BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Sara *  Clark

Model Relase form

How do I get the model release form????? and what if one has photos of people they never met and or never see again?

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3/3/2005 6:53:39 AM

Bob Cournoyer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/9/2003
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  Just type "model release form" in the search Q&A box at the top of the page and there is all kinds of good info...


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3/3/2005 7:16:20 AM

Robert Hambley

A general rule of thumb is that you will need a model release for any person who is recognizable. If you don't have one, and don't know who or how to contact them to get one, then you are probably out of luck using these pictures for most contests or sales ( or risk being sued if they find their likeness somewhere).

I read recently that a professional photographer (might have been on this site.. can't remember, but Charlie Borland comes to mind) had to fight a lawsuit of the photos of hand, no faces. He had a model release just in case. So, I believe his point was, get a model release. Period.

Hope this helps.

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3/3/2005 12:37:09 PM

  Robert- You are close to what happened to me and I'm impressed you remembered.

Sara- I hired a model at my Portland oregon studio for a stock shoot. The model was working on the computer and on the phone. I zoomed in for one shot of just the models mouth and and the phone. No eyes, nose, just the mouth and phone. This image was placed on a Royalty Free Cd and a couple years later my stock agent recieves a letter from "an actor of notable fame" who lived in NY and claimed it was his mouth in my photo. There was no way it was him. I had to spend some time with my agent fighting disputing this and when I produced a photo with the models entire face and the release we never heard back. If you know anyone who works for large agencies, ask them how many 'extortionists' contact their agencies each year making false claims. You'ld be surprised how many time this happens. For more model release horrostories check out this link:

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3/6/2005 7:31:09 PM

Robert Hambley

Charlie, I had been doing a lot of investigation on this myself lately and your information (among others) was extremely helpful. Just trying to pass it on.

I am thinking of going into the stock photography route, and during the course of investigating stock photography, realized 'people' shots are usually in the highest demand. Your stock photography class is on my list to take, not sure if it is going to be spring or summer class. Trying to decide to take it or the photoshop class first....


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3/6/2005 7:37:20 PM

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