Posts Tagged ‘model release’

One of the necessities of being a stock photographer is obtaining the required model releases for your images that contain people. A release states that your model/person(s) contained in the photo gave you permission to use their likeness. It is one of the primary differences between royalty free stock and editorial photography. I don’t have trouble obtaining the releases, but I do have issues with the methods and storage. My model releases are well over a thousand.

I have participated in shoots when there were 30+ people involved, and I didn’t know a single one of them prior to the shoot. This makes it difficult to identify who signed what release. Chances are good that one year later I may not be able to identify the person by name. I have to take a photo of the person holding the release as a digital way to identify them. This is time consuming and not always possible.

Enter a new iPhone application that will facilitate creating, storing and sending model releases directly from your iPhone. It’s called ID Release. You can use your iPhone’s camera to ID the model visually. The model can sign (I’m assuming using touch technology) the release digitally and you can email the release form as a pdf to yourself and the model. Easy right?

Should I need to swap out my iPod Touch for an iPhone? There’s always associated costs with business.


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A few years back I was scratching my head to come up with an organizational method for my model releases. I scan the model release on a flatbed scanner, insert a headshot of the model digitally. The releases get stored by the shoot and years in a file cabinet. Digital backups are on an external hard disk and DVDs. I wanted to assign a unique number and insert that into an Excel spreadsheet, but I wanted to tie it in electronically to the image and make it searchable for easy retrieval.

WOW, I got my wish! Sean McCormack has written a plug in for Lightroom that tags your image in the metadata if it requires a property or model release. You can also insert your own unique model ID number in one of the fields. For those of you who shoot stock, it’s a very good way to get organized. Best of all, it’s free. Technically, it’s donationware so if you use it and find it useful, encourage him to write more.


Start early organizing your digital assets. You’ll shoot more images than you think. Now if only istockphoto would allow export for upload right out of Lightroom. Dreaming?

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