Conceptually Black tips What is and isn’t a model release

What is and isn’t a model release


I read online forums where people often ask questions about model releases, misinformation and confusion is usually shared at this point. This post should help clear up some of the common misconceptions.
First, let’s figure out what what a model release is.

First let’s figure out what a model release is. It is basically a contract between 2 parties, one taking the photograph and one posing in the photograph, nothing sinister. The model release grants the photographer consent for use of the model’s likeness for commercial use and/or publication. That is the base definition of what a model release is.

A model release does not detail what usage is granted to the model, that is referred to as a usage license. Do not confuse the two.

A model release does not grant copyright to the photographer, that is automatic upon creation(shutter click)

A model release is not something a model provides the photographer, those are referred to as a “photographer release” and are myths.

I hope this helps clear some things up and I’m sure I’ll be editing this to dispel more misinformation.


this isn’t to be considered legal advice, merely guidance. Contact a lawyer for legal advice.

This fun image by Conceptually Black was done in Columbus, Ohio.

model in bunny suit wearing a strap on.

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