Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Like 0

Model release

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

omeleko  931 forum posts
2 Jan 2005 - 7:45 PM

Hello all,

I have this great photo of a saxaphone player. I am looking into selling it to a gallery in New Orleans (where the picture was taken). The thing is, do I need a release form from the musician? He's wearing sunglasses and since the instrument is in his mouth, it's kinda hard to make out who he is. What if I was to sell it without a release form? Could I be sued? Any books on this subject?

Any replys or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links 
2 Jan 2005 - 7:45 PM

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

2 Jan 2005 - 8:56 PM

You will need a release form definitely. Particularly if you want to sell the image as they could argue that they are still recognisable. Even if they arent it isnt worth the risk.
You might also find that if the musician is in a union or a performers society then they will have a minimum fee for a model release. I recently did a lot of shots for stock and each one was accompanied by a model release which cost me per image as the model was a professional actor.
So you might want to look in to this.
Also it might be better to pay something to have a proper model release contract as you are planning to sell the picture anyway.
Hope this helps,

deviant  103024 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jan 2005 - 12:29 AM

To add to this topic/ask something additional. If you take a candid picture in a public place do you need model release for people in the shot?

omeleko  931 forum posts
3 Jan 2005 - 9:45 AM

Thanks Joe.

Deviant, I would actually like to know that too. I find myself taking a lot of candid pictures when I go out shoting with my friend. I like pictures that are natural.

3 Jan 2005 - 9:52 AM

Any picture where anyone is centre and clearly identifiable needs a model release - thats the rule I work to. Except for newsworthy pieces of course.
Candids would need a model release and wouldnt generally be considered newsworthy.

Then again thats in the UK and US but IIRC in France its obligatory for a model/property release if anyone can identify themselves/their property from any part of the picture.

mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2005 - 1:18 AM

That's the letter of the law Joe, but I do wonder how many magazines (for instance) follow these rules....

Maybe they are just prepared to pay out if neccessary.


4 Jan 2005 - 1:41 AM

To be honest Matt I dont really know. I've never been asked for a model release for any photos of adults but have been asked did I have permission to shoot children (that includes papers as well).

Then again I'm always too busy covering my own back to worry about them! If they dont ask its not a case of me washing my hands of things. When supplying images I specifically state if the shot has been model released.

Then again most submissions arent done on spec but to order so usually this doesnt occur. I can hardly think of a time when someone was being interviewed for a mag where they refused to release a photo (other than one they were happy with Wink)

Ultimately its the newspaper/magazines choice to publish or not but I do have insurance for a reason and I do read the small print Wink

mattw  105189 forum posts United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2005 - 2:30 AM

Doing photos on spec, or for an interview is a different kettle of fish, I was referring to the candids you see published in the photo press (in particular) where members of the public have been caught in various silly or intimate poses totally unawares (or so we are led to believe).

I remember one shot of a couple sitting in a bus (shot through the window. Did the photographer run after the bus, jump on, pay the fare, then make his way to the couple, and said 'I just photographed you kissing, do you mind signing this legal documentation so that I can sell the image for whatever purpose a publisher see fit?' Sorry, But I can't see that happening!

That said Joe - keeping your back covered is a very creditable way of going about your business. I am not trying to knock you at all, I just wonder if everyone works to your ethics.


raziel_uk  104929 forum posts
4 Jan 2005 - 2:58 AM

Simply for the sake of saving ourselves possible legal problems I think we should all work to Joe's ethics.

How does the law stand though if you do take a photo of a person in a public place? It sounds to me like a trip to the police station would be in order - after all they are the ones that would be called upon to enforce any law you may have broken. Nothing heavy just make a polite enquiry about this area of photography.


andytvcams  1110396 forum posts United Kingdom
4 Jan 2005 - 3:08 AM

You Dont need a model release when photographing a person in a public place,as the law stands now.

croberts  102160 forum posts Ireland8 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2005 - 3:24 AM

even if that person is the sole subject of your photo? and it will be for sale, or public display? I'd rather have a release, and i'd like to think that if I was the subject in someone elses picture, and they were going to make money from it, that i'd ok'd it before hand.


raziel_uk  104929 forum posts
4 Jan 2005 - 3:26 AM

Quote: You will need a release form definitely. Particularly if you want to sell the image as they could argue that they are still recognisable. Even if they arent it isnt worth the risk.

Hi Joe, are you getting better?

When I asked you about taking a photo of a busy street (let's say you had been commissioned to do such) you said that you would set a slow shutter speed to blur the people, but you said above it isn't worth the risk even if the people aren't recognisable?


croberts  102160 forum posts Ireland8 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2005 - 3:32 AM

have a look at Alamy's guidelines on the subject. here


Just Jas
Just Jas  1225752 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2005 - 3:35 AM

With regard to the law relating to the the photographing of minors, what's the legal position where a minor walks into the range of a shop security video camera and is recorded on tape? It's still a photograph.


Badger  124736 forum posts United Kingdom20 Constructive Critique Points
4 Jan 2005 - 3:36 AM

Imagine this scenario.
You take a candid shot of a person, looking slightly scruffy in the street; you send this image to a stock agency, where it is sold to a magazine that use it to illustrate an article on drug abuse. The magazine is sold nationally.
The person you took the shot holds a position high up with a large company, how damaging could that magazine article be to them, their family or their career?

As has been stated, you do not need a signed model release form to take the picture, but if the image is to be sold then you will need a signed form.
As the photographer, you have taken and sold the image and could be sued by the person affected, however if they had signed a form allowing any use of the image then you are protected by that Model Release form.

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.