Thursday, 31 January 2013

What is a model release form?

I've had a lot of questions as of late regarding this topic, so I have deemed it best to make this my next model help blog post. Please remember, I am by no means a professional here, and a lot of what I say is infact common sense, and things I have learnt along the way.

As previous mentioned in a recent post "A Guide to Model Safety" I explain model release forms very briefly, so I will address the topic in more detail here, than I did in that post.

In the UK it is mostly just a form to prove the models age, which is why most photographers will always ask you to bring proof of age, it's not actually a legal requirement in the UK to have this documentation. A photographer owns the rights to those images, unless you yourself have made an agreement with the photographer to say otherwise, the photographer is the sole copyright owner of those images. I have noticed with a few people messaging me there seems to be some confusion here.

However in my own experience with Model releases, a few photographers do use them as a design to cover the topic of image allowances and restrictions when it comes to the final images from the shoo. They all have different T&C's accommodating to each creative regarding image usage, publication,  copyright etc.

As I mentioned before, if you have paid for the photographers time, and they present you with a release form, you are well within your rights to decline. Also if a photographer does turn around and say that the images are not to be used for print, get some documentation stating this, without some form of a contact the photographer can do what they want with the images.

A release form consists of very standard information from you: Name: Model Name, Address, Contact Number, and email, there is no other information really required from this.  

View it as you would any contractual agreement, and please read thoroughly before you sign one.

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