Sample release please


TPF Noob!
Apr 18, 2008
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Springfield, Missouri
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I have clients that need releases so they can print photos off of disc, at various retail establishments. I have a generic copy of one that is very broad in nature and basically says that they can print anything on the disc. Do I need to specify exactly what images my release is for to avoid any legal liability on future use or mis-use of the disc?
I've not done much of this. The few times I have, I made a disc with nothing on the label to indicate the images' copyrights have been reserved (no studio name or such).

Then I instructed my client if asked, simply say, "No. These are not professional images." And if pressed, to say that thier uncle made them.

If I begin providing photos this way on a regular basis, I would certainly come up with a more professional solution.

– Pete
I've had a few client call me to say that the photo lab won't print their photos because they suspect them to be copyrighted professional photos. This is great because it means that the labs are actually looking out for our rights....which is much better than the alternative.

Here is what I sent to Costco...
Dec 12, 2008

To Costco Photo Department,

Dear sir or madam,

Thank you for protecting the rights of photographers and ensuring that people do not make illegal copies of photos for which they do not hold the copyright. As a professional photographer, I really appreciate this and wish that more photo labs would be as diligent on this issue.

I just received a call from a client of mine, CLIENT, who said that you are holding their photos.
I appreciate that but in this case, I have granted the clients ‘Full Print Rights’ for the images that I have given them on CD. Please release the photos to CLIENT.

I, BIG MIKE, herby certify that I have granted the right to make prints of photographs from digital files that I have given to CLIENT.


Date _____________

Please feel free to call or E-mail me, if you would like further certification.


I don't have my newer version here, but it goes into a bit more detail to specify the date or event of the photos...and it's a general release, rather than directed specifically to a lab that is already holding the order. I now include a signed paper copy in the case with the disc.
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I've had a few client call me to say that the photo lab won't print their photos because they suspect them to be copyrighted professional photos.

ONE TIME... just once, I decided to take a disc to Walgreen's to see what sort of results I'd get. The gal asked me if they were professional photos. I, of course, said yes. Then I explained that I was the professional and the images were mine. She wasn't amused and said she'd have to have my letterhead on file. Huh?! What the hell difference would that make? I was peeved and told her she could print 'em or not, that I'd be back in an hour.

Ultimately, she made my prints. But when I do give a disc to someone for printing, I tell them to just say no.
It can be annoying to deal with this...especially when it's us trying to get the prints...but like I said, the alternative is probably much worse. I've seen people take professional prints into places like Walmart...and have them scanned and printed. I think I may even have heard someone ask if they could crop out the photographer's name/label from the image. Fortunatly, plenty of labs (including Wal-mart, I think) have been successfully sued for this, so they instruct their employees to be very cautious about it. Of course, you can't expect everyone at the customer service level to have a clear understanding of the issues...they are just following directions.

When I sell images on disc, I go out of my way to make them look professional...and I could do it a lot better yet. I print a custom photo label and stick that to the disc and I use DVD cases and print custom inserts for the cover. It should be very clear that these are professional photos....but I also include the print release form.
I only do this during the holidays, when clients want a lot of copies of one or more photograph for their cards. Here's mine...

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Sarah Petrie Photography, photographer and owner of copyright, grants permission to ___________________ (client) to obtain prints of the photographs created for them on (date). Sarah Petrie Photography also grants permission to the lab of the client's choice to reproduce aforementioned photographs for the client and releases both the lab and the client from any copyright infringement. [/FONT]

Limit to number of prints: NO
Limit to print size: 4x6 ONLY

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Any questions can be directed to Sarah Petrie at XXX-XXX-XXXX.[/FONT]
Thanks for the responses.

I hate to change the subject, but why would you let them print at various retail establishments? Why are you not doing the printing?

Love & Bass

Alot depends on what the client can afford...Alot of them are people I know who don't have the money for packages, so I offer them a cut rate deal and they get the disc. Right now the money isn't my priority with photography because I already have a career. I just do what I can to help others.
Since money is not a priority and you already have a career why not just give the photography away for free?

Love & Bass

Even if photography isn't a main source of income, it is nice to have a little extra cash. Also, I just gave away the photos (on a disk, because that makes me lose less money than printing them myself) and I still took the time to do a print release "just-in-case" they give her issues.

Although I gave her pictures to her for free (I am just starting to build my business, and don't want to worry about taxes for the income so I haven't actually become a small business yet) I plan on earning extra money by selling my photography in the future. So I am trying to jump through as many hoops now, and get in good habit for when I actually start selling my skill.
Welcome to TPF - I'll draw your attention to the fact that this thread is a bit over four years old... ;)
Haha I didn't notice how old the thread was at first. I was reading along thinking, "but EVERYBODY does copyright releases... what's the big deal?!" I guess a lot's changed in four years.
Haha I didn't notice how old the thread was at first. I was reading along thinking, "but EVERYBODY does copyright releases... what's the big deal?!" I guess a lot's changed in four years.
Just for the sake of accuracy, what in fact is under discussion is not a copyright release, but a print release/license. No photographer of whom I am aware releases copyright unless there's a very large cheque involved.

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