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Model Release Basics

If you want to sell your photographs or videos to creative agencies, you will be asked to provide a model release for each person appearing in the image. No matter how compelling your content is, without a signed model release, it will most probably be ignored, as it can’t be used for commercial purposes. This…

If you want to sell your photographs or videos to creative agencies, you will be asked to provide a model release for each person appearing in the image. No matter how compelling your content is, without a signed model release, it will most probably be ignored, as it can’t be used for commercial purposes.

This article explains what a model release is and how to create one.

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What is a model release?

A model release is a signed document that proves the person appearing in a photograph or video has given her/his consent to the photographer to sell the content in question.

Why do you need a model release?

A model release is needed when an image is used for commercial/promotional, and sometimes editorial, reasons. This is a way of informing the customer buying your photograph or video that they are commercially cleared and can be employed in their future work (advertising, marketing materials, advertorials).

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At Lobster, we reward each photograph or video sold that was commercially cleared with a model released with an extra of 20 credits (up to £20).

We also consider selfies, sold by their own author, as being already released. This means we will not necessarily ask for your permission. Although, uploading a model release for yourself will bring you more earnings.

When do you need a model release?

You will need a model release when a person is distinguishable and therefore can be recognised. The most common example is a portrait. But there are several other circumstances in which a person appearing in a photograph will have to sign for a model release. Usually it’s when their personal, unique features can be differentiated from another’s.

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What do I need to do to give you my permission?

In order to commercially clear the content you sell on Lobster, you need to ask the person in your photo or video to sign either an Adult or Minor Model Release document. You can download them from here: Adult / Kids.

This can be done digitally and Adobe Reader lets you fill out and sign documents. If you wish to fill one out by hand, you can print the PDF, add the details and email it to us/upload a JPEG of it. To upload a Model Release, go to My Content page and click on the edit button (right top corner of the photo) or simply email us at [email protected].

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We encourage to tag your content with the following hashtags:

#editorialuse - meaning the Content can be used for Editorial use and that any required Model Release  has not been obtained;

#modelrelease – meaning that all necessary Model Releases have been obtained by the Seller and may be provided to Buyers upon request. Please don’t use the #modelrelease tag if you have obtained releases only partially.

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Tip: If you usually capture people in your photography or video, you should consider asking for a signed Model Release document each time you do so. This will prevent you from doing it later. More, this will help you sell your content in an instant. If you’re a fan of street photography, you can keep a few printed forms in your bag and ask your subjects for permission to sell your photo later on.

 

This is an informative article and should not be treated as a legal piece of reading. For further information please read our Terms & Conditions. If you have any questions or you need help with filling out or uploading the form, please write to [email protected]. For further reference, you might want to also check the laws in your Country, as these can vary.

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