What Is a Model Release

Glossary > Model Release

💬 Definition of Model Release:

A model release is a legal document that grants permission to use a person's features in photographs, videos, or other forms of media for commercial purposes. It is an essential component of the photography and advertising industries, protecting both the rights of the individual being photographed and the party using the image for promotional or commercial purposes.

Related questions about model release:

What are the characteristics of a model release? 

  1. Clearly states the terms and conditions: A model release should outline the agreed-upon terms and conditions regarding the usage of the images or videos, including the scope, duration, and any restrictions.
  2. Signed by both parties: The document must be signed by the model (or their legal guardian if under 18) and the photographer or the party using the media to be legally binding.
  3. I should be legally enforceable: An adequately executed model release can be used in court to settle disputes or protect the involved parties from potential lawsuits.

Why is a model release necessary?

  1. Legal protection: A model release serves as proof of consent, safeguarding the photographer or the party using the media from potential legal issues related to privacy or unauthorized usage of the person's likeness.
  2. Commercial usage: Many publications, advertising agencies, and stock photo websites require a model release to ensure they have the legal right to use the images or videos commercially.
  3. Professionalism: Obtaining a model release demonstrates a commitment to ethical business practices and professionalism, fostering trust and credibility within the industry.

How to obtain a model release? 

  1. Communicate clearly: Before the photo shoot or filming, discuss the purpose of the media and the intended usage of the model release, ensuring everybody understands the implications and agree to the terms.
  2. Use a standard template: Utilize a professionally crafted model release template to ensure that all necessary legal language and clauses are included, protecting both parties.
  3. Keep records: Retain a copy of the signed model release for your records, and provide a copy to the model, maintaining a paper trail in future disputes or inquiries.

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