Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Everything You Should Know About Model Releases

When you will get some work in modelling you may be asked to sign a model release. A model release is a document in which you allow the photographer or the company he/she is doing the photos for, to use your images for commercial use. Without your agreement they won't do much with the photos. Note that the photographer is typically not the publisher of the photographs, but usually licenses the photograph to someone else to publish. It is typical for the photographer to obtain the model release because he is merely present at the time and can get it, but also because it gives him more opportunity to licence the photograph later to a party who wishes to publish it. Unless a photo is actually published, the need (or use) of a model release is undefined. And, since some forms of publication typically do not require a model release (e.g., news articles and other editorial use), the existence of a release is irrelevant. Note that the issue of model release forms and liability waivers is a legal area related to privacy and is separate from copyright.
However, the photographer when taking the photos – automatically owns the copyrights of his work and he decides whether share these copyrights or not.

Types of releases:

  • Adult Release: This is the form most commonly referred to as a "model release". The language of this release is intended for use by models over the age of 18 

  • Minor Release: This variant of the model release contains language referring to the model (who is a minor) in the third-person, and required signature by a parent or other legal guardian of the model. A release which is not signed by a parent or guardian affords no legal protection to the publisher
  • Group Release: This is a modified version of the Adult Release which includes additional signature lines to accommodate use by multiple models or subjects in a single image

If you're interested how the release may look like, please see example


  1. I recently had my session with candi and on passing the test shoot I received my photos .

    Now that i have been accepted by an agency, Will i receive the copyrights of these photos?

  2. You own the copyright for the photos we give you from the moment you get your cd

  3. The individual being captured has given approval to be captured and to the use of the pictures you take. It does not just utilize to expert designs or circumstances where individuals know they are appearing for photos.

    Release forms

  4. Thanks for clearing that up. It's good to have this approval on paper anyway


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