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Photography Release Form

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Photography Release Form

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A photo release form enables a photographer, photography agency, or organisation to obtain legal consent for use of the photograph from the photo subject or rights holder. This can be consent for personal or commercial use. The releasing party can choose the level of rights offered, for free commercial and personal image use, one time fee or use-informed royalty.

This customisable photography release form is designed for photo rights holders or those seeking to use imagery.

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Photography Release Form - Consent Form

Photo release forms are legal documents in which one party consents to let the other use their image for the agreed purpose. As a photographer or content creator, you're bound to come across a photography release form at some point throughout your career. 

You must secure permission to use your images of others before the photoshoot. It's quick and easy with one of our photo release templates.

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Photo waiver release 

Every job has small admin tasks that you can't avoid. Photography included. Before you begin snapping away and showcasing your work, you must protect your work. This is where you will need a photo release form. A photo copyright release form is a vital document. But don't worry; they're not too tricky to put together, especially with a professional-looking template.

What is a photo release form?

Photo waivers or photo release forms are actually very simple. It allows an individual or photographer to obtain legal consent to use another's image for personal or commercial uses. 

The 'releasor' might either give the rights to the image away for free or charge a fee or royalty. In this case, the ownership is not final until the payment is completed.

You might also know it as:

  • Photo Consent Form
  • Video Release Form
  • Likeness Release Form
  • Model Release
  • Photography Copyright Release Form

We'll help you put together the correct image licence agreement to protect your work and ensure you look professional.

When is a photo release form needed? 

Whether you're an event organiser, business owner, content creator, or photographer, you'll likely need to use photographs and videos to promote yourself. You might think you hold harmless pictures. However, before you can pick whichever image you choose, you first need to get permission from the people in them with a photography release or video release form.

And it's not just the professional photography business that needs to navigate the legalities of image use. Other standard needs for photo release forms include:

  • School photo or daycare photo release form
  • Employees' photo for a company website
  • Media photo in journalism

Individuals have exclusive rights to their image and likeness. To use another's photograph or recording, you need their permission. While some photographers use implied consent (the subject knows they're being photographed and not objecting), it's best practice to obtain official consent with a signed photo release form.

How to make a photo release form 

Photo request forms are very straightforward to make. You just need a few minor details and both parties to sign the document to make it official. Generally, photo releases are for individuals seeking to obtain ownership of photos, usually involving the removal of copyright watermarks. Photo release waivers allow you to use the image for private or commercial purposes. 

Follow these quick and easy steps to create your own photo print release form.

  1. Choose your template

There are many different types of photo release consent forms. Typically, you'll use model release forms where the subject poses for the picture. However, you may need another photo release form, such as a pet photo release form. Make sure you choose the correct sample photo release form template for your purposes. 

Campaignware has many photo release form templates for you to choose from. 

Short and sweet is typically best. Large legal documents might put clients off and feel less inclined to consent. 

  1. Write clear instructions 

The releasor (the model) and the releasee (the photographer or business) should discuss the terms of the photo release form before putting it on paper. For example, will you use the image for advertising? Plus, you need to settle a form of compensation. This might be a payment or some of the prints.

The document should contain all the necessary details in clear language. Additionally, you might include whether the subject has the right to revoke their consent and the details of such instances. Download your completed template in Adobe PDF or MS Word. Both parties need to sign the photo print release form template before it becomes legally binding.

  1. Begin taking photos

With all the legal paperwork out the way, you can begin taking photos. The photo release form is typically only about one page long, and you won't need a lawyer present. Photographers usually have a large batch of photography consent ready at the beginning of a photoshoot. 

What should I include in simple photography release forms? 

A standard photo release form should include the following basics:

  • The name of the releasor: the subject of the photos permitting the use of the images.
  • The name of the releasee: typically the photographer or person receiving permission to use the images.
  • Address and contact details.
  • Photos: the date and event where you took the photos.
  • Parent or guardian signature: if the subject is under 18, you'll need a parent or guardian signature.
  • Conditions of participation.
  • How long the photo release form is valid.
  • Description and intent of images.

You might also want to consider other terms - for example, will the releasor have prior approval of the pictures?

Types of release forms 

There are a few different types of photography copyright release forms available. While the purpose and content of many are similar, they cover slightly different aspects. It's good to get to know the different photo print release form templates to prepare yourself should you ever need them.

Standard photo release form 

Standard print release forms are your run of the mill, basic contracts that highlight the essential details. You can use a standard release form in most scenarios. For example, a one-off photoshoot might keep the details simple - the contract identifies contact details and payment. 

You'll find many standard release form templates available online to adapt to your purposes.

Employee photo release form

An employee photo release form gives consent to an employer to use an employee's photo. They might want to use it for commercial or marketing purposes or display it on the company website. They'll include all the standard details and might be subject to the releasor's employment with the company. 

Print release forms

Print release form templates are to allow the photographer to print the images. It's illegal for businesses or photographers to publish pictures of a subject without their permission in a print release form. 

Whether you need a photo print release depends on your intentions with the image. If you plan to use the photographs in your digital marketing campaign, you won't need print release form templates. However, if you later intend to print the image in a poster or brochure, you will need a signed print release form.

Model release forms 

A model or actor release form is similar to a standard form, except it's between a model and photographer. Generally speaking, the release form highlights the rights to publish the image commercially or for a third party to use the photos commercially. 

You probably won't use the image yourself if you're a professional photographer. Instead, your form will specify that you can licence the photographs to third parties.

Photo release form for minors

When it comes to taking pictures of minors, you'll need particular types of photo consent forms. You'll need a parent or guardian present to sign their release form for minors. If you don't have a parent or guardian present, the release form is invalid. This might lead to legal trouble for you and your clients.

Photo copyright release form

A copyright release form differs from a standard photo release. It's like a purchase agreement. You probably won't use it often. Essentially, it transfers all the subject's rights to the image over to the client. You might need to familiarise yourself with photography copyright law. For example, if you licence a photo for five years, you can re-license it and earn more income in the future. 

However, you probably won't want to re-use branded photos for a specific marketing campaign. In such instances, a copyright release form might be the right choice. Take the time to consider which photo release form is the best fit in the circumstances.

Property release form

Instead of a person's likeness, it's an identifiable private property. The property doesn't just refer to real estate forms but also vehicles or pets. So, if you want to publish pictures of someone's property, cars, or pets, you'll need a property release form. Architecture photographers most commonly use this type of form.

What happens if you don't use a photography release form?

Without photo waiver business forms, a company might find itself limited - they might face legal consequences for accidental copyright infringement. If you don't use photography consent forms and then use the image commercially, you could waste your time and money. Both the releasor and releasee might face mental anguish and unwanted legal bills. 

The client won't be able to use the images for marketing or advertising purposes and might find their reputation damaged. To avoid all hassle and mitigate the risk of legal action, it's best to use photo release consent forms from the start.

Why use Campaignware photography release form templates?

Campaignware has an abundance of form templates for all your needs. Whether you want a standard photography release form or a more detailed copyright release, we've got you covered. Plus, you can organise all your business forms with us, including evaluation, payment, and registration. So keep all your business admin in one place.