Now that’s a Top Model Release!!!

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: June 12, 2012

Category: General

Hey Folks,

Today I want to talk about a couple of things and both of them are linked:

  1. A lesson I learned
  2. A ‘Must’ for every Photographer

Today  we’re talking Model Releases…

Now I’m guessing some folks reading this will be thinking they don’t need to concern themselves about Model Releases, and well, if you keep all your photos to yourself and never show or publish them anywhere then yeah you’d be right. However, if you post pictures online or indeed anywhere that means someone else’s eyes other than your own will see them you might want to think again.

So why is that? Well there’s a whole host of reasons why you should use Model Releases but a wake up call for me was a few years back when I first started getting serious about shooting. You see I took a shot of a colleague, nothing overly special, just a shot of him outside smoking a cigarette, shared it online and thought nothing more of it until just over 1 year later. I had an email from a Health & Fitness company in the US wanting to buy a licence for the image and asking to use it in an Anti Smoking Campaign they were running; all they asked for to proceed was a Model Release signed by the talent/model.

Sounds great right? Well, it would have been had I got a signed model release at the time of the shoot before losing contact with the model; so…no deal 🙁

Top Model Release App
You never know, way down the line, who may see your images. So having established that using model releases is a wise thing to do, the next thing is knowing which to use. Now I’ve tried a number of different model release apps for my iPhone / iPad and there’s some great ones out there but there was always something I wasn’t 100% happy with…until I started using the Top Model Release App.

Now ordinarily I’d write quite a bit for a review of something I was using but I’m kind of stumped for what to say. I mean, what more can I add to…it looks great, it’s easy to use, has everything I want, does everything I want and comes at a great price? I guess I could mention that it’s only for the iPhone at the moment with a native iPad version is due to be released in the near future but to be honest I’m using it on my new iPad by pressing the x2 button so it fills the screen, and it still looks great.

So I’ll keep it brief and say that  if you’re using model releases (and I hope you are) and you have an iPhone and/or iPad then definitely check out the Top Model Release App because you never know when you may get that email 🙂

Catch you tomorrow,

Glyn 🙂

•Top Model Release App on iTunes [Link]
•Price £2.99

•     •     •

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  1. Andrew Dobell

    Totally agree with you about getting model releases Glyn. I’ve fallen fowl of not having a release a couple of times.

    Might be worth mentioning that you can still show your work online without a release, you don’t need one to display your work, you just need one for any images are sold, otherwise the model has a right to take legal action and recover compensation.

    But display is fine as the model posed willingly for the photo, and they have no rights (as long as you’re not showing them in a derogatory light) to ask you to remove it from a website or portfolio etc.

    I’ve got an Android phone and I use Quick Release on there, it’s a cool little app!

  2. Glyn

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting mate. Re model releases yeah I used Quick Release too for a while and it works just fine; the change from there was more for an aesthetic reason cos it does most everything i need.

    What you say about being ok to show images is something I know a few people have fallen foul of where they’ve posted images to their blog only to have the model cause grief wanting them removed as that hadn’t been discussed.

    I guess ‘rights’ say otherwise in these cases but then it starts getting messy. Me…typical virgo…cover all the bases…get them to sign one which covers that too 🙂 lol


  3. Jonathan Thompson

    Great advice, glad you posted about this. Will try the Android app until I get Appled up on all devices. Thanks to Andrew for sharing this too.

    Cheers, JT

  4. Morgana Creely

    Model releases are defjinitely important. I use one for every shoot regardless of who l’m shooting – no exceptions. 🙂

  5. Marco

    I wish I had know of this earlier. One of the first (and most expensive) things we did when starting Royalty Free Models is create a great model-release to insure all our models are royalty free (for the job described in the contract). I’m curious: Would booking a model *with royalties included* make a big difference for you as a photographer?

  6. Andrew Dobell

    I agree with you there Glyn. I don’t like causing grief, so when, as a for instance, a girl who modeled for my Boudoir site when I first started it came back to me years later and asked for her images to be removed from the site, event though she had modelled specifically for the purpose of use online, and I had every right to keep the images online, I did remove them because I felt it was the right thing to do. I’d probebly still do that ‘with’ a model release, it would depend on the situation, the image in question and the model and their attitude, but I do dislike confrontation so…

    At the end of the day, it’s just good business practice to get them to sign a release, and whenever I have got them to do that, the model has always been very respectful and never asked me to remove an image.
    It’s just the professional thing to do.

  7. Big Ash

    I’m still trying to get my head round the legalities of shooting people and places. So, a while back I downloaded some PDF model, minor and property releases, then realised it would mean printing them off and remembering to carry them to all shoots.

    After some online searching I found a link for Joey L’s Release Me App ( It seems to cover all the bases, allows you to edit the default release, add photo, add photographers info, it can also be signed using your finger.

    The only issue I have with the App is that to use it on both the iPad and the iPhone you either need to x2 it on the iPad or buy a separate iPad version

  8. Paul Keppel

    wow what a great app. So easy having it on your phone and not carrying around pieces of paper which can get damaged or wet.

  9. Daniela

    You might want to mention that it comes in 13 languages! So even us Germans can use it! Trying it right now and already love it!

  10. Dan Davies

    I’m a firm believer that when you start to hear the same message from a number of sources at he same time that you’d be a fool not to listen. Glyn’s recommendation alongside that of Catherine Hall’s was enough to get me splashing the (huge sum of) cash on the app. Looks really useful and can’t wait for the iPad version – should look even better?

  11. Big Ash

    As it was only £2.99, thought I’d check it out…gotta say, I was very impressed. Very clean and intuitive interface, and the PDF it produces looks really good.

    Thanks for the heads up Glyn, also, thanks Andrew for the info about showing work online without a release.

    • Glyn

      Cheers Ash 😉

  12. Dave G

    I just checked it out. Priced at £5.99 and not £2.99 as originally stated. Very expensive for an App! There are some excellent Apps out there that only cost 69p. What does this say about the developer?

  13. Big Ash

    @Dave G It probably says that the developer has spent a lot of time developing the App, and has done there best to make sure that it looks good and functions effectively. They therefore feel that the price reflects all of the above.

    The App was originally £2.99, however it did state that this was an initial offer price.

    At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and in my experience, if you buy cheap you buy twice.

  14. Matthew Smith

    Good lessons here about model releases and nice app recommendations as well. Thank you!

  15. Catherine Hall

    What a great post – Thank you for sharing your story and Top Model Release with your followers. A lot of great commenters in the thread too.

    Glyn -I agree with your comment on June 13th. Yes, you absolutely need a model release if you are showing your images online and are using them in your portfolio to market your service/product as a photographer. Classic case of commercial use.

    Dan – Yes, the iPad version is going to be SICK :)!!

    Paul, Big Ash and Daniela – thanks for your positive words and support!

    Big Ash – LOVE your response to Dave G. Couldn’t have said it better myself 😉 Thank you.


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