Terms and Conditions
A model release is a legal document granting rights of any models (i.e., photograph subjects) to the photographer and any current or future rights or license holders to use their likeness for agreed upon purposes. Most people think of high-fashion photoshoots when they hear the term 'model release', however, such releases are common for even portrait sessions. In many cases, the photographer may require or ask for a model release from all photograph subjects in order to use these images on his/her portfolio, website, gallery site, social media pages, marketing, commercial purposes (including stock photography), or any other purposes.
Adults may sign their own model release, however, a parent or legal guardian must sign on behalf of a minor (subjects aged 18 years or less).
Here is a sample model release:
I hereby give the Photographer and Assigns my permission to license the Content and to use the Content in any Media for any purpose (except pornographic or defamatory), which may include, among others, advertising, promotion, marketing, and packaging for any product or service. I agree that the Content may be combined with other images, text, graphics, film, audio, audio-visual works; and may be cropped, altered, or otherwise modified. I acknowledge and agree that I have consented to publication of my ethnicity(-ies) as indicated below, but understand that other ethnicities may be associated with me by the Photographer and/or Assigns for descriptive purposes.
I agree that I have no rights to the Content, and all rights to the Content belong to the Photographer and Assigns. I acknowledge and agree that I have no further right to additional consideration or accounting, and that I will make no further claim for any reason to Photographer and/or Assigns. I acknowledge and agree that this release is binding upon my heirs and assigns. I agree that this release is irrevocable, worldwide, and perpetual, and will be governed by the laws (excluding the law of conflicts) of the country/state from the following list that is nearest to the address of the Model (or Parent) given opposite: New York, Alberta, England, Australia and New Zealand.
It is agreed that my personal information will not be made publicly available but may only be used directly in relation to the licensing of the Content where necessary (e.g., to defend claims, protect rights, or notify trade unions) and may be retained as long as necessary to fulfill this purpose, including by being shared with sub-licensees/assignees of the Photographer and transferred to countries with differing data protection and privacy laws where it may be stored, accessed, and used.
I represent and warrant that I am at least 18 years of age and have the full legal capacity to execute this release.
Definitions: “ASSIGNS” means a person or any company to whom the Photographer has assigned or licensed rights under this release as well as the licensees of any such person or company. “CONTENT” means all photographs, film, audio, or other recording, still or moving, taken of me as part of the Shoot. “MEDIA” means all media including digital, electronic, print, television, film, radio and other media now known or to be invented. “MODEL” means me and includes my appearance, likeness and voice. “PARENT” means the parent and/or legal guardian of the Model. Parent and Model are referred to together as “I” and “me” in this release, as the context dictates. “PHOTOGRAPHER” means photographer, illustrator, filmmaker, or cinematographer, or any other person or entity photographing or recording me. “SHOOT” means the photographic, film or recording session described in this form.
Many public locations do not require permissions or may not charge fees for shooting photographs on the premises. Private-property locations, carry a legal-obligation to obtain explicit, written permission to shoot on the premises without threat of current or future legal action related to the rights of any photographs taken on site. It is my policy to obtain explicit permission associated with shooting on a location in the form of a property release. In cases where the location has a system in place for fees and permissions, their property release may suffice, but only by permission of the photographer. I will not photograph on a location until all property permissions are known and granted.
Property release rights are typically escalated in cases of commercial photos, due to the fact that the image may appear publicly and the images may provide the rights and/or license holders monetary profits. Therefore, property releases are almost always required for any commercial photo shoots.
Permissions may not be required for personal photography sessions taking place on the private property of the client, a client's family member, or a friend.
In any case, the photographer may require or ask for a signed property lease so that the images can be used on his/her portfolio, website, gallery site, social media pages, marketing, commercial purposes (including stock photography), or any other purposes.
Here is a sample property release:
As owner or authorized representative of the Property and by signing this release, I give the Photographer and Assigns my permission to create and use the Content depicting the Property in any Media, for any purpose (excluding pornography and/or defamation) which may include, among others, advertising, promotion, marketing, and packaging for any product or service. I agree that the Content may be combined with other content, text and graphics and cropped, altered, or modified. I agree that all rights to the Content belong to the Photographer and/or Assigns.
