Model Release

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What is it?

A Model Release is a written permission from an individual to allow the use of his or her likeness in a photograph or video recording for commercial purposes. It is a legally binding document that helps models, photographers, filmmakers, and the clients or end-users of the image by ensuring that each is aware of what has been agreed to. It is also used to prevent claims by a model for any further payments.

Why do you need it?

If you are a photographer who is engaging models, you may need to obtain the models' written permission to use these photographs and video recordings for commercial purposes worldwide. Using a Model Release sets out clearly that you have the right to do so for the purposes stated. Although a Model Release is not legally required in all countries around the world, it is good practice to use this document to ensure that you have the rights to use the photographs, especially if you are publishing the recording or photograph in other countries.

Key clauses to watch for:

When drafting a Model Release, it is important to focus on a number of key clauses, in particular:

  • Information about the model featured in the image;
  • Details of the content creator or owner of the image;
  • Whether the image can be used in any media for any purpose, which may include advertising, promotion, marketing, and packaging for any product or service; and
  • Whether money will be paid to the model for this release.

Model Release Document

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