Free Model Release Form Templates (MS Word)

free model release form 13

A model release form is a legal document or an agreement between the photographer and the individual known as the model. It is written permission that provides you full legal rights to publish or use the image in any way you would like in the future. Sometimes, depending on the situation, the compensation for the photographer or the model can also include.

What is a model release form?

Models have the ability to become a master of various things. They can do anything they want even from walking to posing, hair, and makeup, etc there’s no limit. You can also take knowledge about the business side of the modeling business. A lot of people don’t have any knowledge about it. There is no need to be overwhelmed upon hearing all of these responsibilities. After gaining enough experience in the modeling industry the business side becomes second nature to you. However, if this is new to you then take knowledge about model release forms.

A model release form is a legal document widely used in the world of modeling. It is a standard document used between a model and a photographer. It shows that how the photographer will use the photos. This document also gives permission for the photos to get published.

Contents of a model release form:

It isn’t a standard form because it can vary in terms of the legal jargon used, the content, the protection level, and more. Include the following basic elements in a model release form;

  • The individual’s name who created the form
  • The date when the form was drafted
  • The name of the model
  • Name of the photographer who receives the rights to the photos. It may also the name of the company who wants to own the photos.
  • A description that how the photos will use
  • Where will photos be used?
  • Duration of the agreement
  • The model and the photographer compensation details
  • Model’s name and address
  • The signature of the model
  • The date when he signed the form

Do you need a model release form?

If you think that a need of a model release agreement depends on the use then you have to answer some questions. At first, think “Will you want to use the photo commercially?” You will require a model release form if your answer is yes. If the answer is no then you won’t need a form.

However, it’s not that simple because when it comes to publications, it doesn’t mean that you will use the photos commercially. Catalogs, newsletters, web use, advertisements, and more are included in commercial usage. Moreover, you need a model release form for licensed commercial use.

When do you require the model release form?

A photographer requires this form to get consent from the model to publish or use their photograph commercially. Here, the commercial refers to publish the photo in brochures, advertisements, greeting cards, websites, catalogs, etc.

In simple words, you use the model release form to get permission from the model to publish the image in case the photo you are about to publish would be used to generate revenue.

A photo consent form:

A photo consent form is an agreement between the photographer and the person who owns something in the photo. This form provides you legal permission to publish or use the photo in any way that you would like in the future. You can also publish photos on online media, printed media, and everything in between.

Is a standard model release form enough for every situation?

No, having a standard model release form isn’t enough for every situation. You have to do thorough research on the basis of where you take and use the photos because every country and state has different laws and regulations. It usually depends on the intended use of your images. You may require a model release form in case you use it for commercial purposes. The model release form isn’t always required. For instance, if your picture is posted in newspapers or educational books then you don’t require it.

What is the difference between model release form and photo release form?

A model release form is a document signed by the talent in order to allow the photographer to license or use the image. While, a photo release form is signed by the photographer. They give it to the client so they can print copies of the work.

Some questions about the model release form:

Here are some questions that assist you to understand the form;

Should I sign the model release form?

The creator of this form will ask you to sign this form when you are on location. Maybe they ask you to sign it either after the shoot or before the shoot. So, if you have an idea where your photos will end up then it is best to sign it.

When should I sign the model release form?

Don’t sign the form as soon as it’s presented to you. You should read the release form carefully. Ensure that all of the terms which you’ve agreed upon are in the document. If you have any confusion then ask the person who created the release. If you haven’t understood and agreed with everything, never sign the form.

Is the model release form containing any exception?

In a public location, when you’re photographing the only exception applies to. It is illegal to take photos of people when in their homes they have left their curtains open.

What to do if public subjects don’t agree to get photographed?

If you are standing in a public place and people don’t want their photos taken then you still take photos without permission. It is only applicable when you are in a public place.

Can you use the photos for different purposes?

If you have taken photos in an area which is fully public then you can utilize them in your portfolio and even you can sell them. You should first get a commercial release if you want to publish the photos in a wide-scale commercial event.

Things to consider when it comes to model release forms:

You should keep your form as long as you possibly can. This is because the forms don’t have limitations and they don’t run out. You should keep the form ready whenever you want to use the photos. Moreover, sometimes people feel hesitant when asked to sign the form. It may happen when you don’t specify when and where you plan to use the photos. If you indicate that the photos can use for anything, anywhere, and at any time then they wouldn’t want to sign.

If this happens then respect the decision of the person. In such a case, you should make the terms of your release more specific.

The benefits of using the model release form?

For both photographers and models, a model release form is a useful tool. In the case of photographers, it protects their rights to their work meaning that the photographer is free to use the images without fear of legal repercussions. In the case of model, it protects them from having their likeness used without their permission. Also, the model protects their image to use in a way that they do not approve of.


In conclusion, a model release form is a legal document that states that the photographers publish or use the image on marketing materials blogs, or websites. This form should be signed before any use of the model’s images. Additionally, it grants permission to the photographer or the person who created the release.

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