Model release forms for event photography question

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bigtwinky, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    I shot a boy's confirmation this past weekend. There were 15 family members present and I was asked to take portraits, group shots and so on of each family set with the kid, as well as other pictures.

    It was my first paid assignment. I did get a model release from the person who hired me (the mother of the child) which including her signing the OK for pictures of her boy.

    But there were other people there. Am I required to get a model release from each of these people? Or is the fact that they were present in a situation were pictures were taken enough?

    Thanks!
  2. Lyncca
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    Lyncca New Member

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    No, you didn't really need one at all unless you were planning to sell the pictures commercially for something such as stock photography.
  3. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    I was planning on using the pictures for self promotion / portfolio type of thing, which I believe I do need consent and the promotion would lead to money, which is considered commercial
  4. B Kennedy
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    B Kennedy New Member

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    I believe this is something you would usually have written into your contract that the pictures are copyrighted to you and the use for promotional/marketing is at your sole discretion. Regardless of whether or not that marketing will lead to money doesn't require a consent. I think you're mixing apples with oranges.
  5. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I only thought of a model release, never had an actual written contract. Makes total sense though.

    The model release I have states what is to be traded (money, time,..) for pictures, has a disclaimer for the use of the images and so on, along with a section for parent/guardian consent.


    Example: if shooting a wedding, I sign a contract with the bride/groom. All disclaimers, copyright info are stated. Its signed.
    I shoot pictures at the wedding, couple is happy, I get paid, everything is good.
    I put up some of the pictures on my website for self promotion, maybe submit a few to a magazine for consideration.

    Does the old "being in a place where they know pictures are taken by a professional" apply to the other guests at the wedding? And I don't require a release from each one? ie - the contract speaks for everyone at the wedding, not just the ones who signed the contract.

    Sorry if I'm not being clear, trying my best to understand.

    Thanks!
  6. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Model releases are rarely cut and dried and the legal requirements vary from state to state.

    Generally, you won't need a release to use images in your portfolio but you will to use the images to advertise yourself as a photographer. You need a separate release form signed by each recognizable person in an image so you need about 14 more release forms signed before you can use any of those images for advertising. Each relase form would state they are granting release for any of your images in which they appear so they only need to sign one form.

    In the case of an event and a model release as part of a contract, the contract signer cannot release the rights of people attending the event, only themselves. So using images from event photography for commercial purposes is problematic.

    Here is a Model Release Primer you can study.
  7. bigtwinky
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    bigtwinky Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the responses.

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