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Thread: A Model Release

  1. #1

    Default A Model Release

    I want to ask about the idea of a "Model Release Form", it is something that has cropped up on a few threads recently and I was surprised to find out how many photographers do not use these, especially in the case of underage Models...and I am wondering why not?

    For the photographer:

    1. You can earn money from the photo. A Release ensures that you can "sell" the photo, whether it be to a "stock" company or even for commercial purposes.
    2. You can enter competitions. The bigger competitions insist on a model release for any portrait or identifiable person and failure to have such is grounds for disqualification.
    3. You are immune to International criminal charges of exploitation and pedophilia. You are posting pictures of an underage girl online, and while the law here may be "open" about this, other countries are not, and police operations against such are now International. Try having to explain to the police, your boss and your wife, why a photo you took of a 16yr old girl in a bikini was found in the hands of a convicted pedophile. Esp. after you posted it on the Internet.
    4. In the Industry it is considered standard, not asking for one to be signed says a lot about your professionalism and esp. if shooting lingerie, bikini, or even nude will lead better models to suspect you of simply being a GWC.

    For the Model,

    1. You protect your identity and ensure your career if you wish such will develop in the professional and artistic manner you desire.
    2. You ensure you have a legal right to the use of the photos, or at least place restrictions on how they may be used. Don't want the photographer to sell them, or post them on a site you object to, a release will protect you from this or at least give you legal recourse if it happens.
    3. You have a record of the shoots parameters. A good release will have a section for shoot specific notes. It's TFCD and you want all the photos, good and bad, photo-shopped or not, this is the place that this can be recorded and signed off on by all parties.

    So what are peoples thoughts, both the photographers and models? Why do people not insist on them? Or is this a unique feature of shooting here in Singapore?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Hmmm ... you deleted your old post ....

    But no matter ..... I am suprised that there were no response to that thread for 5 days ... Maybe it is a good idea to move it here instead ...

    There has been many discussions on model release .... but they are still NOT a standard practice in many shoots (even for lingerie and nudes).

    There are a lot of reasons for this and various photographers / models / shoot organisers will give you different reasons ... But i think it boils down to a lack of understanding of what the model release is all aout and also the technical language used in these release.


    I hope this thread will become a better discussion than your old one ...
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    so the model release is self written ?? no template etc?

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird17 View Post
    so the model release is self written ?? no template etc?
    It can be either...most I have seen are a template, with a section for additional signed notes. The NatGeo one is very legalese, as one would expect from a US based organisation, others are less worded but still have the intent.

    So do you use one?
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    It can be either...most I have seen are a template, with a section for additional signed notes. The NatGeo one is very legalese, as one would expect from a US based organisation, others are less worded but still have the intent.

    So do you use one?
    anywhere i can dl one to use or do i realyl have to draft it out myself? btw, it applies to TFCD and even paid shots? sry i am new to comercial shots. will teh model feel scared cus she gonan sign contract?

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird17 View Post
    anywhere i can dl one to use or do i realyl have to draft it out myself? btw, it applies to TFCD and even paid shots? sry i am new to comercial shots. will teh model feel scared cus she gonan sign contract?
    Do a google on Model Release and you should be able to find a standard one that come in PDF or WORD format .... Little details or other information on the release can be changed according to your needs.

    It is always good practice to let the model know that you want them to sign a model release. If they are not will and very insistent upon it ... then it is up to you weather you want to continue to shoot her or not ... The model always has the right not to sign it after the shoot ...

    I know in some western countries models may charge extra for a model release ... especially when they know there is commercial value in the photos you have taken.

    Please note that the models can also ask the photographers to sign a release ... if she feel that some of the photos taken should never "see the light of day" ....
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  7. #7
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    I want to ask about the idea of a "Model Release Form", it is something that has cropped up on a few threads recently and I was surprised to find out how many photographers do not use these, especially in the case of underage Models...and I am wondering why not?

