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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Model Release Form

No model does anything without a Model Release Form. This form is important because it ensures that both you and the photographer are aware of and exercise certain rights and responsibilities. Anytime you are scheduled for a photo shoot, expect to read and sign a model release form. It is vital to protect yourself and your image at all times.

In a nutshell, a model release form states the terms/guidelines dealing with copyright, personal use and other legal issues that can arise. Once you sign a model release form, it is a binding contract that cannot be broken or else you or whoever is at the root of the issue, can be sued or taken to court. This is where the model release form will be used to prove or disprove whatever part of the contract was broken.

Many times when a model signs a model release form, they are waiving (giving up) their right to the photos and transfer it to the photographer, client or company named in the release. This does not mean that you can't use your pictures, however, because you can--just under certain conditions.

Photographers make their living off of their images so they need the model release form to guarantee the model they are working with will not go off and sell their pictures without permission, use them for purposes outside of the modeling industry or pass it off as someone else's work.

At the same time, these same terms are also applied to the photographer, client or company named in the model release form. As a working model, your privacy is also put into consideration. If you don't give your permission for a certain image(s) to be used, then by law they cannot use it.

If all that sounded really confusing, basically the model release form is a binding contract that makes sure the model and photographer are only using the images produced from the shoot for professional, modeling industry-related purposes such as portfolio updates, agency use or submission for gigs.

An example of a really basic model release form:



Model release forms should be signed the day of the shoot, either before or after. It doesn't make much sense for a photographer to have to track you down days or weeks later to sign a piece of paper. When presented with the form, make sure to sit down and read everything.

There is more than one type of model release form and not all of them will cover the same issues or grant the same rights. Don't hesitate to ask questions or have the photographer or whoever is in charge clarify anything you don't understand. This is a business and you are a participant so you deserve to know exactly what you are signing.

Sometimes the model release form will be really basic and require your name, address and contact info. Others may be more than one page and contain more complex legal issues. This is all normal and depending on the assignment or purpose for the shoot, the appropriate model release form will be used.

Don't be intimidated by the model release form. Once you get more experience, you'll know what to expect and like everything else that comes with the territory, this part of the industry will be second nature.

11 comments:

the_success_queen said...

Hi, Just wanted to say how useful this info is to me.
I am also searching for information on Promotional and Retail modeling.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, and thanks for the comment! I posted some information on the topics you requested in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #70." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

As a person who does photography, I would prefer the long model release form just to stay safe.

Anonymous said...

hi, do you have to be 18 to model without a guardians signature? or does it vary from country to country? or company to company?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #472," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

GENEIOUS III said...

thanx, at 5th October 2012 Imn signed the model release form and I knew I was agreing to something but wasnrt fully aware, thank ypu again Denise. -south african Model,Designer

Anonymous said...

The information contained on this blog is so very informative. My question is as a new freelance model are there any links you can share that protect both the model and the photographer? One that allows me to be able to use the photos for my use (calendars etc?) as I may require? Thanks in advance!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #530," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Catt said...

Hey Dania it's Catt!
I was wondering if the photographer doesn't have the model release form, should I bring one?
-Catt xxx

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Catt! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #732," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Bob Pardue - Model Photographer said...

Dania,

Thank you for sharing this insightful info about model releases. I know many new models come to my studio and do not understand why they are needed.

Keep going with your tips - good ones!

Bob Pardue
Learn to model at..
http://www.bobpardue.com