I often like to trade my services with models so that we help each other: they model for me, I shoot and post-process photos (note: post-processing can take a lot more time than shooting them: see http://a1pixels.photo/index.php/why-does-a-shoot-cost-so-much-2/) for them, and we can both augment and enhance our portfolios. No money is exchanged. However, in the process, I want to make sure that I have the legal right to use the photographs for limited and specific purposes, and that the model does as well. For those reasons, I ask models to sign a model release. It looks like this:
So what are the provisions of this release?
Fortunately, it’s in plain English and not in legalese.
In a nutshell, it says that I can use the images for promotion of my services, but that I can’t use it for commercial purposes. It lets me use the images on my photo website, enter the images in photo contests, submit them for possible (unpaid) magazine articles and to display them as part of my portfolio. I cannot use the images for advertising or commercial purposes: basically, I can’t make any money by selling the image. If I were to do so, I’d certainly want models to earn their fair share. That’s how synergistic teams are formed: we each help each other, and both sides benefit.
Since I don’t want to sell the images without sharing with models, it’s only fair that models shouldn’t sell images without me getting a fair share. That’s why the images are by default protected by copyright. Even for non-commercial publication, I’d like to be acknowledged for my work – hence the request that my watermark not be elided.
But I do want models to have the liberty to use the images for their own promotion, hence the provision that models are free to share the images – that includes use in their portfolios.
As for the requested fill-in information at the bottom, the most important ones are the signature, printed name, and date. The email address is also necessary because my preferred way to distribute finished digital images is by Dropbox, and that requires an email address. The email address is also useful for any future contact.