Photo release form

edited February 2017 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
Do you need to get people to sign a release form if you do not intend to use their photo for publication? What if you frame and sell the image, do you need a release form?
I'm taking photos on the street as I walk of people, buildings, landscapes, etc.


  • edited February 2017
    Technically you don't if your photographs are personal and artistic. However, it seems to get a little muddy if you're going to profit from the photograph, as you might when you frame and sell an image. In particular, if you put an image in a gallery whose purpose is to promote your photography business, it becomes a commercial use where it might have been simply artistic if you'd hung it in a gallery.

    The little I've read on this suggests that although some of the principles are pretty clear (e.g. is the person recognizable, is the use commercial rather than editorial), some of the dividing lines may be less so. If you're in doubt you would probably do better either to get a release or to refrain from using recognizable people when you publish in any way, including sale of an image.

    If you look around the web you may find more info on the finer points of this, as well as samples of simple model releases. I think many photographers carry around a basic release in card form, so that in ambiguous cases they can ask for a signature.
  • Thanks, I'll do as you suggest. I did find a General Photography Release form on line, and I'll print some out and carry some with me just in case.
  • edited February 2017
    Hi @DECDAN,
    As Bruto suggests, a release form is only really needed if you intend to make gain from the photograph. With normal street photography it is not necessarily needed unless you are blatantly photographing that gorgeous girl with the shorts and low-cut top walking towards you. LOL.
    In England, if a person thinks you have captured them on camera and objects, they have the right to inspect the photo and if need be ask for you to delete it. Also, you are not allowed to photograph members of the armed forces or the police for security reasons.
    As you say, carry some forms with you. Good luck.
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