What is a Photographers’ Release?

A release gives the photographer permission to use any image of you he produces.  A contract is a binding agreement between you and the photographer to provide a service and expect compensation

The standard release allows the photographer unlimited rights’ to use any image the photographer takes of you in any way they pleases.  A dual release also gives you the right to use those same pictures for promotional use only.  

Unless otherwise stated in the release, the photographer owns the copyright to those images. This means that although you have rights to show them, you cannot sell or otherwise distribute those images.  Sometimes, you’ll sign a release, which gives both of you only the right to use the pictures for promotional use. This means the photographer cannot sell those images without having you sign a different release.

Always try to get a copy of the release beforehand and see exactly you’re signing.  Make sure you read the release before you sign it, too.  Also make sure that your modeling limits are clearly stated in the release. This will prevent images of you that are more explicit than intended being shown.  Also, make sure you are paid before you sign a release if it is a paid shoot.  If you do not sign, the photographer cannot legally use the images from that shoot.