Free Photo Copyright Release Form (How to Make)

Photography, like any other art, requires lots of creativity and innovation to excel. It is said that what words can’t express; photography will serve better. In the world of photography, some individuals have managed to gain their recognition due to their intrinsic powerful creativity and innovativeness—unfortunately, some creative photographers who share their creative talents without getting credit for it.  After taking beautiful photos, others take advantage of using them anyhow without giving credit to the original owners. In such situations, a model photo copyright release form can be used to protect such photographers.

Making a Model Copyright Release Form

A model copyright release form is a document that provides authority on how a specified copyrighted photo will be reproduced, distributed, or used by any other party other than the original owner. Usually, the authorization is often given by the owner of the photo to the other person at interest. The release form also allows the photographers to reproduce photos for a variety of reasons, such as commercial displays, so long as it’s not used for malicious intent.

When Do You Need a Model Photo Copyright Release Form?

On frequent occasions, photos that are used for educational or informative purposes rarely need a copyright release form unless otherwise needed. However, when photos are used to use ads, websites, posters, brochures, stores display, shows, or any other commercial promotion reasons, a copyright release form may be necessary. At the same time, photos that are used for commercial reasons yet don’t generate direct revenues should also seek consent by signing the model photo copyright form.

Different states interpret the copyright release form differently. For example, if you use a photo on a blog, it can be considered as a commercial use hence the need to seek consent from the original owner. Additionally, if you are taking photographs that are risqué, i.e., those with adult content, you will have to seek consent to save yourself from potential legal trouble. Therefore as a photographer, the following checklist will help you determine whether or not to release a copyright release form.

  • If the photos the main subject is a person
  • If you foresee the likelihood of your photo being used for commercial purposes

Just in case your answer to the above questions is yes, then that’s a clear indication that you need to put a model photo copyright release form.

Types of Copyright Release Form

General photo release form

This type of copyright release is used in cases where both parties (the photographer and the client) are adults. Adults in the sense that they are legally competent and, therefore, can give their consent independently. As such, the involved parties will be required to provide details of the photo taken, signatures, and date.

Minor subjects release forms

Just as the name suggests, this model photo copyright release forms are used in cases where a minor is involved. This form is more or less similar to the general form, only that instead of the minor signing, his or her parent/guardian does the signing.

Basic Contents of this Form

A model photo copyright release form is a legally binding document that verifies photos ownership and grants user permissions. Usually, a standard copyright release form does include the following components.


Names of both the photo releaser and the person receiving the permission to use the photo for any intended reason.


A description of entitling (s). For example, you can mention that “I, Erick Smith, hereby give my consent to photographer Danielson of Magic Photography Limited to use, reproduce or publish the following photos of my property for commercial reasons.

Photo Details

Relatable details about the photo. This includes any other relevant information about the subject photo. For instance, you can include, “Photo is taken on 30th of June, 20XX.”

Details of Permissions Being Offered

Here, you can include as many details and instructions regarding the permission as possible. For instance, if you want the photo to be published in restricted places, or for certain promotions. Take a look at the following example, “I grant permission for the photographer to use the photo in any manner that the user sees fit.” However, the user shouldn’t whatsoever use the photo to portray violence or any kind of discrimination.


In order to make the document legally binding, you’ll need both parties to sign it.

Free Template

Generally, a model photo copyright release form is a simple document that doesn’t necessarily need a legal expert. However, in order to be sure of the correct format, you can go ahead and download our free templates. Our templates not only contain the right structure/format but is also easy to use. Besides, it contains basic information that will help you reach an agreement and have your photos/videos protected from unauthorized use.  Further, it is easily customization; hence you can be used to suit various preferences.

Copyright Model Photo Release Form

    Whether you treat photography as a hobby or a profession, there are some guidelines that you must always follow, especially regarding copyright issues. As a photographer, you may want to get credit for your creativity and innovation. In order to do so, it’s important that you avail of a model photo copyright release form and get it signed both by you and your clients. These forms will authorize a specific individual to reproduce, copy, or use your photos with your consent.

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