This guide is designed to assist video production companies and videographers, like those at Provid Films, in understanding the use of model releases. We’ll cover frequently asked questions and provide answers using a template called the “Pocket Model Release.”

free printable pocket model release template photo

There are a variety of places and situations where I will, or won’t require a model release.

In a nutshell, if it involves people and is NOT for the news – then I want a model release.

Here’s the type of releases I use:

  1. Adult Release: This one’s my go-to when I’m working with adults, usually anyone over 18. It’s a straightforward form where the model gives me the green light to use their images or footage. It covers the essentials like how and where I can use the content, and if there’s any compensation involved. I make sure this is all clear to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
  2. Minor Release: Now, when I’m shooting with kids or teenagers under 18, this is where the minor release comes in. Since they’re not legally adults, I need a parent or guardian to sign off on their behalf. It’s super important to get this sorted out because it protects their privacy and rights, and it keeps me on the right side of the law.
  3. Group Release: Then there’s the group release, which is super handy when I’m capturing a bunch of people at once, like at events or group sessions. Instead of chasing down each person for an individual sign-off, this release lets everyone give their consent in one go. It’s a real timesaver and helps me make sure everyone’s cool with how I’ll use the images or video.

In all these cases, I’m pretty careful about getting a release. Even if it’s just a blanket pocket release, it keeps things clear and straightforward with the people I photograph or film, ensuring everyone’s rights are respected.

Travis Johansen, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Pocket Model Release?

A pocket model release is a legal document where the subject of a video or photograph consents to the use of their image or likeness in a production.

When Do I Need a Model Release?

In Video Production:

  • Whenever an identifiable person appears in the video.
  • For commercial purposes where the subject’s image or likeness is central to the content.

In Photography:

  • For commercial use of images, especially in advertising, marketing, or when the subject’s likeness is used to endorse a product or service.

Are Model Releases Necessary for Public Spaces?

  • Yes: Even in public spaces, if the individual is identifiable and the content is for commercial use, a release is recommended.
  • Not Necessarily: For editorial content, like news or documentaries, where the focus is on public interest, releases might not be necessary.

What Should a Model Release Include?

  • Identification: Full name and contact information of the model.
  • Consent: Clear statement of consent for use of the model’s image or likeness.
  • Usage: Details on how the images/videos will be used.
  • Compensation: Information about payment or compensation, if any.
  • Signatures: Signatures of both the model and the representative of the production company.

Do Minors Require a Different Model Release?

  • Yes: Minors (under 18) require a parent or guardian to sign the release on their behalf.
  • Details: The release should specify that the signer is the legal guardian and has the authority to grant permission.

How Long is a Model Release Valid for?

  • Duration: Typically, model releases are valid indefinitely, unless specified otherwise.
  • Revocation: Some releases may include terms under which the model can revoke consent.

Can I Use a Free online Template for a Model Release?

  • Yes: Templates like Provid Films’ “Pocket Model Release” can be a great starting point. Though consult with an attorney in your area to review. We are not your attorney and this is not personalized legal advice.
  • Customization: Customize the template to suit specific project needs and legal requirements.

What Happens if I Don’t Use a Model Release?

  • Legal Risk: You risk potential legal action from subjects for unauthorized use of their likeness.
  • Commercial Limitations: It limits where and how the video or image can be used, especially in commercial contexts.
  • Reshoot: If you don’t get your model’s permission to use them in your commercial video, then you may need to reshoot the video with new actors.

Is Verbal Consent Ever Enough?

  • Not Recommended: Always opt for written consent. Verbal agreements are difficult to prove and don’t offer solid legal protection.

Can a Talent Release be Digital?

  • Yes: Digital releases are legally binding, as long as they contain all necessary information and signatures
  • Not necessarily: It depends on your laws in your country, province or state, and potentially local laws as well. Consult a local attorney to review and consult.

Free Printable Pocket Model Release

Today we’re sharing a free template called the “Pocket Model Release Free Template,” designed for ease of use and comprehensive coverage of necessary legalities. This template can be adapted for different projects and ensures both parties understand the terms of image and likeness usage.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific needs and legal jurisdiction.