Photography Release Form Template

Whether you’re a beginner photographer learning composition on your smartphone, a hobbyist with medium grade equipment, or a full-blown professional, it’s essential to understand the importance of a photography release form and when to use it.

How To Use a Photography Release Form (Including Free Template)

Whether you’re a beginner photographer learning composition on your smartphone, a hobbyist with medium grade equipment, or a full-blown professional, it’s essential to understand the importance of a photography release form and when to use it.
To make life easy for you, we’ve gone ahead and created a standard photo release form template (PDF and Word) for you to review and use when needed.
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What is a photography release form?

Imagine you’re casually browsing the internet one day to discover a random image with you in the frame. You instantly remember where you were at the time the photo was taken, but you don’t recall anyone ever photographing you.
You’re shocked and possibly scared at this point. Is someone stalking you? How did this happen? Why is this photo of me online!?
A photo release consent form is a legally binding contract between a photographer and a subject. A subject could be a client for a professional shoot, a property, branding, or a random person at the beach.
When it comes down to it, a photographer needs legal permission to publish images of people and property.

Grab a copy of our Photo Release
Form Template

As a photographer, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to privacy and copyright. Save yourself the time, hassle, and headaches and use our free photography release form, so you can focus on creating beautiful photographs.
Click below to download our free photo consent form

When do you need to use a photo release form?

You need a photography model release form if a person is in an image. Conversely, you don’t require a model release form if the person in the picture is unrecognizable.
Also, you need a photo release form for identifiable private premises, including residential or business property. Property in this context is also extended to trademarks, artwork, landmarks, logos, and pets.
Put it this way; if you capture a photo with a recognizable person or identifiable property of a person, you’ll need a photo release form.

So, when don’t you require a photo release form?

You don’t need a photo consent form if the subject or location is unidentifiable. For example, you can photograph a landscape of a random mountain that looks similar to the 1000s of different mountains. Or you capture a leg of a person in a photograph, and it’s almost impossible to tell who it is.
As long as you can prove that your subject is unidentifiable beyond a reasonable doubt, then a photo release form isn’t required.

How do you position a standard photography release form?

So let’s say you’ve planned a shoot for personal or commercial purposes and you want to capture an identifiable subject that is owned by a person, how do you approach them with your form?
It can be quite confronting to explain your photo release policy, especially to strangers!
The first thing is first, make sure you have your photography release form on hand. It will be tempting to proceed without the documents, or trust that the models will sign them later, but it’s important to hold off the shoot until you have the signed documents.
When presenting the model release form template, don’t make a big deal of it. Tell your client that you need them to sign your photo release form before proceeding with the shoot. Ask them to read over your form and sign when they’re ready.
More often than not, clients will read through your contract and sign it without any questions asked. After all, they’d likely know in advance that you’re a photographer, and they expected that you’d have ownership over the images.
If they do have questions about your release form, calmly, and firmly address their queries. Sometimes it’s worth explaining how you’ll be using the photos to put the clients’ mind at ease.
You could take it a step further and give them examples of how you’ve used client images in the past. This creates a level of normalcy with the nature of your work.
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ about Photography
Release Forms

If you take a snap of an identifiable subject for enjoyment or artistic expression for yourself, then you don’t need a release form.
However, if you plan on publishing or selling an image of an identifiable subject, then you’ll need a photography release form.
While photo and model release forms are often used interchangeably in the photography world, technically, there are some differences between the two contracts.
A model release form effectively gives ownership of an image to the photographer. That is, a subject provides permission to the photographer to use the photos for whatever they want.
A photo release form gives ownership to the client. So if a photographer takes professional photos of you, by default, the photographer owns those images, and you need permission from them to use it.
To summarise, a model release form benefits the subject, and a photo release form benefits the photographer. But, commonly, these terms are used to describe both situations.
The photographer will generally own the copyright. However, it can vary depending on:
  • The licensing agreement
  • Whether the photographer is employed for their skills
  • If the photograph has been commissioned
While you can take photos of strangers, you can’t publish pictures of them without their written and signed consent.
In most countries, you need to be at least eighteen years old to sign a legally binding contract. As a photography release form is considered a formal agreement, a parent or guardian would need to sign the form on behalf of the child.
document preview

Photography Release Form

Photography Release Form

– I __________________ hereby acknowledge that this Photography Release Form (hereinafter referred to as “Form”) has been made effective on ___________________________.
– I hereby authorize __________________ to edit, change, copy, and make any use of all photographs of me to be used for promotional materials.
– I hereby acknowledge that I will not be entitled to payment or any sort of charging for such action.
– I authorize the use of my photograph for, but not limited to, publication on the internet, magazines, journals, books, articles and more as long as it is done for lawful purposes.
– Upon the usage of my photographs, I consent that such materials will be the sole property of __________________ and that I will not be entitled to them any longer as long as it is done for lawful purposes.
– I hereby release all rights to any, but not limited to, claims, rights, demands, and/or any causes of action by me or my representatives, heirs or anyone else.
– Furthermore, I herby waive my right to any royalty or any other compensation in relevance to the usage of the photos agreed upon in this Form.
Photographer
Name: ______________________
Signature: ___________________
Date: _______________________
Client
Name: ______________________
Signature: ___________________
Date: _______________________

Grab a copy of our Photo Release
Form Template

As a photographer, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to privacy and copyright. Save yourself the time, hassle, and headaches and use our free photography release form, so you can focus on creating beautiful photographs.
Click below to download our free photo consent form
Download Photography Release Form Doc
Download Photography Release Form PDF