Sometimes photographers and filmmakers/videographers will shoot in a public area where people in the background may be captured on camera. It isn’t feasible to get every single person who enters that area to sign a photo release form. So, most photographers and filmmakers/videographers either post at all entrances a “Crowd Notice Photo Release” or a statement of release could be stated on the entrance ticket to an event or other documentation, like a pamphlet.

In previous articles, we’ve discussed Model Release Forms, when you need them and why you need them. We also provided you with a model release template. You can find it in our Photographer’s Resources, under Contracts and Forms.

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When participants signed up for this marathon, they signed a crowd photo release form along with their release of liability.

What is a Crowd Release Form?

A crowd release form is a notice that is printed and posted at a location or venue to notify the crowd that filming and photography is happening.

The form generally allows photographers to use pictures of crowds in public places. Unlike individual release forms that need consent from each person photographed, a crowd release form applies to a group of people as a whole, which is useful for events where getting individual consent is not feasible.

When Do You Need a Crowd Photo Release Form?

Whenever you are in a public area where you are shooting with the intent of commercial use, for the purposes of trade or advertising, and there are people in the background that may be recognizable, you should post Crowd Release Notice Forms. In public areas, everyone gives up their “reasonable right to privacy,” but if you use a person’s likeness for the purposes of selling a product, you are infringing on their rights and could be held liable. It’s good practice to post the notices at all entrances and take photos of those posted notices at each entrance.

Here are some examples of scenarios in which posing a crowd photo release form is advisable:

  • Public events and festivals
  • Concerts and performances
  • Parades and demonstrations
  • Sports events
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A crowd photo release form was unnecessary here because the people in this photo are unrecognizable and the photo is not intended for commercial use.

Why Do You Need a Crowd Photo Release Form?

Posting a Crowd Photo Release notice can help you protect yourself and your business. It also makes it easier to sell the rights to your images/video.

Components of a Crowd Release Form

An effective crowd release form should include the following elements:

  • Title and Date of the Event
  • Statement of Consent
  • Usage Details – Explain how the images will be used

Free Crowd Photo Release Form

The following is a sample Crowd Photo Release Form. It’s always a good idea to consult a lawyer for verbiage and information that is specific to you.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT BY ENTERING THIS AREA, YOU CONSENT TO YOUR VOICE, NAME, AND/OR LIKENESS BEING USED, WITHOUT COMPENSATION, IN FILMS AND TAPES FOR EXPLOITATION IN ANY AND ALL MEDIA, WHETHER NOW KNOWN OR HEREAFTER DEVISED, FOR ETERNITY, AND YOU RELEASE [insert company name] , ITS SUCCESSORS, ASSIGNS AND LICENSEES FROM ANY LIABILITY WHATSOEVER OF ANY NATURE.

DO NOT ENTER THIS AREA IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO BE SUBJECT TO THE FOREGOING.

Free Crowd Photo Release Form Template

You can download a free Crowd Photo Release Form Template here: CROWD PHOTO RELEASE FORM

Disclaimer

The following free crowd photo release form has not been reviewed by a lawyer. It is provided for free to the community and is intended to be a guideline rather than a comprehensive, complete contract. Furthermore, many of the provisions may not be applicable depending on the type of studio you operate and the location in which you operate. It may also be missing provisions applicable to your type and location of photography. SLR Lounge is not responsible for any damages, lawsuits, or disputes that may arise from the use of this crowd release form template.

For more tools you can use for your business, here is our Photography Contract Template and our Model Release Form.