50+ SAMPLE Photo Release Forms

What Is a Photo Release Form?

Because it requires consent to take photos of anyone in public or not, a photo release form, also known as a model release form, is used by photographers when they take images of people, pets, and properties. With this form, they obtain permission to use these images such as publishing or displaying them in exhibits, among other things.

Being able to do this, the photo release form must be signed by the subject of the photographer. When a minor child is photographed, his or her guardian should sign the release form. On the other hand, owners will have to sign the form if their properties or pets are the main subjects of a photograph. Otherwise, the photographer may face copyright problems and the subject has no protection to their rights.

Not everyone can use the images you have taken without your permission, even big companies. It is important for photographers to know they have ownership over the materials they captured. Did you know that Microsoft has been sued because of alleged copyright infringement? Based on an article published by DPreview, Matilde Gattoni, a known photographer in New York accused Microsoft of using several of her works for an article without permission or proper license. With this, the corporation was penalized caused by damages potentially amounting to 150,000 US dollars per image.

Three Types of Photo Release Forms

Depending on who or what you are taking images of, you will need a specific release form. Having a full understanding of which form applies and keeping these forms right at your fingertip will make the process less hassle. In that case, you need to be familiar with the types of photo release form so that you know what to bring to the table in a certain situation.  We created the list below to provide a definition of each option. Continue reading.

Model Release Form: Although most people know that a photo release form is similar to a model release, they have differences that you should be acquainted of. More often than not, a model release form is used when a photographer’s subject is an adult. This form is fairly straightforward to use since the subject is of legal age. What makes a model release form distinguishable from a photo release form is it has a similar context to a waiver form. Signing these forms grants the photographer permission to publish the photograph in one form or another. Child or Minor Release Form: Unlike a model release form, in which subjects are adults, a child or minor release form is used when a photographer’s subject is not of legal age. Legality in age is different depending on what place you live. In this case, learn the legal requirement of child care of your residence before making a photo release form for children or minors. Or, consult a legal agent to keep you guided on making a release form. Moreover, a photo release form for minors should be signed by their parents or guardians before a picture of them should be published for the public to see.Property Photo Release Form: A property photo release form is the most unique among the types of photo release form. It is similar to a child or minor release form as it involves a third party to acquire permission. On the other hand, this type of release form covers property or something that an individual owns, say for example a real estate property, pet, car, and anything owned by another person. Because of that, the owner is required to sign a property photo release form to allow a photographer to use images of his or her property. If a photographer fails to do so, they can be charged with a legal dispute, which may cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars for a serious offense.

How Do You Create a Photo Release Form?

Basically, a photo release form is more like a photography contract but in a different form. It is an agreement between the photographer and the person, the owner of the property, or the guardian or parent of the minor the photographer is photographing. The key concept of a photo release form is it is not one-sided. It means both parties involved should agree between the terms and conditions of the release form before proceeding. If you might get confused about when should you sign a release form, find out in the steps below. Those are not just steps but is will also guide you in making a photo release form, with or without a template.

Step 1: Know the Tenets of Photography

Hold everything you are about to do because, before anything else, you should know the basic laws and the most important rules in doing photography works. First of all, when you take a photo, you automatically own the copyright to that photo.

However, it is not the same story if you are doing work for hire for a client. It is safe to say when a client pays you to take photographs of something, they should own the copyright to the materials. Yet, all this depends on the joint agreement you have. That is why it is important not only to invest in a high-end camera but also in legal documents. If you know the legal aspects of the work you are doing, everything will run as smoothly as possible.

Step 2: Be Resourceful and Ask For Help

If you are still on the fence about whether you are capable of making a compelling photo release or not, think of the resources you can use to make it happen. Start by doing your research. This will answer most of the questions you have in mind in terms of the form’s structure and content. For legal concerns, visit an attorney to ask for advice. Once everything is not hazy and you feel confident of the things you learn, begin a draft. We recommend setting your draft aside as soon as it is done. The next best things you must do are as follow.

Step 3: Use a Photo Release Form Template

As an important business document, we understand why some find it overwhelming to make a photo release form. Aside from the legal terms that need to be defined well, a release form is very technical too. But do not sweat it out. We have come to the right place. Have you checked out the collection of photo release form templates above? You can use them in creating your own photo release.

In case the template you are looking for is not in the collection above, visit our website and unveil an array of ready-made templates. Also, get the chance to enjoy exclusive perks by signing up for any of our subscription plans. Click the download button and it will be automatically stored on your device. Our templates are written and designed by professional writers and creative designers respectively so that they will serve you with convenience and quality.

Step 4: Modify Your Template

You can now edit the content of your template based on your draft. Most templates come in with suggested content. It can be left unchanged if it corresponds to your needs or what you want the release form to contain. On the contrary, edit the content to align it to your draft. Provide a title for your form. It must tell the users what the release form is all about. To make it your own, add your registered company name and logo on the side.

Then pay attention to the body of the waiver form as it is the most important section. Define the terms and conditions clearly in plain language. Make sure that both parties agree on every term, so it does not weigh on anyone’s shoulder. Now that everything is covered, use the form with commitment. You can update its content if there are other terms you want to add.


Can everyone use the photos I have taken?

It depends on the situation because there are many factors affecting the copyright of every photograph. But mainly, not everyone is allowed to use your images, especially when you have taken them by yourself using your camera. Otherwise, you can sue a person if they use your property without consent and penalize them to pay for potential damages. The same happened to Microsoft when they used Matilde Gattoni’s photographs in an article. Gattoni sued the corporation for thousands of dollars.

What should be included in a photo release form?

A standard photo release form will identify the following basic elements:

  • Releasor: the person to give permission to use photographs
  • Releasee: the person to receive permission to use photographs
  • Photos: date and event where the photographs were taken
  • Signature: signature of the releasor or the parent or guardian is the releasor is a minor

When a photo release form is needed?

Anyone has the exclusive right to control the commercial use of their image, likeness, or other aspects of their identity under the right of publicity. Hence, a person who uses a photographer of an individual for commercial use needs permission or a release to the material.

You have the right to say no in using any aspect of your identity in commercial use. When this right is violated, you know you can take legal actions. If you are to be a subject of a photograph, make sure to sign a release form first. For a photographer, a release form is essential as it protects them and their subject to harmful copyright infringement problems. Get your release form template now and get started!