When is a photographer required to get a photo release? Reply

If a photographer will be publishing a photograph which contains a recognizable image of a person, a photo release is often required.  Yes, there is a large exception to this rule if a photograph of a person’s image is being published for newsworthy purposes; however, what qualifies as newsworthy is a gray area and can vary state to state.  Using your photographs for commercial purposes increases the likelihood that a photo release will be required.  Save yourself from a headache down the road by having people that you are photographing sign a photo release at the time you take their picture.  Believe me, tracking people down after the fact, can be difficult.

A few other things to remember about photo releases:

  • Children or other people that do not have the ability to sign contracts for themselves will have to be signed for by their guardian.
  • Occasionally a ‘location’ and/or ‘materials’ release may also be required if your photo includes a famous building, like Yankee Stadium or artwork.
  • Photo releases apply to both still photography and film.


See also:  http://wp.me/p10nNq-i9– for more information on using PHOTOS TAKEN BY OTHERS; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.

BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.



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