Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Model Release - For All To See and Explained in Detail

In light of resent events involving consent and abuse of cosplayers rights in the community I decided it was time I made a post about my model release. My release is simple and straight to the point, but the language may not click in everyone's head when they first read it. Keep in mind I don't expect every photographer to follow my example, these are my opinions on what is right and how people should be treated and involved in the process.

The Release

This is what my release looks like, here's the text for easy reading - 

I acknowledge that the above photography session was conducted in a completely proper and professional manner, and this release was willingly signed at its completion. I certify that I am not a minor, and am free to give such consent. If not of legal age said parent or guardian awards consent, and I acknowledge their rights to refuse permission of these images.

I, for good and valuable consideration, grant Larry M. Holder, and those acting with his authority and permission, the irrevocable and unrestricted right and permission to copyright, in his own name and use, re-use, publish and republish still photographs of myself or in which I may be included, in whole or in part, or composite or form, without restrictions as to changes or alterations, or reproductions thereof, made through any medium, and in any and all media now or hereafter known for illustration, promotion, art, editorial, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever. I also consent to the use of any printed matter in conjunction therewith.

I waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product or products and the copy or other matter that may be used in connection therewith or the use of to which it may be applied.

I further release the photographer from any claims for remuneration associated with any form of damage, foreseen or unforeseen, associated with the proper commercial or artistic use of these images unless it can be shown that said reproduction was maliciously caused, produced and published for the sole purpose of subjecting myself to conspicuous ridicule, scandal, reproach, scorn and indignity.

So what does it all mean? Let me explain.

This first sentence explains that the shoot was conducted for the agreed upon intension and that no "funny business" took place and I was respectable to you in every possible way. It also asks the age question, I don't display minors in any marketing without the proper consent. This does not mean I withhold the image, you will always get your image to share and display as you see fit, but this protects the minor from use they legally can't consent too.

This part is worded very legally and is the most confusing part, so let me explain. This gives me the right of owner ship of the photo and for me to use it in printed form for promotion. It does not include product that I intend to sell on my own,  if I intend to sell your image to people other then yourself, I need extra permission from you. This can be added to the release in written form, for example, asking people if they wish to be included in my book project this year, if they say yes they write, OK for Book on the release. This can also be done through verbal consent like I did with my calendar project for Harbour Confusion. The project was explained before to the models and they agreed to be part of the project. I wouldn't suggest that method for profit based projects, the calendar is for a non-profit fundraiser project so no one is making profit on the sales. In that case verbal is fine, but of course written is always better. I would also suggest that if you want to make a for profit project using images of people that you either include them at every step and offer a portion of that profit or construct an contract that takes away all their profit rights. I do not suggest the latter unless your paying the person for modelling, one way or another that person should profit for their involvement. 

This is a fancy way of saying I want the right to select and edit the images without directives from the model during each step. It doesn't mean I won't take input or suggestions or release unedited images or even show you the shot on the back of the camera upon request. It's a legal line that says you trust in my skills as a professional to allow me the right to work freely on your images. 

This line sounds way worse then it is, here's an example, say 10 years down the line there is a photo of you that your partner finds online on my site or a site I advertise on and he or she doesn't like it and decides it's within your rights to seek a legal action toward this image, this would protect me. Sounds a bit far fetched, but it could happen and you can't be too careful in the online space these days. The second part protects you in the same way, if i sold images to a site that would use them to harm your reputation or infringe on your rights or represent you in an indigent way, you have every right to come after me. All and all it claims that images are used for what they and intended to be used for during the original agreement we discuss.

Finally we have have all the lines to fill in. At conventions I typically just make sure I get the persons name, birthdate and signature as the photos are mostly being made for mass viewing from both me and the model there is little disagreement on the intent and final use of the images. As I stated before I'll be asking the book question for yes or no on the release as well this year to be filled in on some of the blank space.

So what does all of this tell us? Well, develop trust with the person you are working with, be open with your intensions and make sure your always comfortable entering into an agreement with someone. I can tell you I'll always put the best intensions toward the creation of the images for you and you can trust I'll respect your rights as a person and never enter into position were you didn't know what was happening with your images in the end. I hope that be clear and honest and explaining this process out has helped me gain that trust and I look forward to working with all of you in the future. Thanks for reading.

-Larry M. Holder 

P.S. - Don't ever be afraid to ask questions, I'll always answer back.

No comments:

Post a Comment