41+ Sample Model Release Forms

What Is a Model Release Form?

As a photographer, working with models is a great opportunity. Both of your interests can further your careers and may be the key to bringing you to the limelight. However, if you don’t handle it right, things can easily go south. One of the problems that you may encounter is a misunderstanding. This is quite common even in other industries. To avoid misunderstanding, it is important to set the expectations and limitations with you and your models. By implementing it, both parties will know what they can expect from each other in terms of the product that you are going to produce. To make it official, you need to use a model release form for the model to sign. By utilizing a model release form, you can outline an agreement, stating that you can use the photos and in what way you are going to use them, such as for promotions and commercial sales. This type of agreement legally compels both parties to abide by its terms, protecting you and the model for any possible disputes.

Why Are You in the Right Track If You Are a Person in the Modeling Industry?

The modeling industry is a thriving business sector. Its market size is even higher than the advisory and financial services sector in the United States. According to ibisworld.com, the revenue of the model agencies industry in the United States for 2021 is $1.6 billion, which has been increasing within the last 5 years with an average of 2.1% growth. It has been expected that the market would grow 3.2% higher for this year. That said, if you are a photographer, a model, or any person in the industry, you can expect greater opportunities in the industry.

However, while it’s true that there are several opportunities that you can grab in the industry, there are also people who take advantage of dreamers who are trying to get into the industry. On July 28, 2011, ABC News posted an article about fraud in a New Jersey Modeling Agency. According to the article, more than 200 people accused Industry Model and Talent Studios LLC and Interface 1, LLC of luring parents and children they meet in theme parks and malls to get in a contract with a promise that their kids will be marketed for modeling and acting, which never happened. 

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is seeking more or less $170,000 compensation for the penalties and fees as they claimed that the owner of the modeling agency, Roman Vintfeld, violated the law for making false promises, manipulating the facts, and not providing sales contracts to the clients.

That said, it is empirical that you know what you are getting yourself into if you are going to start a career in the modeling industry. If you are a model who is just starting to build a modeling or acting career, you should be aware of the modeling scams that you may encounter. The following are the modeling scams common signs that you need to look out for if you are dealing with modeling agencies.

The Agency Insists on Using a Specific Photographer.

As a model aspirant, you need professionally taken pictures or videos, but you should be able to choose your own photographer to obtain these items.

The Agency Asks for a Fee Before They’ll Work with You.

Unlike modeling and acting schools, a modeling agency only gets paid when you get paid. Therefore, if your agency asks you to pay before they promote you to projects, back away.

The Agency Makes It Seem Like It’s Now or Never.

One of the scam business’s enemies is time. These people know that the moment you do your research you will likely discover that their business is a scam, so they will try to hook you up with words so that you’ll sign up and pay up at that exact moment. Know, though, that looking for the right agency that can handle your career takes time. As we have mentioned earlier, a modeling agency only gets paid when you get paid.

The Agency Promises a Refund.

To easily trick you into paying up, they will assure you that you’ll get a refund in the future. Perhaps, they would say that they will make a refund once you get to a project. 

The Agency Doesn’t Accept Payment Other Than in Cash.

They don’t want to leave traces. If things go awry, they can just say that they didn’t receive a payment. They can’t deny bank statements.

The Agency Mentions about Promising Salaries.

You should know that in the modeling industry, although it is a lucrative industry, you can’t have regular salaries. You will get paid according to the number of projects that you take part in. In addition to its irregularity, agencies cannot guarantee that you will get work. Other factors may affect the number of works that you can have, such as the demands in the area where you live.

What Are the Important Elements of a Model Release Form?

Just like a location release form, a model release form also has important elements that you can not miss when creating one. Read the following model release form elements and see if your form has them.

All Parties’ Names Involved. A release form should include the name of the photographer and the model. The photographer does not have to be the recipient of the rights. Additionally, the person who created the form should be listed in the form, along with the date and file formats of the release form, such as PDFs.

Recipient of the Rights. The recipient of the rights can be the filmmaker, entertainment company, agency, or photographer. In other words, it can be anyone. Therefore, the release form that you create should state the name of the entity or individual who receives the rights of the images and videos.

How and Where the Products Will Be Used. This part of the form should be part of the discussion that you will take place during the contract signing. The form should state if the photos will be used for advertising or an item of a portfolio, etc.

