A model photo copyright release form is a legal document designed to act as evidence of the authority you as the photographer has when it comes to reproducing any images of a model. As a photographer, you do not have permission to capture or reproduce any images of a model that you obtained during a session unless you have a signed model photo copyright release form.
As a photographer, these are the basic benefits of having a signed copyright release form from the model:
- Such an authorization enables you to reproduce a model’s photographs for your own portfolio.
- You can make copies of the model’s images for commercial use, that is, to promote a product, create sales or generate money.
- With this document, you and the model are protected from any liability and licensing claims.
As a photographer, always keep in mind that the model photo copyright release form does not give you the authority to resale the photos or use them for malicious or exploitation purposes.
Crafting a Model Photo Copyright Release Form
Whether you as the photographer are planning to disseminate the images commercially or not, it is better to get a signed form from the model even before the shooting. You might want to use the photos later, and having a complete and signed copyright release form in regards to the model’s photos will be beneficial for you.
Here is how to craft and complete a model photo copyright release form:
Step 1: Inform model of release
As the photographer, ensure you inform the model about the release form. Both you and the model must examine the document to make room for an informed agreement. Also, at this step, there is a need for the photographer to review any information that should be made a condition in fulfilling the contract. Such information may include payments or particular exchanges between you and the model.
Step 2: Prepare & sign the form
The second step is to obtain or prepare and complete the form by signing it. A completed copyright release form for a model’s photo(s) should have several detailed information include yours and the model’s name, the description of the photos to be used and many more components.
Essential components to include
These components are essential information that should be found on the copyright release form before you as the photographer can use the model’s photo.
Here are the components:
- The photographer’s name: You should indicate your full names as the photographer in the form. This will indicate who is receiving the authorization to use the model’s photo.
- The model’s name: The full names of the model whose photographs you might choose to use for commercial purposes must be mentioned in the completed model photo copyright release form. This will indicate the owner of the photographs who is permitting you to use their images.
- The address and phone number of the model: The contact details, that are; the address and the phone number of the model, should be indicated in the form. This will make it easier to reach out to the model in case of anything.
- Description of the specified photographs: The form should also include a clear and detailed description of the specific model’s photographs that you intend to use or produce. This information should indicate the session in which these photos that are to be used were taken.
- The duration of the form’s validity: The copyright release form for a model’s photo(s) should also indicate information about how long the form is applicable. This detail will ensure that you as the photographer are aware of the length of the form’s legitimacy.
- The date and location of the photography session: Since you are required to prepare for the photography session, the model photo copyright release form should include the date and location of the photography session to ensure that the model is present at the location at the right time.
- Detailed intent of how and when the photo might be published: The photo copyright release form should also provide comprehensive information on how and when you, as the photographer, will publish the model’s photo. This section could include details such as the category and source of publication or the type of publication in which the photo(s) will be utilized, either specifically or non-specifically.
- Participation conditions and usage restrictions: The form will indicate if the model will be allowed to review the final content where you, as the photographer, will use his or her photo. The form will also detail the model’s restrictions on the use of their photo.
- Advisement of photo ownership and third-party publishers: In the document, this information ensures that the model whose photos you will use gives up all claims of ownership by assigning the copyright of the images to you. This prevents any further payment. Also, this part indicates whether or not the model allows the usage of their photographs by third parties, as the photos are the model’s property throughout the process.
- Breach of contract: Here, you will know the implication if the contract is violated and the conditions in which the contract revocation will be allowed.
- Payment clause: Details about the payment, including the amount and when you, the photographer, will make the payment, must be part of the information in the release form.
- Number of copies to be given to the model: The model photo copyright release form must indicate the number of either printed or digital copies of the images to be received by the model in the form.
- Picture identification: If applicable, picture identification for artistic nude photography should be indicated clearly in the form.
- Signature from a witness: There might be a need for signatures from a witness. Signatures from both the model and you as the photographer are mandatory to make the model photo copyright release form complete and valid.
Note: If the model is not of the legal age according to the state, ensure that their parent or legal guardian also signs the form. The exception for these extra signatures and consent applies to emancipated minors.
Step 3: Prepare for the modeling shoot
As the photographer, you are responsible for arranging the shoot’s location and supplying the date of the shoot to the model. This way, you can arrange the modeling shoot accordingly and timely after the form has been signed.
Download free model photo copyright release templates here.
As a photographer, you need to have a signed model photo copyright release form before using a model’s photographs that you captured during a session. This form will enable you to reproduce these images for commercial use. Ensure the model is informed about the release before you can prepare and complete it. The form should contain all the information for it to be valid and complete. With a completed model photo copyright release form, you can now prepare the shoot and commercially use the specific photographs.