What is a Model Release Form – Step by step Model’s Guide

If you’re a beginner to the industry or working as a model you need to know certain terms or contracts. Some one asked you to sign model release form and anyone who wants to become a professional photographer will require a contract with models.

If you’re starting a photography business then you need to take a sign from the model on a document called model release form. Here in this article, we break down the model release form, its uses, when you need and what purpose you need.

Remember, this information is based on experience and this is not legal advice. We want to help you to understand the model release form. If you’re going to sign any legal contracts before you need to take professional advice and guidance.

What is a Model Release Form?

What is a model release form

A model release form is like a contract between model and photographer and also like documents of permission. Model release form gives the permission for the photographers to use the images for a commercial purpose with the model permission.

If the model is under 18 years old then the model release form should be signed by parents or legal guardian. This form is also used for when the photographers want to sell the photos, they have taken the images of models.

The model release form protects models and photographers and also protects copyright and your profit.

Nowadays, in the modeling industry there is no industry slandered for models release form. There are a lot of photos online without a release form template. It totally depends on the photographers or agencies or brands and also, they have their own rules and regulations.

Why Do You Need a Model Release Form?

If you’re modeling for many photographers then you need to sign a model release form because the form will protect you and photographers and you and photographers ensure that these images are exactly being used for.

Signing a model release form is very important because models may don’t want their images used for some illegal activities and also models don’t want to promote this type of products through their images.

Well, while signing the model release form kindly read the details and term and conditions. Basically, you need to give permission to your images only to be used for a commercial purpose. 

It’s very important that models should get their commission if the brand or photographer is making money using the model’s face and images.

Remember, it’s important both the parties should have a copy of the contract.

When Model Release Form be Used?

A model release form is used when generally model photos are used for commercial purposes.

Well, a model who signed with the agency doesn’t have to worry about the model release form because the agency will help you and even advise you about it.

Make sure that while signing the documents kindly read it fully and understand the terms, no matter how trusted brands or photographers and no matter how long they are in the industry.

If you’re a freelance model then you should pay attention to the documents that you’re going to sign. Remember, understand the terms and conditions in the contract and if you’re agreed or comfortable with then only sign.   

Should I Sign a Model Release Form?

Should I sign a model release form

Signing a model release form totally depends on your decision, some photographers can ask you to sign and some of them are more relaxed.

If you sign the documents it means that you exactly know where and what purpose your face and images are being used.

If you do not sign the model release form there is no guarantee that your images are only used for commercial purposes. It might be used for some illegal activities without your consent and that you don’t want to happen. 

What Does a Model Release Form Look Like?

Many beginner or aspiring models are new to the industry and they are not familiar with what the documents look like. The models release form in depending on what agency or brand or photographer that you’re working with. The form may look slightly different, but the intensity of the documents are some.

Here we are given some information about the form that it looks like.

  • The form starts with a paragraph written at the top of the form explaining about photography.
  • The paragraph will include the name of the photographer and what is involved in the agreement that you’re going to give permission. This will include how and where the image can be used for and also who has the rights on the images.
  • The rest of the form will be blank for models to fill it, this will include your personal information, like model contact details, name, date of birth and address etc.
  • This form can include photoshoot information like date of the shoot and location of the shoot.
  • This form also includes your and photographer signatures, also the print of both names for legibility.
  • If the model is under 18 years then there is an option for your parents or legal guardian to sign.
  • If you’re signing the model’s release form then two witnesses are required to sign the form.

What are the Commercial Uses?

Mainly, the images are used for commercial purposes that promote any products or any services, or advertise the products and generate sales, or generate the revenue for a company. 

If you sign the model release form then the brands use your images for promoting their products and service to generate sales and make more money through your face and images. 

The models get paid enough money for their images and also models get more popularity in the industry when models work with big brands.

A photographer will sell your photos or they can give it for free but make sure that these photos are used for promoting brands or for affiliating the company products, that means for commercial purpose.

FAQs ON Model Release Form

What Should a Model Release Include?

The model release form should cover the details about the use of the model’s name, whether the model has any right to inspect the product before publication. Also, the release form has an expiration date.

What is a Model Release Used for?

A model release form signed by model and it gives the permission to publish the photograph, and also it includes use for portfolio, studio samples and other commercial uses.

Do You Need a Model Release for Social Media?

The short answer is NO. Generally, if you share photos on your social media accounts, you don’t need a model release form. However, you may get model release form from every single client that you shoot with. 


Here we know about model release form and the use of it. But if you’re going to sign any contract in this industry, you should read it fully and understand because there are a lot of dishonest people, they want to take disadvantage of you, be careful.

Hopefully you like this article, if you have any suggestions and questions kindly put them in the comments box below.  

You’ll also like:

Leave a Comment