Is the person in the photograph identifiable? If no, you don’t need a model release.
If the person is identifiable, ask yourself:
- Is the image being used to advertise a product or service? If yes, get a model release.
- Is the image being used to further the interests of a business? If yes, get a model release.
Do you need to get a model release when a picture is published in a magazine?
Is the picture going to be published in the magazine’s editorial pages? If yes, you don’t need a model release.
What’s the legal age models need to be in order to sign a model release?
The age varies within the United States, but in most states, models need to be at least 18 years of age. To determine a specific state’s law on what constitutes a minor, call the state’s legal division, such as the state attorney general or state solicitor’s office, or call an attorney who works in the state.
What’s required if the model is younger than the legal age?
If a model is considered a minor, obtain the signature of one parent or guardian at minimum. Better yet, get the signature of both parents so that neither can rescind each other’s consent.
Are model releases required of every recognizable individual portrayed in a group photograph?
- Will the photograph be sold as a fine art print? If yes, you don’t need model releases.
- Will the photograph be published in a book? If yes, ask yourself:
- Will the photograph be published on the cover? If yes, get model releases.
- Will the photograph be used to promote the book? If yes, get model releases.
- If no to both of the above questions, you don’t need model releases.
- Are you using the photograph on t-shirts or coffee mugs or any other object for the purposes of trade or advertising? If yes, get model releases.
When do I need a property release?
You need a property release when the property owner is identifiable by the property. Ask yourself:
- Could anyone identify the property owner simply by looking at the property? If yes, get a property release.
- Will the photograph be used in an advertisement? If yes, get a property release.
- Will the photograph be used commercially, for example in a poster or brochure or website, in order to further business interests? If yes, get a property release.
Do I need a property owner’s permission to make a photograph of their property?
Are you taking the picture of the property while standing in a public space? If yes, the owner can’t legally prevent you from photographing their property.
Are you taking the picture of the property while standing on their property? If yes, the owner calls the shots and can indeed legally prevent you from photographing their property.
To access model and property release forms, consult an organization or company you trust that has a good reputation. Often they’ll offer release forms free of charge that you can customize to suit your needs.