Duration of the Agreement. The model has the right to choose how long you can hold the photos and clips that you take, just like the medical records that a certain organization holds. Therefore, it is important to state how long you can keep the files.

Details of the Fees. Models are also humans who are trying to make a living. More often than not, they look forward to what they get in return for modeling for your portfolio. That’s why you have to include a statement on how much you will pay the models for the photoshoot. If you are a talent manager of a talent agency, you can also check our article about freelance contracts in PDFs and MS Word.

Model’s Personal Info and Signature. The entire model release form will become useless without the model’s personal information and Signature.

How to Create a Smart Model Release Form?

Before conducting events like field trips, universities smartly lessen the liability that can easily happen outside the school premises by letting the students and parents sign a waiver form. In handling a photography project, you should also be smart by taking note of the following good habits.

1. Plan the Project First

We have witnessed many photographers capturing great videos and pictures just out of nowhere. That’s indeed an awesome way to create a name in the industry. However, if you intend to grow your career and win a photography contract, you can’t just walk around and hope that you will capture a great photo out of nowhere. Unless your theme is about taking random pictures, plan out the photos and videos that you are going to include in your portfolio. Even the professional photographers plan on how to get the random photos.

2. Customize the Form

There are several model release forms that you can utilize for your project. In fact, you can choose any of the printable blank model release forms that we gathered for you in the previous chapter. You can also check our article about release forms to maximize your choices. However, you should know that each release form may vary on how you are going to use the images and videos you take. Take time to check the template that you are going to use and make necessary changes, such as the company name if you intend to start a photography company, certain terms, and even the design of the form.

3. Consult with the Experts

As we have already mentioned, a model release form is a legal document just like a school contract. If things come to the worst and reach the point where legal action has to interfere, the first thing that they will look at is how you write the terms of your agreement. If they find your agreement stated in a way that may misunderstand the other party, there is a big possibility that you will lose the battle. That said, make the statements in your form and consult with the experts to ask for advice or call your lawyer to have your draft checked and make necessary changes if the expert advises.

4. Discuss the Agreement with the Relevant Parties

Even if you are on the right track, the effort and time that you are going to sacrifice as you bring the battle to the court may not be worth it. You could have used these resources to do your passion and enjoy your day. Thus, before it even reaches the point that legal interference has to take place, discuss the agreement with all the parties involved in the contract. By including this activity in your contract signing session, you can discuss each of the important contents of your release agreement and address all the questions or possible misunderstandings before starting the project. 

5. Check the Signed Model Release Form

More often than not, models may miss filling out certain fields in the form, such as the signature and signed date. Since you are the one who created the form, you can easily spot the missing fields. This good practice is also applicable to any type of agreement, such as a rental lease agreement.


Is the Model Release Form the same as Photo Release Form?

The Model Release Form and Photo Release Form are related to each other, but each of these release forms serves different purposes. You can Model Release Form to outline the agreement between you and the model, permitting you to use the photos that you produce with the model for licensing. On the other hand, you can use a Photo Release Form to outline an agreement between you and the clients, to give them the right to use the images you produce as enumerated in the form, may it be to publish photos of the property, and people online platforms or media outlets, which can range from simple release form to a detailed one, which may include publication rules, duration of the agreement, etc. Another term of Photo Release Form is Photo Consent Form. 

In public places, such as the streets, as a photographer, you can take pictures of things that you see. For instance, you can take a picture of tourists looking around and a dog owner walking his dogs in public. You can even take pictures of police people, conducting an operation. However, selling the pictures that you take is a different story. If you intend to sell these photos, you need to prepare a model release sign and have the subject sign. 

It is also important to note that since you cannot take pictures to the private properties without their permission, even if you are standing in a public area if the pictures or videos that you take are the activities that are taking place on private property, such as weddings, it’s illegal.

What If the People You Photograph Don’t Want You to Take Them Pictures or Videos?

If you are in a completely public place, such as the streets, public parks, etc., you can take photos or videos of people. For instance, we have witnessed people uploading videos or images on social media, such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, of individuals committing racial discrimination in public. It’s legal since the video is taken in a public place. However, some scenarios may get you in more trouble, so you have to consider other factors as well.

Modeling is indeed a very lucrative business. However, it comes with struggles that you need to overcome to become successful. Managing model release form, along with event planner contracts, maybe one of the things that you may have to deal with. In this article, we have discussed the things that can help you start with your career, may you want to become a model or photographer.