American Society of Media Photographers, a trade association for professional photographers, has converted its standard model and property release forms into a free downloadable app for iPhones and iPads. The app is available now through the iTunes store.
As ASMP explains on its Web site, the releases use standard release language, relevant to most still and motion projects that photographers might license. With the app, models (and parents or guardians of minors who are subjects of a photo), property owners and witnesses can sign the release using a finger or stylus on the touch screen. The signed releases indicate they have given consent to be photographed and given permission to the photographer to use the image. Each release includes fields which can be customized for entering information on the model or property.
With the camera on iPhones and iPads, you can take a photo of the subject or property to attach to the release. A PDF file of the signed release can then be sent via email to a client, stock agency or your own computer.
Standard model and property release language provides a level of protection if the subject files claims for defamation or invasion of privacy. Leslie Burns, a photography consultant who recently became a lawyer, recently noted in the PDN article “5 Things You Should Not Do Yourself” that there are exceptions. Burns advised that if you shoot erotica, nudes, “or kids in any way, shape or form,” consult a lawyer about your model releases “because there’s a greater risk of getting sued,” she said.