Recently, I received an email from a reader asking about Model Releases. So when do you use them? Generally, if it s a shoot where another company is paying you to do the work, if you’re in a private setting, or if you’re shooting in public but for commercial reasons. If not, then don’t worry about it.
Thankfully, ASMP recently created an iPhone and iPad app for just the situation. They have converted its standard Model and property release into an easy to use app form. The releases use standard release language, relevant to most still and motion projects that photographers might license. With the app, models (and parents or guardians of minors who are subjects of a photo), property owners and witnesses can sign the release using a finger or stylus on the touch screen just like they’re using paper.
A signed release indicates they have given consent to be photographed and given permission to the photographer to use the image. Each release includes fields which can be customized for entering information on the model or property. Here’s a quick tour of the app.
The app has a bunch of different options. The user can create a brand new template to be saved for later use or create a brand new release for a new shoot. Once the releases are created, the user can also view the releases whenever they need them in addition to editing their own information that goes into the releases.
You’ll first need to input your own information to be saved for future shoots. And that is done quite simply and easily enough.
From there you can create brand new templates or use the ones automatically given to you by the ASMP organization. All the according info that is filled in will then come up on the release.
In order to have the release signed and saved, you’ll need to edit each section using the app’s interface.
When that’s all done, one of the obvious questions will be, “How do you send it to your agency or send multiple copies?”
When you’re all done with the release, you can send it off via printer or email to whomever needs it.
Now here’s the other thing: you’ll also need to include a photo of the model for the release, so you’ll need to use the iPad’s camera function to do so. Then later on, the model release will be saved for future viewing and be recognizable by the image of the person.
At first, using the app wasn’t so intuitive, but once you actually get through you, it is very simple to use and also very important for photographers wanting to take their craft more seriously.