Consent/Model Release Forms

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by scorpiobabie, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. scorpiobabie

    scorpiobabie TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I am new to this site and this is my first posting. Someone suggested I come here to ask a question about consent and model release forms. I am recently taking up photography as a paying hobby, so I want to be sure I am protected. First I will be offering free shoots with the understanding that the client allows me to use their photos on my blog or website in order to promote my work. Once I fill up the free spots I will then be charging a fee for the pics that I take and put on a disc for the client. I do not plan to print the prints for them, I will just give them their pics and they can print whatever they would like. Is their certain forms that I should use for these 2 things? Where do I find the forms?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    A lot of the legal stuff will depend on where you live...so it's always a good idea to ask someone in your area, who would know....like a lawyer, for example.

    In very basic terms, you probably don't need a release to do the things you mention. When you take the photo, you hold the copyright and you can use those images as you see fit. It gets more complicated if you want to sell those images (to an ad agency, for example)...in that case, you would certainly want a model release form signed. But if you are just using them for your portfolio, you probably don't need a release form.

    That being said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a signed form anyway.

    And of course, I'm not a lawyer, just some guy on the internet...so to get answers that can fully count on...consult a lawyer. ;)
     
  3. bdavison

    bdavison TPF Noob!

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    To take the photos you dont need a model release form. The model release form only comes into play when you SELL the photos.

    The model release just protects the entity purchasing the photos, not you.

    Here's a basic run down of how it works.

    You shoot photo, you ask model for a release. When you go to sell the photo, the purchasing entity will ask for the model release. This is so that they have permission from the model to use the picture as they see fit. It protects them from legal action from the subject.

    Contrary to popular belief, you dont need a model release to sell the picture (you might have a hard time finding a entity that will purchase without one, but thats besides the point).

    You as the photographer dont need a release, you cant be held responsible for what another party does with your pictures once they are sold. Now if you yourself publishes the photo, then you will need the model release, since you are the publisher.

    You can still sell the photo regardless of if you have a release or not. But you must inform the publisher of either. Either you tell them you do not have a release, or you provide the release with the photo. What they do with it after that is not your responsibility.

    Consult a lawyer if you have any other questions.
     
  4. bdavison

    bdavison TPF Noob!

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    Also, be aware that some states require compensation to be made to make a model release "legal". California for example.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Your clients (free or otherwise) will need a print release from you to get prints made.

    Before you get real involved here you need to do alot more research about model releases. The requiements vary from state to state. It is way more involved than many photographers appreciate.


    Go here, get better informed and I highly recommend his book.

    By the way. Google 'model release' for just tons of information.
    While you're at it you'd be well advised to investigate (google) the 'free use doctrine' too.
     

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