5.1 Importance and Legal Implications of Releases

1.0 Introduction


Any photograph that contain a recognizable or identifiable face of a person must be accompanied by a signed Model Release. A model release is essentially a liability waiver. It is a legal document that is signed by the subject of a photograph granting the photographer permission to publish and use the photograph in one form or another.

The legal rights of the signatories subject to the allowances and restrictions stated in the release. Publishing an identifiable photo of a person without a model release signed by that person can result in civil liability for the photographer or the agency that accepts such a submission.

In other words, a release serves to protect the Photographer (You) in event when the subject (Model/Property Owner) claims you did not secure the proper permissions to use their likeness/property in your shoots.

2.0 123RF’s Release Requirements

123RF’s will NOT accept photographs that contains a recognizable face of a person or an identifiable body part (tattoo and body ink) of a model without a valid and signed Model Release for commercial use. Please adhere to the following guidelines pertaining to Model Releases:

  1. When shooting models who are below 18 years of age (at times 21 in certain countries) during the photo shoot session, you are required to obtain the signature of the legal parent or guardian of the model.

  2. If you are going to be the model in your own shoot, you also need to sign the Model Release too. No exceptions.

  3. Always get a 3rd party to witness the Model Release and endorse the Model Release appropriately.

  4. The photographer may not sign off as a witness in a Model Release.

  5. The above rules also apply to Property Releases. Always get the owner to sign the release and obtain an independent 3rd party to countersign and witness the release.

Now that we have established some of the rules pertaining to Model and Property Releases, let’s explore how you can download generic Model and Property Release templates for your photo shoots.

3.0 Obtaining Generic Model / Property Releases

123RF’s Model Releases come as standard templates for your convenience. It is NOT NECESSARY to use 123RF’s Model Release for 123RF.com submissions. If you have existing Model Releases you’re more than welcome to use them during your submission to 123RF.

For your convenience, we have prepared 123RF’s Generic Model and Property release for you in this guidebook. Download them now and print them out for your own use:

  1. 123RF’s Generic Model Release (PDF)

  2. 123RF’s Generic Property Release (PDF)

  3. Adobe Acrobat Reader (required for PDF)

4.0 Can I use another Agency’s Release for 123RF.com?

Model Releases are pretty generic and is not unique to any Royalty Free agency or publisher. You may use 123RF’s Model Release at any other agency and vice versa.

Filling up the Model Release is pretty self explanatory. If you are living in a country that does not use English as its primary language you may translate the Model Release into the native language and use it accordingly in the same capacity. We also accept Model Releases in other languages.

Please provide the information of the model to the best of your ability. Model Releases serve to protect not only the photographer but also the model and the agency that markets your content, so please do provide truthful information only.

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