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When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-21-2009, 08:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi guys, I have been searching around with no answer to be found yet. As you have guessed it's about when you need to fill out a photo release form.

I have learned that if you are in public domain you can photograph whatever you want and don't need a photo release form. But then I have recently been told other wise...

So I'm wondering when and when you do not need to have a photo release filled out.

I have also done a few photo shoots with friends in the past and want to use them for a website/portfolio. Do I have to contact them to fill out a release?

Other location questions:

What if I am at a car show shooting cars and models. do i need the permission form teh car owner or the model?

At a fashion show.

At the beach.

At a club/bar.

Shooting a public statue on state property or private property.

As you can see I am very lost in this whole thing.


Thank you, in advance!
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-21-2009, 10:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not a lawyer, so you cannot rely on this information. The usage of the photo is really the issue at hand. If you are shooting something for news or editorial, you don't typically need a release.

If you are considering using it for ANY commercial usage, you will need a release. That includes portfolios on the web, sales to third parties, etc. My understanding is that for the release to be 100% enforceable, you need to provide the person with something of value. I'm not sure of any legal precedence set for releases thrown out where that was not the case, but that is my understanding.

Editorially (news-wise) where you are shooting can influence the usage of the images, but it can also include the privacy of the person(s), too. If there is a reasonable right to privacy (even in public) then it can be problematic (think public restrooms/showers/etc.).

In the case of the motorcycle, you may also need a property release.

This only relates to the US. Other countries vary.

Again, I'm not a lawyer, this is just my understanding. If you really want the scope, check with an attorney in your state/country.
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-22-2009, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Safe bet, get a signed release if you can. If you can't get a release at that moment (I'm talking for more or less public event kinds of things like the car show) get contact info so that you can get a release later if you find that have have a usage option that requires it.

FYI, a "photo" release is something entirely different from a "model" release or "property" release, which are what you are talking about.

As Mark said above, always check your local laws and regulations, and know and have a copy of the photographer's bill of rights with you.
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-22-2009, 07:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Above statements are correct.

Editorial Usage = no model release needed (only for magazines, newspapers and educational)
Commercial Usage = must have a "----" release (putting up in your website, promotions, prints and selling).

You could read "Rohn Engh Sell & Re-sell photos" book.

It is a bit sticky situation. For ex. if you photograph something for editorial use and you wrote down, saying she smokes but she never smokes. She can sue you. This is not editorial usage therefore you need the model release.

I know it is a bit awkward if you shoot at the beach with unknown models in bikini, then you have to ask them to sign the form. (unless the model cannot be identified - like the head turn around, or hair over her face.)

As far as I know if you shoot something for your own use/pleasure and store in your harddisk, no model release needed. I could be wrong.
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I need a signed release before I push the shutter release button.

Not a coincidence that they share the same name
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-23-2009, 11:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srwatters View Post
I need a signed release before I push the shutter release button.

Not a coincidence that they share the same name
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-24-2009, 02:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Hands View Post
Above statements are correct.

Editorial Usage = no model release needed (only for magazines, newspapers and educational)
Commercial Usage = must have a "----" release (putting up in your website, promotions, prints and selling).

You could read "Rohn Engh Sell & Re-sell photos" book.

It is a bit sticky situation. For ex. if you photograph something for editorial use and you wrote down, saying she smokes but she never smokes. She can sue you. This is not editorial usage therefore you need the model release.

I know it is a bit awkward if you shoot at the beach with unknown models in bikini, then you have to ask them to sign the form. (unless the model cannot be identified - like the head turn around, or hair over her face.)

As far as I know if you shoot something for your own use/pleasure and store in your harddisk, no model release needed. I could be wrong.
I think you're spot on at least for the US. When shooting people when in doubt try to get the release since you never know when you might want to use the photo. Keeping your work on the hard disk doesn't require a release so long as you don't plan on sharing it. The US Copyright website offers loads of good information on this subject.
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Re: When do you need a photo release form???
Old 04-30-2009, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the help. Good to know...ill keeps a few in my bag from now on.
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