could reduce the chance that they would challenge your right to the copyright of the images at a later stage.



Name of Photographer             Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography

Job Identification                         ____________________________________________________________

Customer or Advertising Agency ________________________________________________________

Photography Description            ____________________________________________________________

I permit the photographer named above and his licensees, assignees and legal representatives the irrevocable right to use my name, picture, portrait or photograph(s) and/or drawings there from and any other reproductions or adaptations, including electronic, there from either complete or in part alone or in conjunction with any wording and/or drawings for all uses including trade, competitions, exhibitions, publicity and/or merchandising and/or editorial purposes in any country. Unless otherwise agreed the picture, portrait or photograph(s) and any drawings or adaptations thereof shall be deemed to represent an imaginary person. No changes to the terms of this model release are acceptable unless agreed in writing by the photographer, his assignees, licensees or legal representatives and myself.

I understand that I do not have any interest in the copyright to the photograph(s) nor shall I receive any payment should the photograph(s) be sold in either original, reproduced or adapted form in any country. I am 18 years of age or older. (Models who are under 18 years of age must provide evidence of consent by a parent or guardian to this model release).

Model Agency (if applicable) ___________________________________________________________

Name of Model ____________________________________________________________

Address of Model                  ____________________________________________________________

Signature of Model ____________________________________________________________

Parent or Guardian (if model under 18 years) _______________________________________________

Signature Parent or Guardian (if model under 18 years) ________________________________________

Name of Witness                        __________________________________________________________

Address of Witness                        _________________________________________________________

Signature of Witness                        _________________________________    Date   _________________

I will re-visit this issue in a few weeks with a more detailed post that will include details of a model release in electronic form. Let’s face it, travelling around with lots of individual forms, that you’d then have to file and store for long-term keeping, could be a real hassle.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography


2 Responses

  1. […] of Shutterbug magazine has an interesting article on the need to obtain a model release. Glenn also briefly covered the subject at his blog in May. Given some of us are doing studio next weekend, I’ll give a […]

  2. I don’t know about others but if I, as a client, commission someone to take photos of my family I do not expect to have to sign a document that entitles them to do whatever they like with the photos. I’m sorry but, as a photographer and a parent, that is plain wrong.

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