Why You Should Have a Photo Release Form Template

Why You Need a Photo Release Form Template - StudioBinder-min

A photo release form is often mistaken for model release form, but they couldn’t be more different. In this post we’ll cover how they differ, and why they’re so important. We’ll also provide a photo release form template to get you started.


What is a photo release form?

The photo release form, also sometimes referred to as photo consent form or photo copyright form, is a contract between the photographer and client (or model) that grants the client permission to print hard copies of the photos (i.e. portraits, headshots, or wedding photographs, etc.).

Is a model release form different than a photo release form?

The short answer is yes, they are very different.

As we mentioned, a photo release form is a document signed by the photographer and given to the talent or client so they can print copies of the work. On the other hand, a model release form is signed by the talent so the photographer has permission to license or use the image. In most photoshoots, both agreements should be signed.

How to administer your photo release form?

signing actor release form template

1. Prep your paperwork ahead of time

Print multiple copies if you are using paper. People make mistakes and often need to start over.

2. Make sure that all your information is legible

The wording of the release is important, but so is the information that is captured. Always make sure that all the clients information is easy to read – especially when it’s handwritten.

Because phone numbers change more often than emails addresses, we collect emails addresses on our provided photo release templates.

3. Associate each release with the photos from the shoot

You’ll need to know which releases cover which photos, sometimes months, years or decades after a shoot. The best practice is to keep the thumbnails or proofs from from the shoot with the photo release form in your files.

4. Consider creating electronic files

A lot of photographers scan the original photo release form and manage only electronic files. Plan to retain copies of every executed photo release indefinitely. For greatest ease, make the proofs and release a single electronic document. That way when someone wants to license a photo from you — you’ll know exactly which release form to send.

5. Utilize email to establish a record

Always countersign, scan and email a copy to the client after every photo shoot to generate a legal record through email trail. Having an email, or general a backup in the cloud, provides redundancy should your computer or hard drive fail.

Manage release forms and files in the cloud

StudioBinder‘s free photography project management software makes it simple to keep your release forms and photo proofs backed up in the cloud.

The software also enables photographers to create and send call sheets and schedules. StudioBinder is free to get started. Learn more here.

Video Film and TV Production Management Software - File Sharing and Media Management - StudioBinder

Photo Release Form Template Download

Sign and provide the following photo release to clients to grant them permission to print or display copies for their purposes (i.e. model’s book, comp and zed cards, or websites). Note that some print shops may require to see a signed photo release from your client prior to printing.

Photo Release Form

The simple photo release form template with no requirements or restrictions.

Simple Photo Release Form Template StudioBinder

Restricted Photo Release Form

This is a photo release form template with restriction requirements (i.e. watermarking, website or photo credit).

Photo Release Form Template with Restrictions StudioBinder

Disclaimer: We love providing resources and templates to photographers. Please remember, this article should be construed as informational, not legal advice. StudioBinder does not provide or offer legal advice to its readers. StudioBinder, its editors and authors will not be held responsible for any legal issues the reader might encounter based on the subjects found in this post. As always, we recommend you consult a legal expert for advice on release forms and agreements. This disclaimer assigns you, our readers, all responsibility for your own decisions.

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Wrapping Up

We hope this article is helpful in providing a better understanding of a good photo release form template. Remember, a photo release is only part of the process. To protect your image rights, you should also have the client sign a model release. If you haven’t already, make sure to read our companion article where we describe The Essentials of a Model Release Form and provide a template to get you started.

Do you have any tips you want to add? Please share in the comments below!


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Darya Danesh

Darya Danesh

Cofounder and Content Director at StudioBinder
Focused on the intersection between Entertainment and Technology. Grew up in Silicon Valley, now resides in Silicon Beach. Also an animal lover, avid reader and futurist.
Darya Danesh

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