When do you need a photo release form?

Don’t snap any pictures with the intent to publish without first protecting yourself. Learn how to use a photo release consent form to get permission to publish your photos.

You’re welcome to take pictures of whatever you want, but you’re not allowed to publish photos of people, places, or property without consent from the owner. That’s where a photo release comes in.

A photo release consent form is written permission from the owner of your subject stating that they’re okay with you publishing their property. It’s essentially a photography contract between you and the owner of the subject.

You should use a photo release consent form any time you plan on using an image for commercial purposes. In other words, if your picture is going to generate money — even indirectly for marketing or sales purposes — you need a release form.

Information to include.

A photo release consent form is a legal document, which means it needs to include specific information. While there’s no exact template, include at least the following:

Once signed, you’ll have legal permission to publish your photos anywhere as defined by the consent form.

It’s common for photographers to get permission after taking the picture. Instead of driving back to the location or meeting your model, use electronic signature software like Adobe Acrobat Sign. That way, you can simply email the consent form, and they can add their legal signature with the click of a button.

Discover what more you can do with Acrobat Sign to simplify the legal and administrative tasks of your photography business, so you can focus on taking great pictures.