Ella Photo Session
We were thrilled when Ella joined our team. She’s so sweet, polite, has such a great head on her shoulders and a very bright future. Have we mentioned yet how absolutely beautiful this girl is?! We couldn’t wait to start taking some pictures of her
HOW AND WHERE WAS THE PHOTO TAKEN? At first glance, it doesn’t seem like this question should make a difference, but it does. This is where things like travel, candid, and street photography come into play. Photos that I take in public places– streets, fairs, parks, festivals, etc.– generally do not require model releases, especially if they are destined to reside only in my portfolio or on my walls. Again, however, if I think there’s even a chance that I might someday want to use that photo commercially, I have to get a model release. That’s why I always suggest that photographers play it safe and get a model release whenever someone is recognizable and clearly the subject of the photo. You just never know what money-making images might be lurking in your archives until someone comes looking for them. It’s always easier to get it first, rather than to retrace your steps later and hope for the best.
Some people may be hesitant– or even unwilling– to sign a model release, and you have to be prepared to respect that decision. It is certainly easier when you have been hired to take their photos, rather than when you are roaming the streets shooting what interests you. I always make sure that my clients sign the release before we start the shoot. Keep in mind that what can seem like a complicated process, though, can be pretty easily broken down into a fairly quick analysis. Ask yourself if the photo is going to be used commercially in any way. If the answer is “no,” the inquiry stops right there and you are free to hang that photo as big as you want on your living room wall. If you think, though, that there is any chance that you might one day want to license the photo for commercial use, obtaining a signed model release is an absolute necessity.
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