Do I need a model release?

modelreleaseCC0While the person taking a photograph owns the copyright by default, the person in the photograph may have other rights, such as the right to privacy or the right to publicity, that restrict how the photographer may use the photograph. These rights may vary by state, but in general terms a model release is advisable whenever the subject of the photograph is recognizable or the photograph is for advertising or commercial use.

The American Society of Media Photographers provides sample model releases (note the tabs in the sidebar of the ASMP page for various releases for different purposes) and (for members) an iPhone app to allow photographers to obtain signatures easily on a shoot.

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