24 Free Photo Release Forms

You may be used to taking photos of friends and family and then posting them to a public account. But when you inadvertently or on purpose take photos of strangers for publication, you need to get their permission to use those images.

That means you need to have them fill out a photo release form. Or you have to fill one out for yourself when someone takes your photo for publication. These forms only take a couple of minutes to prepare and fill out, so it is never a big deal.

To learn about these photo release forms and how to fill them out just continue reading our article. it has the information you need to know in order to do this step right.

What Is a Photo Release Form?

This is a simple form that grants the photographer permission to use the images he has taken of you for his own personal use and sometimes self-promotion. That personal use can be for publication in magazines, books, or other print media, and so on.

Also, the form should include permission for the photographer to make creative adjustments, like photoshopping, to the image. This is done to make the image more attractive.

However, these forms do not grant any permission to misrepresent the photos, the company printing them, or to make any alterations that can be construed as malicious or exploitation.

Photo Release Forms

Types of Photo Release Form

There are several types of photo release forms. The one you would be asked to fill out or ask someone to fill out would be related to the type of photography session being used. For example, there are forms for:

  1. Still photos
  2. Video images
  3. Likeness use
  4. Modeling photoshoots
  5. Photo copyright release

When is it Needed?

These release forms are needed when the business or photographer is going to use the images in brochures, posters to get new business, videos, different publications, and more.

There is a problem of implied consent tied to the use of photographs, so you should speak to a lawyer to make sure your rights or the subject’s rights are protected. Instead of relying on implied consent, you should always have a form filled out by the subject. This will spare you any future challenges if the subject has a change of heart or mind.

What it Includes

There are some essential items that need to be included but the release forms are not strictly limited to those few vital contents:

  1. Releasor – this is the person who is granting permission to use the photos
  2. Releasee – this is the person being granted the permission
  3. Specific photos – this aspect tells the date and time the photos were taken and where they were taken.
  4. Signature – your signature or your parents’ or Guardian’s signature if you are under 18 years of age

But those are not the only content that needs to be included. You can put in the scope of use of those photos stating specifically how and where they can be used. Also, you should mention if the photos can be altered or not as well as withholding permission for certain applications and uses.

How to Make a Photo Release Form

You can type one out if you want to make your own, but the simplest way is to follow the following steps:

  • Download a form from the internet – these will have all the wording you need and you can always edit if the do not.
  • Fill out the form with all the details – photographer or business name and your name in the appropriate spots
  • List the photos – you may have to add a continuation sheet and attach it to the form if there are a lot of photos you are granting permission to be used. Don’t forget to add the date that those photos were taken. This is usually done in the mm/dd/yyyy format
  • Sign the form – this includes adding in the name and address of the photographer, having the photographer sign the form or his or her agent, your signature, and the dates the form was signed

Consequences of Not Using a Photo Release Form

Whether you are the releasor or the releasee you can be sued or can sue. Who is sued depends on which position they are in but the reasons for suing are the same for both parties. You can sue or be sued for:

  • lost money
  • lost time
  • mental anguish

To get the full details on this topic, you should talk to a lawyer and have them advise you on how to pursue your case.

Final Thoughts

It is always best to be safe rather than sorry. Having photo release forms filled out protects you from being sued or from having malicious alternations made that may damage your reputation.

The key is to find the right form to use with all the specific information or blanks you need to fill out that information before signing. Never give a blank photo release form to anyone with just your signature on it.

Also, know your image rights and talk to a lawyer to make sure you understand those rights. Copyright laws do allow for fair use, so be careful.

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