Photo Release Form

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A photography release form is a legal document between a photographer and a model that outlines the model’s permission to use the photographs of him or her in a publication in media. This legal document protects the photographer from being taken to court when publishing or using the images of the model. Edit this legal sample on Lawrina for your needs and save it for future use everywhere.
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Template Description

Paper titled "Photo Release Form"; online folders, cameras, and pictures

When a photographer takes pictures of a model, both parties are interested in using the images. The photographer may want to use the pictures commercially or advertise their work. The model may wish to have the photos for private use or share on social or commercial media.

Using a photo release form template allows the photographer and the model to agree on how each party can use the pictures.

What Is a Photo Release Form?

A photography release form is a way for the photographer and the model to state in writing how each will use the images the photographer produces. The agreement may define things like:

  • Which images each party may use (or not use);

  • How often a photo may be used;

  • In what media platforms a picture may be published; and

  • Whether either party must pay the other party a fee for using the images.

When signed, the copyright release form photographers template becomes a legally binding contract between the photographer and the model. Having this contract helps the parties avoid any future conflict over using the images. If either party violates the agreement, the other party may ask the court to enforce the terms of the contract.

If either party is a minor under 18, or the “model” in the image is a pet, the parent, legal guardian, or pet owner must sign the document to consent to releasing the photos. A photographer cannot use any pictures of a minor without first obtaining the consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Insight

This example of a photo release form is a standard procedure for arranging a long-term cooperation between a photographer and a model or a single photo shoot. When the model has consented, they have no right to demand the immediate removal of the photo materials and sue the releasee.

A photography release form template is an important legal document for anyone who takes photographs or records images and plans to publish those images on any social or printed media platform. This may include private photo shoots, sporting events, educational programs, pet portraits, portfolio samples, advertising, commercial publications, and more.

Parties of the Photo Release Form

The Releasee is the first party that is involved in the signing of the photo release form. This person is usually a photographer. 

The Releasor is the latter party involved in the signing of a photo release agreement template and can be:

  • model –– an adult who is the subject of the photo and will sign the photographic release form for themselves; 
  • A child or minor –– a parent or guardian must represent this person and ensure the child’s legal interests are protected; 
  • Property –– the owner of a private property, commercial building, vehicle, or pet will sign the release form before a photographer can use photos with their property. 

Key Terms

These are some key terms you should bear in mind if you’re going to draft an artwork release form template. 

  • Commercial photos –– Photos that will be used to bring income whether as printables or as digital publications. You should always ask yourself if your images are commercial or editorial.
  • Editorial pictures –– Pictures typically included in news articles or journalism pieces. 
  • License –– Once the subject signs the photo package order form template, the releasee now has the license or the authorization to use the photos. 
  • Private Property –– This can include anything from a person’s home or place of work to their pets or flowers. You should consider whether the property is identifiable.
  • Adults v. Minors –– Minors are any person younger than 18. If the subject of your photo is a minor you must have their photo release form template for children signed by a parent or guardian, which is not the case for adults who can sign the form themselves.
  • Limitations –– It is possible that a photographer is granted the rights to use a photo with restrictions. The scope of these limitations are whatever the parties agree on. 

Types of Photo Release Forms

There are three main types of photo release form templates. These are:

  1. A minor release form – This is where the parent or guardian of a person under the legal age signs a release form granting a photographer the right to use images of the minor.

  2. A model release form – This is where an adult of legal age (a subject) grants permission to the photographer to use their images. 

  3. A property release form –– This is where the owner of a property (e.g., vehicle, house, pet, artwork) grants a photographer the right to use images of their personal property.

Photo Release Form for Minors

Each photographer should have an extra-important photo release form samples for minors and be ready to present it to the model. In this online photo release form, a parent or legal guardian should give their consent to use the child’s photos in public materials for commercial or promotional purposes, such as child daycare services. The adult person who is a legal child’s caregiver should sign the document and keep a copy.

Warning

Photographers should always consider the age of their models. Usually, the events of publishing photos of minors without their parent’s or guardian’s permission are subject to filing a direct lawsuit against the photographer.

Photo Release Form for Models

A photographer should give each model a generic model release form template. By signing the release form, the model permits the photographer to use the images in media sources. The photographer may want to use the pictures for advertising a business or post on a social media platform. The disclaimer form template prevents the model from saying the photographer cannot use the images.

Photo Release Form for the Owner of a Property

A photo may be taken on a piece of property owned by someone not involved in the image. If the photographer wants to use that picture, they should get the property owner’s permission. A photographer should be prepared to give a release form to any property owner whose property may appear in a photo. The company photo release form prevents the property owner from claiming they did not give the photographer permission to use the image. 

What Should You Include in a Photo Release Form Template?

Below are the key information details and clauses that both parties should mention in copyright release forms for photography.

1. Releasor
The Releasor party is the model who can either give their consent to publish the photos of them in media sources or not. In case of a favorable decision, the Releasor agrees not to sue the photographer for the images made after they are published in media.

2. Releasee
The Releasee is the photographer who requires the model’s consent to publish their images. The Releasee should also provide his or her full name, address, phone number, and email address.

