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Free photo release form templates (Australia)

Protect your use of photos in promotional content or products for your business.


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As you promote your small business, you may want to have a photoshoot of your employees or other models to use the photos in marketing content. To make sure you have the rights to use the images, you can sign a photo release form.

Take a look at what to write in a photo release form and where to find a free template to get you started.

What is a photo release form?

A photo release form is a written, legal agreement between a photographer or business and an individual to define the right to use and reproduce a photo for professional purposes. The agreement specifies whether the model will receive payment or royalties in exchange for the use of the photo.

There several types of photo release form:

  • Employee.
    An employee grants their employer the right to use their image for commercial purposes, including use on the company's website or for marketing materials.
  • Minor (child) or day care.
    A parent grants consent for the use of photos of their child by a professional photographer, school or day care centre.
  • Pet.
    A pet owner grants consent for the photographer to use images of their pet.
  • Print.
    A print release specifies the terms for printing the photos.

When should I use a photo release form?

A photo release form is necessary when a recognisable image of an individual will be used for commercial purposes to make a profit whether for sale, marketing or publication.

Photo release form vs model release form

The terms photo release and model release are often used interchangeably. However, a model release form grants the photographer the right to use and reproduce a photo, whereas a photo release form grants consent to the model or client to use the photo. A model release form does not include a payment clause for using the photo.

What does a photo release form include and not include?

A photo release form sets out the purpose of a photo shoot and how the images will be distributed. It specifies the terms of payments or royalties if applicable.

What is included in a photo release form?

A photo release specifies the details of the photographer and model and the terms of use for the photos. It includes:

Names and contact details of the photographer and model

  • Description of the photos taken
  • Description of the use of photos
  • Length of the agreement
  • Conditions, such as format and copyright or ownerships claims

What is not included in a photo release form?

A release form is a straightforward document that does not include a long list of legal provisions.

How effective is a photo release form?

A photo release form is an effective way to avoid a legal dispute as it makes it clear to the photographer and model how the photo will be used.

If a photographer does not use a release form, the individual in the photo has a right to a share of the profit from its commercial use. Conversely a model could find that they do not have a right to use or print photos of themselves, for example from a wedding or other event.

Do I need a lawyer for a photo release form?

You do not have to have a lawyer to write a photo release form. However, if you intend to use the same form for multiple photo shoots you might opt to have a legal professional review the document. You could write it yourself from scratch or use a template before getting a lawyer to make sure that the document includes everything you need.

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How do I write a photo release form?

A photo release form should be a simple document that includes the essential information. The idea is to clearly set out the terms of use for the photo to avoid confusion or dispute in the future. You should include whether the agreement includes a set payment or royalties, the length of validity of the release and whether the release can be revoked. It should include space for the photographer and releaser to sign the document.

You can find a free photo release template online to help you with the wording of the form if you're unsure how to write it.

Where to get free legal documents and templates like a photo release form.

  • Lawpath. Lawpath is an online legal resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs. You need to sign up for a free account to customise and download a photo release form using its template.
  • LegalZoom. LegalZoom offers online legal services and a range of legal forms that you can customise and download, including a photo release form.
  • TemplateLab. TemplateLab provides more than 300 types of business and legal templates for free, including a range of photo release forms. There's no need to sign up, just simply select and download the template you want to use.
  • eForms. eForms provides a library of free printable forms and electronic forms. You can create customised documents if you answer some questions. You may have the option to e-sign compatible documents.
  • Net Lawman. Net Lawman has more than 150 business contracts and agreements. It provides a template for a photography contract for $39.

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