You can definately show it in your portfolio. As I understand it (which may not be very well at all), even if you were to publish or sell the photo without a release, the most they could do is sue for a portion of the profit, or sue you for damages if it was somehow deemed slanderous or damaging to them. The main reason to get the model release is so when you become a rich and famous photographer, you don't have to pay your subjects any of the extravagant moola you'll be earning off posters and coffee table books.
Get into the habit of obtaining releases from anyone you photograph. They increase sales potential for images and can protect you from liability. A model release is a short form, signed by the person(s) in a photo, that allows you to sell the image for commercial purposes. The property release does the same thing for photos of personal property. When photographing children, remember that a parent or guardian must sign before the release is legally binding. In exchange for a signed release some photographers give their subjects copies of the photos, others pay the models. You may choose the system that works best for you but keep in mind that a legally binding contract must involve consideration, the exchange of something of value. Once you obtain a release, keep it in a permanant file.
You do not need a release is the image is being sold editorially. However, some magazine editors are beginning to require such forms in order to protect themselves, especially when an image is used a photo illustration instead of a straight documentary shot. You always need a release for advertising purposes or for purposes of trade and promotion. In works of art, you only need a release if the subject is recognizable.
Another issue is whether you are producing a commercial product or "fine art". The lawyer told me that as long as long as I (the artist) am the only one with the reproduction rights, then I don't need a release even if I sell 1000 prints. If I want to sell reproduction rights to another party or put a commercial logo on the prints, then I need a release.
So I have to pay my client a few bucks to use the photos they just paid me $300 to take? I guess I could raise my rates, and then claim a discount if they sign the model release.
Dew said:if someone has paid u to do a headshot/portriat/other ... do u have them sign a model release? ... what if they refuse? ... is it "standard" procedure?