I acknowledge and agree that I have no further right to additional consideration or accounting, and that I will make no further claim for any reason to Photographer and/or Assigns. I acknowledge and agree that this release is binding upon my heirs if applicable, assigns or any person claiming an interest in the Property. I agree that this release is irrevocable, worldwide, and perpetual, and will be governed by the laws (excluding the law of conflicts) of the country/state from the following list that is nearest to the address of the owner or authorized representative given opposite: New York, Alberta, England, Australia and New Zealand.
It is agreed that my personal information will not be made publicly available but may only be used directly in relation to the licensing of the relevant Content where necessary (e.g., to defend claims, protect rights, or notify trade unions) and may be retained as long as necessary to fulfill this purpose, including by being shared with sub-licensees/assignees of the Photographer and transferred to countries with differing data protection and privacy laws where it may be stored, accessed, and used.
I represent and warrant that I am at least 18 years of age. I have the full legal capacity and right to execute this release and grant the rights herein granted with respect to the Property, and to bind all persons claiming an interest in the Property.
Definitions: “ASSIGNS” means a person or any company to whom the Photographer has assigned or licensed rights under this release as well as the licensees of any such person or company. “CONTENTS” means all photographs, film or recording, still or moving, taken of the Property as part of the Shoot. “MEDIA” means all media including digital, electronic, print, television, film and other media now known or to be invented. “PHOTOGRAPHER” means photographer, illustrator, filmmaker, or cinematographer, or any other person or entity photographing or recording the Property. “PROPERTY” means the place and or property (real estate or intellectual property) that is the subject of the Shoot. “SHOOT” means the photographic or film session described in this form.
As with property rights and releases, many locations require permission to shoot on the premises, particularly private locations. These property owners sometimes charge a photography fee in exchange for use of their property and for rights to use the images. This is especially true for photographs used for commercial purposes. Rights and fees may vary depending on the use of the photographs (personal vs. commercial use) or whether or not the photographs are taken professionally (for a fee).
Note that location fees are not included in session rates unless otherwise agreed upon between the client and photographer in writing prior to the day of the photography session. The client is expected to pay any and all location fees prior to the photography session. In some circumstances, the client may not be able to care of the location permissions themselves. That may be due to the client being otherwise occupied with the event (e.g., weddings), or the location may require that the photographer be present to sign any legal paperwork. In such cases, the photographer can cover those permissions on behalf of the client as long as arrangements are made in advance of the photo session. In most cases, the photographer charges no additional fees for this service, however, in cases of extensive time/effort or legal fees, the photographer may charge an additional fee to cover his/her costs.
Typically a photo session will include some photo edits to best balance color and tone in the images and to produce consistency between the session's photos. A typical 1-hour portrait session includes up to 3 hours of photo editing after the session to produce approximately 15-20 premium photos that will be professionally color-balanced and edited. The productivity of the shooting session and editing process may result in more finalized images. The time needed to edit event or wedding events may vary, as may the final output number of professionally edited photos.
Occasionally, a client may desire to have extensive edits done to an image, such as removing people or objects from an image. The photographer will make all attempts to avoid capturing such elements in the photos. Typically, such edits are easy enough and are done during the basic edits to the images prior to the client being shown the proofs. However, extensive edits can be very time consuming and may be considered beyond the scope of edits included within a package or session fee. If additional editing time is required for such edits beyond what a session includes, additional fees may apply. It will be the photographer's discretion whether or not these edits will incur additional fees. In these cases, the photographer will inform the client of any necessary additional fees prior to completing the extensive edits.
In general, I prefer not to alter the natural appearance of human subjects in the image extensively. This is a fine ethical line, of course. I typically clean up temporary blemishes on the skin or blushing skin tone. In cases of significantly altering a person's body shape, I prefer not to make these edits for my own ethical reasons. There may be exceptions in the case of art or high-fashion photography. It is at the photographer's discretion which edits he/she deems ethical or appropriate for an image. Further, the photographer will determine whether or not he/she will perform such an edit, and if so, to what extent that edit will be made.
Image Rights and Copyright
Copyright refers to the legal right granted by a legal entity (e.g., country, state, or local entity) to the creator of an original work (e.g., photograph) the exclusive rights for said work's use and distribution. Unless otherwise agreed upon in writing, in the United States, creative works (e.g., photographs) are automatically copyrighted the moment they are created and the creator (e.g., the photographer) is the copyright holder. Photos do not have to be registered with the United States Library of Congress to be copyrighted, although registration with the Library of Congress is encouraged for further legal protection.