    For the photographer:

    1. You can earn money from the photo. A Release ensures that you can "sell" the photo, whether it be to a "stock" company or even for commercial purposes.
    2. You can enter competitions. The bigger competitions insist on a model release for any portrait or identifiable person and failure to have such is grounds for disqualification.
    3. You are immune to International criminal charges of exploitation and pedophilia. You are posting pictures of an underage girl online, and while the law here may be "open" about this, other countries are not, and police operations against such are now International. Try having to explain to the police, your boss and your wife, why a photo you took of a 16yr old girl in a bikini was found in the hands of a convicted pedophile. Esp. after you posted it on the Internet.
    4. In the Industry it is considered standard, not asking for one to be signed says a lot about your professionalism and esp. if shooting lingerie, bikini, or even nude will lead better models to suspect you of simply being a GWC.

    For the Model,

    1. You protect your identity and ensure your career if you wish such will develop in the professional and artistic manner you desire.
    2. You ensure you have a legal right to the use of the photos, or at least place restrictions on how they may be used. Don't want the photographer to sell them, or post them on a site you object to, a release will protect you from this or at least give you legal recourse if it happens.
    3. You have a record of the shoots parameters. A good release will have a section for shoot specific notes. It's TFCD and you want all the photos, good and bad, photo-shopped or not, this is the place that this can be recorded and signed off on by all parties.

    So what are peoples thoughts, both the photographers and models? Why do people not insist on them? Or is this a unique feature of shooting here in Singapore?
    FYI, any underage Models, can't sign a model release or any contracts, so you can go a ask their daddies or mummies...

    "Hey, I took photos of your daughter in bikini, mind you sign the model release for your daughter? please write your name, IC number, address here, and sign under this line."

    sound very cool isn't it??
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  8. #8

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Some examples...

    A MR can be as complex or as simple as you desire...I personally think simple is easier as it is less daunting to the model and his/her parents and is less likely to confuse.

    From DP Corner http://www.dpcorner.com/all_about/releases.shtml

    From Big Stock Photos http://www.bigstockphoto.com/model-release.pdf

    From National Geographic http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ng...ersonalRls.pdf

    I use a very simple variation of these, that was gleaned from from other sources and simplified to just offer some protection to all parties...(if I can find somewhere to host it, I will put a link to it here)

    Google offers many examples, some are very "legalise" and some are not.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    FYI, any underage Models, can't sign a model release or any contracts, so you can go a ask their daddies or mummies...

    "Hey, I took photos of your daughter in bikini, mind you sign the model release for your daughter? please write your name, IC number, address here, and sign under this line."

    sound very cool isn't it??
    Actually no-one under the age of their majority can sign a Model Release...which I understand in Singapore is 21. And the reason for a MR is so that the above situation is avoided and you don't end up looking like a GWC or worse.

    NOTE: Nat Geo requires a release signed by every individual that is recognisable in a photo...even street photography.
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  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    If I don't highlight this, others may read your post and think, as long they ask the underage models to sign a model release for them, They are safe or OK to shoot a underage models in bikini and publish their photo!!

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    .......................
    3. You are immune to International criminal charges of exploitation and pedophilia. You are posting pictures of an underage girl online, and while the law here may be "open" about this, other countries are not, and police operations against such are now International. Try having to explain to the police, your boss and your wife, why a photo you took of a 16yr old girl in a bikini was found in the hands of a convicted pedophile. Esp. after you posted it on the Internet................................
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  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    Actually no-one under the age of their majority can sign a Model Release...which I understand in Singapore is 21. And the reason for a MR is so that the above situation is avoided and you don't end up looking like a GWC or worse.

    NOTE: Nat Geo requires a release signed by every individual that is recognisable in a photo...even street photography.
    with or without model release....

    a GWC is still a GWC.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    with or without model release....

    a GWC is still a GWC.
    Totally agreed!

