Nobody likes them, but they are a required part of our modern lives.
So lets take a moment to clear up some issues before we get into the forms. Under current laws the moment I push the button on my camera and take a picture the image is legally my property. There are exceptions to this rule. Specific contracts that outline ownership and work for hire situations. Work for hire is the condition where the photographer is employed for example by a newspaper or advertising agency specifically for the purpose of taking photographs for that company.
So when I am hired by you the consumer for a “photo shoot” you are not only hiring me to take photographs but to provide you with a finished product (usually in the form of prints and or digital media). However to make this abundantly clear unless we make other arrangements I own the copyright to images collected.
So what’s the model release form all about. When you mix people’s likeness (photographs and video) with commercial gain there are protections in our legal system that require me to have a filled out Model Release Form. Editorial/educational usage of a likeness is an exception to this policy.
Generally to make life easier for everybody I tend to ask for a Model Release Form in conjunction with a copyright release form being provided. This gives me the flexibility to use your likeness (photos) for the advertising of my services and gives you the freedom to do whatever you desire with the paper & digital copies of your images.
As of April 2014 these are the only 3 standard forms that I use. Any on the spot changes to the forms will be made directly on the forms and initialed and before we ever take any pictures we will go over all three documents.
Model Release Form
Photography Contract Form (offline for revisions)
At the end of the day this is all about photographs. It’s all about me capturing something or someone that is important to you. And my goal is to get the paper work out of the way as quickly as possible. The forms I provide here are for informational purposes and from time to time they may not be up to date. But please make sure that if you aren’t comfortable with something within the forms to let me know so that we can talk about it.
I don’t want you to just take my word for it. This stuff is important. Here are some external sources of information for your additional reading pleasure.