If there are to be any non-standard terms for image rights or licensing, that must be discussed and agreed upon in writing prior to any photography session. The photographer maintains the sole rights to the images and their usage unless otherwise contracted (e.g., contract-for-hire work). For personal events, generally, personal usage rights of images are included with the purchase of the image digital files (i.e., downloads). Photographs that are to be used for commercial purpose are generally leased to the client at a rate that is dependent upon the scope of type of commercial use, audience reach, and potential monetary gains from the images, among other factors.
Certain image rights may be licensed to a client for authorized use within the limits of the written agreement between the photographer and the client. Such terms may refer to the duration of the license (e.g., temporary or permanent), restricted or unrestricted uses (e.g., personal, commercial), and whether or not others will have authorized use of the licensed photographs (non-exclusive or exclusive rights). The terms of a license greatly effect the price of the license.
Image copyrights may also be permanently transferred (i.e., sold) to another person or entity (e.g., client or business) for use at their discretion, in which case the photographer may or may not hold any rights to the photographs. In some cases, the photographer will make as a condition of the copyright transfer that he/she maintain some rights to any past, present, or future use to an image. Such maintained rights are essentially an automatic perpetual license for the photographer to use the images for his/her portfolio, website(s), gallery site(s), social media, marketing, but not for future sell, trade, or license of the photographs.
Here is a sample copyright transfer:
For good and valuable consideration received and paid in hand, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the Photograph Owner hereby agrees as follows:
1. All rights in perpetuity including the Copyright to the Photograph described in Exhibit “A” attached hereto (“Photographs”) are hereby transferred, conveyed, bargained, and assigned to the Purchaser, its owners, and assigns. The rights and Copyright of this Agreement refer only to the Photograph as shown in Exhibit “A”, and not to any similar, related, or derivative photographs or creative works that exist or may exist in the future.
2. The Photograph Owner warrants that he owns all rights and the Copyright to the Photograph and transfers them to the purchaser for the agreed upon amount. The Photograph Owner agrees to indemnify the Purchaser against any present and future claims by third parties, including the creator of the Photograph and any persons or properties whose likeness is depicted in the Photograph described herein.
3. The Photograph Owner represents and warrants that he is the creator of the Photograph and the sole owner thereof and that no other party has any right in and to the Photograph.
4. The Photograph Owner represents and warrants that the Photographs have not been published, sold, or otherwise permanently licensed to any other party, and that any known licenses of the Photograph, past or current, with their terms and have been made known to the Purchaser. The Purchases hereby agrees that any past or current temporary license fees for use of the Photograph are not owed to the Purchaser by the Photograph Owner or any past or current Licensee.
5. Upon completion of this transfer, The Purchaser (“CLIENT NAME”) hereby grants the Photograph Owner (“Zachary Hazelwood”), his heirs, or assigns the rights in perpetuity to use the Photograph for any past, present, or future, personal or commercial uses, including those related to representing a body of creative work, by any means or in any mediums that exist or may exist in the future. The Photograph Owner (“Zachary Hazelwood”), his heirs, or assigns do not maintain any rights to sell, trade, or license the Photograph.
Contract-for-hire work is when the photographer takes photos on behalf someone else (i.e., the client), who then maintains the rights to all images of the session. Essentially, the client is the employer of the photographer who owns all related work done. Such arrangements generally result in significantly higher fees, as the photographer is selling not only their time and services, but also their rights to any images. Exact terms of the session's scope and rights to the images must be agreed upon in writing prior to the session. As with copyright transfers, the photographer may make as a condition of the contract-for-hire work that he/she maintain certain restricted rights (usually non-profit) to use of the photographs.
Commercial usage of images
Commercial use of an image is the use of an image results in monetary gain or profit in terms of something else of value. In most cases, commercial use of an image is related to marketing or advertising purposes. For commercial use of event photos, there are more variables that effect the scope of work and pricing. For instance, consultation and adminsitrative work (e.g., obtaining permissions, commercial licensing) may incur additional fees.