    A MR gives both sides of the camera a small measure of peace and allows the important thing: "taking great photos of beautiful women" to be the focus.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: A Model Release

    This is good. Simple. Easy to understand. Getty uses this.

    http://contributors.gettyimages.com/...se_0406_US.pdf
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  14. #14
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    3. You are immune to International criminal charges of exploitation and pedophilia. You are posting pictures of an underage girl online, and while the law here may be "open" about this, other countries are not, and police operations against such are now International. Try having to explain to the police, your boss and your wife, why a photo you took of a 16yr old girl in a bikini was found in the hands of a convicted pedophile. Esp. after you posted it on the Internet.
    Be careful with such statements. You might want to check with a lawyer before you state something like this. Your RF is not a carte blanche to shoot whatever you like just because the laws of the location permit. The police of some ultra-conservative countries won't bother much about Release Forms even if the girl in bikini is 21 or 81. If they find such pictures during custom checks you'll get their full attention. And, to be honest, if your wife doesn't like you to shoot 16year olds in bikini then no RF will safe you anyway

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    yes, as long a photographer shot a minor involve nudity, can consider taking child pornography, ought to be shot in their head, with or without model release.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    yes, as long a photographer shot a minor involve nudity, can consider taking child pornography, ought to be shot in their head, with or without model release.
    Note there is a big difference between "age of consent" and the age with which someone can legally enter a contract. If this in any way contains nudity or may be considered loosely as porn, then if I was shooting in this country I would be consulting a lawyer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Be careful with such statements. You might want to check with a lawyer before you state something like this. Your RF is not a carte blanche to shoot whatever you like just because the laws of the location permit. The police of some ultra-conservative countries won't bother much about Release Forms even if the girl in bikini is 21 or 81. If they find such pictures during custom checks you'll get their full attention. And, to be honest, if your wife doesn't like you to shoot 16year olds in bikini then no RF will safe you anyway
    I was not aware I gave a carte-blanche to shoot what you like, in fact I think you need to always air on the side of caution...however the laws of each country are very different. So you may be safe if you are keeping the images to yourself, but once you cross Int'l borders, as you do when you post online, you may not be so "safe". And if you are "silly" enough to take those types of photos in those ultra conservative countries well then I believe you get what you deserve.

    And I totally agree with you on the wife...who cares about the law, we all know what she would do to you
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  17. #17

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    yes, as long a photographer shot a minor involve nudity, can consider taking child pornography, ought to be shot in their head, with or without model release.
    And I totally agree "child porn" and those that traffic, support, profit or even enjoy it should be locked up and have the keys thrown away.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: A Model Release

    I second this caution - I didn't know that a model release can immunize one against criminal liability - this is indeed a first for me (as with many other firsts from the TS).

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Be careful with such statements. You might want to check with a lawyer before you state something like this. Your RF is not a carte blanche to shoot whatever you like just because the laws of the location permit. The police of some ultra-conservative countries won't bother much about Release Forms even if the girl in bikini is 21 or 81. If they find such pictures during custom checks you'll get their full attention. And, to be honest, if your wife doesn't like you to shoot 16year olds in bikini then no RF will safe you anyway

  19. #19

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I second this caution - I didn't know that a model release can immunize one against criminal liability - this is indeed a first for me (as with many other firsts from the TS).
    Well, he's promoting the same misconceptions again, linking model release to age, linking model release to nude/bikini shoots.

    I don't understand why he can't accept- if the country you're shooting in requires a MR, then it's required regardless of age. And if the agency you work for will not accept pictures without model releases, then too bad, you have to get one, regardless of age.

    The only thing is that a model release for a minor has to be signed by the legal guardian.

    And somehow, the idea that a nude or bikini shoot requires a model release more than a normal shoot... Does he understand what a MR is for? It's to allow the photog to sell the pictures! Not to protect him against criminal charges for pornography or obscenity! So why does one continue to link MR with nude/bikini shoots? It won't save you if the police arrest you!

    Getting MR's may be good practice, and may project professionalism, but it has nothing to do with age, and certainly will not protect one against criminal charges if one has done something illegal.
    Last edited by waileong; 25th November 2008 at 08:59 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: A Model Release

    Quote Originally Posted by aselley View Post
    NOTE: Nat Geo requires a release signed by every individual that is recognisable in a photo...even street photography.
    I am under the impression that the requirement for a release is dependent on the usage of the photo; editorial usage is usually exempt from releases.

    Perhaps those who have shot for National Geographic or similar publications would like to comment.

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