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FAQ about Model Release

Q1: What is Model Release?
A1: Model Release is a legal binding document indicating that you have consent from the people (model) shot in your photo. They are aware of being photographed and grant you permission to use their portrait or likeness in a commercial context (e.g. advertisement).

Q2: Why do we request Model Release?
A2: Some jurisdictions provide legal protection against a person’s image, likeness or property being used for commercial purposes when they have not provided permission. Therefore buyers, especially those representing business, are very cautious about the images with portrait they intend to use in commercials / advertisements. This results in an increased value of the images with proper release clearance.

Q3: What if I don’t know the model(s) or if I am unable to get their consent?
A3: Don’t panic. Your photo is still sellable in Fotor Market under the Fotor Editorial License. No model release is required for publication as news (“Editorial Use”) of a photo taken of an identifiable person when the person is in a public space. But since there are many constraints in usage of these photos, they have limited value for business buyers other than news agencies.

Q4: Who will buy my photo?
A4: As a comprehensive photo solution platform, Fotor has a large user base. Fotor users consist of both photographers and photo buyers. Independent designers, advertising companies, art institutions, small and middle sized enterprises, news agencies, online merchants, websites and mobile app developers, these are all potential buyers of your photo. Their use of your photo shall be in compliance with the License Agreement published on Fotor’s website. For avoidance of doubt, none of the Fotor License Agreements has exclusive terms, which means you still keep the ownership of the copyright and can sell your photo’s license to elsewhere, unless an additional exclusive agreement is reached between you and Fotor.

Q5: What if the faces in my photo are not identifiable?
A5: If the faces on your photo are not identifiable by the general public, Fotor does not require a model release. Keep in mind, some world-leading stock photo providers may apply more stringent standard on this issue. If you are willing to sell photos through their global networks via Fotor, you may be requested to provide a model release at a later time.

Q6: Can I ask all the models to sign only one document if this is a collective photo?
A6: Yes, you can. After signature, take another collective photo of them together with the signed model release.

Q7: Do I need to sign another agreement to sell my photo under the Editorial License if I fail to get the model release?
A7: No, you don’t have to if you already checked the option of granting Fotor the right to sell your photo when you uploaded it to Fotor. Please see Fotor’s Terms of Services for more information about the permission that you gave Fotor.

Q8: Do I need to provide model release(s) if my work is street / travel photography?
A8: In most countries, you can take photos of people in public space, in condition that the subject does not explicitly object being shot, that you do it with respect and that you do not violate any laws. Respect in this case means that a photo taken does not undermine dignity and / or private life of a person in question. The real issue to consider is whether the photo will be used for commercial purposes after it is taken.

If you wish to sell your photo under a commercial license, the model release is required from the persons whose faces are recognizable. Considering the difficulty in practice when photographers are travelling or doing street photography, alternative means can be applied, such as using a pocket release form or model release apps. It’s much easier to get a model release immediately before or after photographing a subject than it is to try to track down a stranger for a waiver after the fact.

Q9: The child in the photo is myself of 30 years ago. Is this photo sellable? Do I need to provide a model release?
A9: The old photo also has its commercial value but you must ensure that you are now the copyright owner of this photo or the legal heir of the rights. If you wish to sell the photo under a commercial license, the model release is required. Generally, a model release for a photo shooting a child shall be signed by the child’s legal guardian (usually parents) but not the child himself / herself. In your special case, you can use either the Minor’s Model Release template or a standard model release template, but sign it by yourself (adult now).

Q10: People in the photo are not professional models but my friends. So I don’t think I need to provide a model release to Fotor?
A10: Unfortunately, if you wish to sell your photo under a commercial license, you have to provide a model release for each of the recognizable persons on your photo, with no exception even if it’s yourself, your families, friends, or strangers in the street. It’s an extreme case but it occasionally happens: if the person you shot on your photo passed away, you shall get the release or consent from his / her family (legal heirs). If the subject on your photo is a child, a Minor’s Model Release is required and it shall be signed by the child’s legal guardian (usually parents) but not the child himself / herself.

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