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model release and protection Learn the model release and protection guidelines

When to include a model release

Whether you do a photo shoot with professional or non-professional models or you take snapshots of friends and family members, you must obtain their permission before you publish the photos for commercial purposes.

Ask yourself: Would the person recognize him/herself in my photo? If your answer is “Yes,” then you need to include a model release with your submission. Recognition can be based on external factors (for example, other recognizable people, unique clothing, equipment, or location) or personal factors (for example, tattoos or birthmarks). That’s why it’s always safer to get a model release, even for a close-up shot of a body part. If the model is nude or depicted in a sexual way but otherwise not recognizable, a model release is still required. The model release must include a copy of the model's photo ID to verify that the model is an adult.

The same rules apply for videos you upload that include actors, friends, family, or even random people. And if your video includes voices, you need a model release from the speaker.

You also need model releases for any illustrations or vector artwork based on real people or body parts. For example, you need a model release for a photograph that includes a face printed on a t-shirt or a photo portrait on a wall.

Finally, don’t forget to include a model release for self-portraits. In this case, you must sign the model release as both the photographer and the model.

Requirements for a model release

You can download a model release template, find the English version here

Download our detailed checklist to confirm that you are including all required information:

Use this model release checklist to make sure that the forms you submit comply with our requirement

Be aware of the following requirements:

To assure legibility, print all names in CAPITAL LETTERS

If the model is under 18 years of age, you must obtain the signature of the parent/legal guardian. Try to get both parents to sign the release—one as the parent or legal guardian and the other as the witness. This precaution reduces the risk that one parent will try to revoke the consent given by the other.

The witness cannot be the model or the photographer. A signature from a witness is not required if you use the Adobe Sign feature to collect electronic signatures.

All signatures must be dated and the dates must match.

Model Releases must be printed

Optional, but recommended:

Ethnicity of the model.

Information about the date and location of the recording session.

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. Photographer retains copyrights.

Created By
Joe Green
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