What is a Model Release Form?
A Model Release Form is a contract which gives a photographer or videographer permission to use images or video of a model. It gives them commercial rights to use the photos or video for promotion, advertising or resale.
By signing the form, the model “releases” the rights. This means the model acknowledges and agrees that the artist can do anything they would like with the content, including publish, republish, distribute, edit or change the images or recordings.
Do I need to have this?
Yes, absolutely! This is one of the most important legal documents for a photographer or videographer, along with your Photography Contract.
It’s important to always get a signed release form prior to shooting, regardless of whether the model is paid or unpaid.
Even if you don’t have any plans to license the photos, an opportunity may present itself well after the shoot. To prevent any future issues, make it a standard practice to get the model release form signed prior to shooting.
If you don’t get a signed release form, you won’t own the rights to the photographs or video, which means you can’t publish them on your website, sell them commercially or otherwise use them.
What does this template include?
Our template covers everything you need:
★ Assignment of Copyright
★ Purpose of use
★ Terms for Minors
Do I only need this for paid models?
No, a “model” can be any person featured in the photographs or video. If you want to use the content later on for promotion or commercial purposes, make sure you get a signed release form, otherwise they could make a legal claim against you in the future.
Is a Model Release the same thing as a Photo Release?
No, they are different.
As we mentioned, a model release is signed by the talent so the photographer can license or use the image. On the other hand, a photo release form is a document signed by the photographer and given to the client so they can print copies of the work (i.e. portraits, headshots, or wedding photos, etc.).