Getting legal permission from subjects of your photographs
A Model Release Form is widely used in photography; professional photographers
know that it’s important to obtain permission from their subjects so they know they’re
legally free to use the images for their own purposes.
But it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional photographer or if you just take
pictures for a hobby—any time you take a picture of another person, unless
you have permission from your model or subject, your options of what you can later
do with those photos are limited.
Of course, there are certain situations where permission from your subjects is not
required: if you publish a picture in a newspaper, magazine, educational book, or
exhibit, for example, a Model Release Form may not be necessary.
However, it’s generally a good idea to keep your options open—you never know
what you might decide to do with your photos down the line, and it can be difficult
to track down everyone appearing in your pictures should you decide to use them
for commercial purposes.
Here’s an example. You take a picture of your college roommate for a school project.
Years later, an administrator happens to see the photo, loves it, and approaches
you about using your photo for a billboard to advertise the university. What if
you aren’t able to locate your old roommate to ask her for permission?
A Model Release Form is your first line of defense to keep yourself free of legal
entanglements with the subjects of your photographs. Protect your rights to your
Model Release Form
Fully customizable Word document and instructions for immediate download
Includes all of our intellectual property forms, along with our copyright handbooks copyright handbooks
Copyright License Agreement is used to let someone use your photograph
for a specified purpose, while you retain full ownership.
Work For Hire Agreement can be used at the beginning of a shoot to ensure
that the model owns the rights to any resulting images, not the photographer.