How to make a photographer's release form

Written by lisa russell Google
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How to make a photographer's release form
Be sure to get a release from photo subjects. (photography image by Clark Duffy from

If you're a budding photographer, you'll want to get into the habit of having everyone in your picture sign a model release for photographers. Imagine if one day one of your subjects were to find fame and fortune or be involved in a political scandal. You'll need a photo release in order to do anything with those pictures. A model release for photographers is an important document that gives you ownership of the photograph and allows you to seek publication.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper
  • Word processing software
  • Printer
  • Models

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  1. 1

    Have your model identify himself first and give permission for you to use his photographs. At the top of the page, the first line should be "I, (have model write his name) give (your name) the absolute right and permission to use my photograph." You can look online for alternate wording and you can custom design a release form with your name, your company's name or the specific information about your project, if necessary.

  2. 2

    Add a descriptive sentence to your photo release that outlines all the possible ways you might use the photograph. A popular way to say this is "I understand that these images might be used in print media publications, advertisements, online and in any other format that (photographer's name) chooses.

  3. 3

    Create the next sentence to release your company from any possible liability, and give you permission to transfer the rights. One way you can say this is, "I release the photographer, his offices, employees, agents and designees from liability for any violation of any personal or proprietary right I may have in connection with such use."

  4. 4

    Have the model certify that she is of legal age by inserting a line that says, "I am 18 years of age or older." If she is not of age, you should have a separate form, or an additional line that allows parents to give permission for their child's photographs to be used.

  5. 5

    Sign the photo release and have lines designated for the models to sign and date the release as well. Make lines where they can fill in their address, telephone number and the date.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep release forms in your camera case. Whenever you snap a photo of someone interesting, be sure to have the release form signed.
  • If your digital camera assigns a number to each image, write that number up in the corner of the page for reference.
  • Always ask for identification from a model who you suspect might be under age.

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