Model Release Forms

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by amandalockphotography, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Hi, I was wondering if you have every one that you shoot sign one. Obviously you have them sign it for a wedding, but what about for an engagement session? Do you ask them to sign it before or after the session? Is there a standard form that gets used? Have you ever run into problems when you didn't have a couple sign one?
     
  2. I just did a family shoot right before Christmas that came back to bite me in the butt. I posted a thread about it. Here's a link to it : http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00JNAG My suggestion : GET A RELEASE! For all non-wedding stuff! All the time!! I learned the hard way :(
     
  3. Obviously you have them sign it for a wedding, but what about for an engagement session?
    I think you'll run into problems if you're intending to ask everyone you shoot to sign a release, especially in a wedding. It would be disruptive, invasive and frankly rather rude - especially to the guests. I wouldn't even consider it. Plus, no one has to sign a release. If people do give you a release they're doing you a favour, but it's certainly not an obligation and it's quite reasonable for anyone to refuse.
     
  4. "Always get a model release" is the advice I was given. If you take photos of anyone who is recognizable in the photo and you put it up for public display, you should have a release from the individual. That is what I have heard. Now, I have never seen anyone get releases from guests or, for that matter, the bridal party. Photographers put the photos on their websites etc. However, if asked to take them down, you must. Another good rule of thumb is to never post any photos of children under age 18 w/o a release from the parents. I would get a model release from any non wedding shoot as well (such as portrait sessions). If the client will not give you a release you know where you stand.
     
  5. I didn't mean ask every single person in the wedding to sign a release, just the groom and bride and it would be worked into my actual contract. Sarah, thanks for the link to your question! I guess I just want to know if I can get in trouble legally having pictures of couples (no children) up on my website without having had them sign a model release. If they ask me to take them down, I will, but I wanted to make sure that they can't sue me for just having them up. (not that I think any of the couples I've shot would- they were all very nice) :)
     
  6. I've modified my model release to generally include digital rights, including web, email, etc., etc. and any time I shoot anyone, I get them to sign one before the shoot. A friend who is a well known magazine photog advised me to put a mini-release on the back of my cards that can be signed by street subjects, etc. It's really been handy. Legal? Who knows, but it's all a matter of "how much" protection, and I always have some form of release to carry around with me.
     
  7. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    We have a `Release Form`, not an exclusive `Model Release Form` A Release in obtained prior to any `professional photographic engagement`. When a group of people is involved in an engagement, then a Release is obtained from the main stakeholder, or person responsible for the account. For works of `journalism` or `artistic endeavour` in public places, no release is obtained. Although a lawyer might see areas of grey between these two categories, we thankfully, have not had a problem. Regards WW
     
  8. Put model release information in contract so that if they sign the contract they are agreeing to the terms of model release and the engagement session is part of the wedding contract. All taken care of in one document.
     
  9. "When a group of people is involved in an engagement, then a Release is obtained from the main stakeholder, or person responsible for the account." The fact that a "main stakeholder" or "person responsible for the account" signed a release is completely meaningless when it comes to the other peoples's likeness being published for commercial purposes. The release will be effective for those who signed it and no one else. This should be obvious. Do you want others to automatically be able to sign away the all the rights and restrictions to using your likeness to use in advertisements just because you are in the same photograph as them? According to your logic, that's perfectly fine.
     
  10. Yes, I forgot about the group engagement shots. Huh? Engagement implies the bride and groom, right? (Cover all your bases is always the best.)
     
