Photography and video release forms are used to secure permission to publish images of people, including children, as well as certain property. Keep a supply of these handy, printable forms on hand so you’ll be prepared whenever you might need one.
If you are planning to take pictures or video to publish on a website, in a publication or on any other type of materials that might be distributed, it’s essential to get signed photography release forms that grant you permission to publish likenesses of the people and objects in your photos. Here are four printable photography release documents that you can use, each one created for a specific situation.
While youngsters may think it’s cool to have their picture taken, you can’t use the fact that a child gave you permission to photograph him or her as consent to publish the images. You’ll need to get written consent from a parent or guardian of any child you photograph whose picture you want to publish.
Why Are Photo and Video Releases Necessary?
A photo/video release form is a written agreement between you, the person you are photographing, the parent or guardian of the child (or children) you are photographing, or the owner of any property you are photographing. The main reason to obtain a release form from potential photo and video subjects is to protect yourself from future legal action arising from your publication of the images. A photo/video subject could verbally agree to have his picture taken, but change his mind later. By getting a written agreement, you avoid getting involved in messy legal procedures.
The Right of Privacy
Laws in all 50 states recognize that individuals have the right to privacy. Violation of this right is met with harsh punishment. There is a long-standing precedent that shows judges find that making money is distinctly less valuable to society than the right to be left alone. Therefore, if you have been hired to shoot a commercial ad, you will need to collect releases from every person you photograph.
Keep in mind that privacy issues typically arise when a photo is used for purposes of trade or advertising. It’s really not so much who is in the picture that matters as much as how the image will be used, that determines the need for a release.