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So I was sitting around and reading one of my friend’s Facebook post, Jea Timeline PhotographyNC, about a small problem he was having regarding a model (well her insecure boyfriend). Reading about this annoyance that he was having made me begin to think about model releases, lucky my friend had one for her. What is a model release and why do I need one? This is something that I’ve heard quit a bit when it comes to photographers, and the answers about when are simple, but what it is that they are can be slightly more complicated. You need a model release anytime there is any chance of the photograph you are taking to be used for commercial purposes, and you need one for any recognizable person within the photograph. Now what a model release actually is, can be slightly more complicated, but not by much. The model release is a permission given by a person or their representative to use their likeliness for the purpose of commercial work. The model release IS NOT permission to take a photograph nor is it a permission to modify or alter their likeliness within a photograph. According to US federal law any photograph that a photographer takes is automatically copyright property of that photographer, and that photographer has the right to make any alterations and/or modification to that photograph that they wish. I know that some people refuse to believe that or they just refuse to accept that fact, but it’s the truth. The fact is that people in America have no right to privacy while within public property or while on another person’s/business’ private property, except where privacy is legally expected (i.e. bathrooms, changing rooms, or under you clothing.) This is just a simple explanation of the model release, and the property release falls under the same rules/laws. Under here there are a few links that could help you understand more about this subject.

Shutter Bug
Shutter Point
Example of a Model Release
Another example of a Model Release

My Friend’s website Jea Timeline PhotographyNC