A model release form or agreement is of the things you can expect to sign repeatedly after you become a model and begin accepting professional, paid, assignments.
This piece of paper contains a lot of legal information, and it is important that you understand exactly what it says before you sign on the dotted line.
Never sign the paperwork without reading or understanding what you are signing. The main part of any modeling release or agreement is the fact that you give the right to the photographer, magazine or whoever is sponsoring the photo shoot to take pictures of you.
Generally this will also include the fact that they have the right to use these photos in their magazine, publications, portfolios, etc. This will protect the sponsor of the shoot from future lawsuits or problems with models who claim their photos are being used without permission.
What rights you have to the photographs being taken are also often included in the release form or agreement. Most agreements will give you the rights to use photographs in your portfolio. A few will give you rights to redistribute the photographs in anyway you wish but this is rare in professional photo shoots.
Since the model is being paid up front for the shoot many photographers and magazines will retain full rights to the photographs. Read this section carefully since it will often let you know if the photographer, magazine, or even web site can redistribute the photographs later to be used in ways other than your agreement is covering. The compensation for the photo shoot or runway show is the final thing you should pay attention to when reviewing and signing the form.
It should state specifically what you are being paid for the job. Generally you can find this around the same area as where your rights to the photos are listed.
Of course if no compensation is included on the form, ask the photographer or shoot director about it and try to get it included. This will help guarantee that you are being paid for your time especially if payment is supposed to be mailed at a later date.
Don't ever sign a model release form or agreement that you are unsure about or lack certain stipulations that you were promised when you agreed to do the shoot. Most legitimate photographers will not mind being questions and will patiently set your mind at ease.
Author: Tanna Mayer
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