  11. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    Dear Mr Henneberger: Thank you for the comment to my response on this thread. > The fact that a `main stakeholder` or `person responsible for the account` signed a release is completely meaningless when it comes to the other peoples` likeness being published for commercial purposes. The release will be effective for those who signed it and no one else. < This comment might surely be valid in many legal jurisdictions, if tested: I have no argument at all. > This should be obvious. < I reiterate my comment above. > Do you want others to automatically be able to sign away the all the rights and restrictions to using your likeness to use in advertisements just because you are in the same photograph as them? < I made no comment as to what I wanted other to do. Nor did I make any comment as to how I or my company is attempting to take any person`s rights away. > According to your logic, that's perfectly fine. < I can see no logic in my original answer that states or implies this fact. If you care to look closely and read the question posed, it asked firstly: ` I was wondering if you have every one that you shoot sign one (model release).` The original question further explores when and how and if anyone has had any trouble concerning Model Releases. If you then care to look at my answer, it simply states facts relating to the question as to how our company acts, which in my opinion succinctly answers the question posed. If you look further up the thread there is a comment relating to the impracticality of obtaining a Release from every guest at, for example a Wedding; I think my answer acknowledges that difficulty. By all means make comment upon facts I state, and disagree with my opinion if you hold a different one: but do not construe simple statements of fact that I have made to insinuate that my `logic` is based upon a desire by me our the company I represent to limit people`s rights, either basic or legal. To these words I take offense, and I believe I am correct in so doing and stating. Regards WW
     
  12. Perhaps you meant to say that when a group of people are involved in an engagement you have the primary person concerning the account obtain releases (plural) from all in the group. Instead, you said that a "release [singular] is obtained from" the primary person without refence to others. If the former was intended, your choice of words was confusing. If the latter, my example of the effect your policy has fits. Sorry.
     
  13. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    No, My choice of words was accurate and correct grammatically apropos number. To expand and for the benefit of others following for example, at a Wedding we would obtain (prior to the event) a Release from the Bride and Groom (only). They, being the `client` or `main stake holder(s)`. However later in my answer, I stated that we have not had an issue with this practice: again, to expand for example, when using an image of the Bride and Her Father walking down the aisle as an example of our work to other prospective clients, even though we had not originally obtained a release from the Father, or as another example, showing how we might photograph a Formal Wedding Group, even though we had not obtained a release from all those in that group shot etc. I have no issue with your clarification of the fact that one (usually) cannot sign a Release on behalf of others. I thought however I quite clearly stated that I did take objection (and explained why) to this last paragraph of your comment: > Do you want others to automatically be able to sign away the all the rights and restrictions to using your likeness to use in advertisements just because you are in the same photograph as them? According to your logic, that's perfectly fine. < Hope the specific examples clear up my original, and subsequent comments. Regards WW
     
  14. There is no expectation of 'privacy' at a wedding or in a public place. If there were...or laws to enforce it....there would be no paparazzi. You own the rights the moment you press the button. The release just adds to it. if you didn't own it....people could copy any of your photos....and you couldn't stop them. If someone asks us to take down a shot from our web site. We will, but only as a curiosity not because we're bound by law. It's just good business sense to do so. Dave
     
  15. William

    William Moderator Staff Member

    Mr Gardner: Yes. That is how we interpret the law in our precinct too: thus my previous comments and expansion. We also, if asked, will not show or display any group photo etc, as you mentioned it is just good business practice. But as mentioned over 25 years we have not had any issue in this regard. In fact we often we let the family know that we have specially chosen a shot to display or enter into competition, and give them an extra print as a gift - it all seems to work very well -glad to say with polite dealings, we have not had any issue with such matters. Regards WW
     
  16. WW, Sorry...i wasn't commenting on your statement. But i do agree with it...it's always better to be on the polite side. Dave
     
  17. I use a standard model release form and have amended it for wedding purposes. I consulted with a lawyer and he informed me that , people who attend wedding have an expectation of being photographed, and by attending the wedding the agree to abide by the bride and grooms rules and wishes; therefore if the groom and bride are willing to sign the release, the guests are included in the release. But to protect myself further , I have a double sided A frame notice board 2 feet by 3 feet that states that a professional photographer is working the wedding and that all guests attending and staff working the wedding are subject to be photographed and if any such person has any objection to being photographed to make their wished known in advance to the photographer. I have posted my name and cellular number on the bottom of the board so they can contact me and don't have to search for me.. I post this at the entrance .
    I have yet to have a single person request that I do not take their photo, and have gotten a LOT of positive comments on the fact that I cared enough for their feelings to post the board.. " PLUS IT'S FREE ADVERTISING".
    hope this helps ..
     

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