3. Photo to Release
This clause includes the description of the expected photos to release.

4. Payment
Here, the Releasor may ask the Releasee for initial fees for providing access to the photographs.

5. No Payment Required
If the Releasee doesn’t require any public payments for the photo shooting or using images in public, this should be mentioned in the photo release agreement template. Another option is to sign a waiver separately from the photo release contract.

6. Royalty Fee
Royalty fee means the payment whenever the Releasor displays the image of the model elsewhere.

7. No Royalty Fee
If both parties agree that the Releasee will charge no fee when pictures of the Releasee appear in specific media, then this statement should be explained in the photo release form template.

8. No Revocation Allowed
If the photo release doesn’t enable the Releasor and the Releasee to terminate the cooperation, indicate this option in the document.

9. Option to Revoke
Revocation is possible if there is room for negotiations between the parties when force majeure occurs. The photo release form template should specify the option to revoke and its requirements.

10. Signatures
The Releasor and the Releasee should sign the document and write their full names on it.

11. Signature Dates 
The Releasor and the Releasee should write the date of their signatures to start cooperation immediately.

Warning

If the model doesn’t wish to share his or her pictures with the publicity, he or she should mention it in the photo release agreement. Then, the photographer must not publish these photos in media sources.

How To Write This Photo Release Form

For Releasors

  1. Create and download a PDF version of this easy-to-use photography release form template. This form includes all the necessary terms of a standard photography release agreement.

  2. Decide what type of photo release form is appropriate for you. There are several options. Which type of release form is best depends on how the photographer wants to use your images and on which media platforms you want your pictures to be displayed. Deciding which images you do not wish the photographer to use may be just as important as choosing which photos you consent to the photographer using. 

  3. Edit the photo release form template to identify exactly which images are included in your agreement, which images are not, and the time period during which the photographer may use the photos you consent to be used.

  4. Include provisions in the release form that define the terms for the photographer’s use of your images. Include whether you receive a flat fee for your photos or ongoing royalty payments for each service. Also include the terms under which you withdraw or terminate your consent so that the photographer knows when to stop using your images for his or her benefit.

  5. Identify all the parties subject to the agreement and provide the contact information for each party, agency, or business entity with interest in the contract.

  6. Do not alter the signature section of the release form. The signatures are a material part of the agreement and have legal consequences. Improper signatures may invalidate the agreement.

model speaking to a photographer

For Releasees

  1. Create and download a PDF version of this easy-to-use copyright release form for photographers in PDF. This form includes all the necessary terms of a standard photography release agreement.

  2. Consider what kind of release form is appropriate based on the kind of images you intend to take. There are a variety of available photo release forms. Choose a photo release waiver template for your needs and build it to include the specific terms of your agreement.

  3. Edit the location release form template to identify the specific images you want to use, define the dates when you want to use the photos, and describe the locations where you want to take the pictures. 

  4. Describe other terms to which you agree, such as required fees, royalty payments, and the conditions under which either party may terminate the agreement.

  5. Identify all the parties subject to the agreement and provide the contact information for each party, agency, or business entity with interest in the contract.

  6. Do not alter the signature section of the publicity release sample. The signatures are a material part of the agreement and have legal consequences. Improper signatures may invalidate the agreement.

When Do You Need a Photo Release Form?

Photographers always need a photo release agreement template in their daily job to avoid any disputes with models and severe legal issues. People who agree to share their identity in pictures for commercial or promotional purposes should also have the signed photo release form template. 

Common Use Cases

Insight

Commercial or promotional purposes are the ones that imply payments for taking photos of models and publishing them in advertisements, social media, websites, posters, brochures, and other sources of non-informational or non-educational purposes.

When Not to Use the Photo Release Form

You may not need a photo release form in daycare if you are using the image for informational or editorial purposes. Informational use is classified as anything that informs, educates, or expresses opinions. This is protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which assures the right of freedom of speech and the press among other rights. 

State Law

State law typically adheres to federal law in relation to photo releases. 

Warning

People have a reasonable expectation of and a right to their privacy. Therefore, any images of a subject, whether they are an adult or a minor cannot be used without their permission. 

The exception to this with limitations is that, if the photograph is taken in a public place or space such as a beach or dog-walking park then the photos can be used without a release form. In most states, the law still stands that if the photo is defamatory then permission has to be sought from the subject of the photo.

Legal Disclaimer

Please note that Lawrina does not provide any legal services. The information on Lawrina’s Site and its downloadable content, including legal articles and templates, shall not be considered legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. If you require legal advice on your issue, we recommend you contact a qualified attorney licensed in your state. You personally assume full responsibility for any consequences, damages, and costs associated with your use of any content of Lawrina Services available on Lawrina’s Site. 

By using Lawrina’s Site you agree with mentioned above and give your irrevocable consent to comply with and to be bound by the provisions of Lawrina Service terms. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a photo release form?

The primary purposes of a photo release agreement are commercial or promotional. It means all the pictures taken are to be used for commercial or promotional purposes in advertisements, social media, websites, and other promo materials. The Releasor gives his or her consent to publish his or her photos in public media sources.

What needs to be included in a photo release form from the client?

The Releasor or the client who provides his or her identity for photographs should clarify whether these photos can be used in media sources. Also, the Releasor should mention the fees for each published image or the one used in public.

What should I not allow in a photo release form?

A model may not permit the photography specialist to use your photos for commercial or promotional purposes. If so, mention it in the photo release form.

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