preparation and process: why I will ask you to sign a photo release form

why i will ask you to sign a model release form when you have a photography session with me

what is a photo release form?

A photo release form is the term I use for a model release form.

How are they different?  And, what is a model release form?

In it’s simplest terms, a model release (or photo release in my case), is a written and signed agreement between you (the client) and me (the photographer).  The purpose of this contract is to protect– release– me from liability in future lawsuits which previous clients might file against me for legal claims like invasion of privacy, defamation of character, etc. Simply put, the document stipulates the terms under which one party may use photos taken of another party.

Why do I ask you to sign one?

Effectively, I’m asking your permission to take your photo.  Particularly if I’m photographing your children.  According to Legal Vision Australia, no precise rules that spell out when a model release is required.  But because I wish to use images taken at your session for promotional purposes for my business, I ask you to sign the photo release.

Can you refuse to sign it?

Yes, you can.  In signing it you are giving me, as the photographer, all publication rights to all images, which is effective from the date of signature to the end of time. There is no right after signature to ask me, as the photographer, to destroy particular images.

Am I going to publish your photos if you don’t sign?

No, I won’t.  I will respect your right to not sign the document.

Will I publish less-than-perfect images of you?

Absolutely not.  I’m running a business that I want to thrive and grow, so it’s in nobodies best interest to publish photos like that.

The aim of these posts is to help you understand the preparation and processes that go into your photo shoot.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments below.

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