Prior to any commercial event shoot, the client must sign a model release or obtain signatures from each person that will be the subject of the photography. Likewise, the client must sign a property release or obtain the signature from the property owner for photographing on the premises of the event. Any copyrighted materials (e.g., logos, distinguishable architecture, artwork, etc.) that may be subject of the photography may require signatures granting permission for commercial use of these copyrighted items or materials in the photographs. In such situations, the photographer will try his best to avoid capturing copyrighted materials in the images or to otherwise edit (e.g., crop, obscure) such copyrighted materials in the photographs.
Fees, Payment, and Puchases
Payment for sessions is due before or at the time of the photography session except in cases agreed upon and prearranged in writing with the photographer prior to the day of the session. Payment for image purchases, which includes but is not limited to prints or downloads, is due before the order and delivery of such products unless otherwise agreed upon and prearranged in writing with the photographer. Payment for commercial usage is due no later than the time of the signing of a license agreement, and certainly before the use of any images.
All sales of images are final, but I am very reasonable with keeping the customer satisfied. If there is a bad image or poor print, please let me know and we will do all possible to correct the problem. Occasionally, it may be the case that bad weather or an emergency necessitates the need to reschedule. In cases of unavoidable rescheduling, there are no additional fees. Unnecessary and/or repetitive rescheduling may result in cancelation fees, no refunds, and/or a deposit for future work. In cases where the client cancels a photography session, any location fees or other fees paid or owed to any third-party for that photography session are the responsibility of the client and any reimbursements due the photographer must be paid. In cases of refunds for services or products that include but are not limited to the session fees or print/download purchases, it is at the photographer's discretion whether or not to issue a refund and, if so, for how much to refund. Again, I am very reasonable when it comes to these things, so please talk with me if you anticipate any problems with payment or with any products or services that you have received.
Purchases made through the SmugMug site are subject to SmugMug's terms and conditions. Purchases made through the SquareSpace site are subject to SquareSpace's terms and condition. Purchases made through any third-party payment services (e.g., PayPal, Square) are subject to that service's terms and conditions.
Offensive and Explicit Photography
The photographer will not photograph in situations that may contain or strongly imply nudity, pornography, or sexually explicit scenes. The photographer will also not photograph anything that may contain strong/offensive language or any other situations that are offensive to his/her core morals and values or that may otherwise be offensive to the public at-large. Likewise, the photographer will not shoot in locations that he/she deems offensive. The photographer maintains the right to refuse any work or end any sessions that result in any of the aforementioned offensive content, locations, or situations. In such circumstances, it will be at the photographer's discretion whether or not any work already done will be completed or whether or not any paid will be refunded in part of full.
PHOTOGRAPH, PHOTO, IMAGE, PICTURE, or STILL are terms that may be used interchangeably below and elsewhere on this site to refer to the digital, print, or other manifestation of the still photograph. The terms PHOTOGRAPH may also refer to the act of creating an image through use of a device such as a camera.
PHOTOGRAPHED, CAPTURED, or TAKEN are terms that refer to the act of creating an image through use of a device such as a camera.
PHOTOGRAPHER is a term that may refer to any photographer associated with Zachary Hazelwood Photography that may have captured (i.e., taken) photos, edited photos, completed any administrative paperwork, or have any other associated with work done or have rights to the photographs. By extension, the term PHOTOGRAPHER refers to the owner of Zachary Hazelwood Photography. In most cases, these various roles are performed by the self-same person.
MODEL or SUBJECT are terms that refers to any human or other living beings that are captured and recognizable in a photograph. In legal terms, persons or other living beings in an image that are not clearly distinguishable (e.g., very distant, blurred, turned away, vignetted, obstructed) may not have the same rights or require the same permissions as someone more clearly recognizable or distinguishable in an image.
PROPERTY, LOCATION, PREMISES, or VENUE are terms generally used to refer to the place where photographs are taken.
EDIT, WORK, ALTERATION, MODIFICATION, or CHANGE are terms that generally refer to changes made to a photograph, especially in post-production (after the photoshoot or session). EDIT, WORK, ALTER, MODIFY, or CHANGE are terms that may be used to refer to the act of making changes to a photograph. Such changes may refer to various techniques and processes from broad, simple changes in color or tone to complex image compositing (e.g., stitching, overlaying) or object removal.