In the everchanging face of our business, one of the aspects that changes only in one direction is the legal aspect. It becomes ever more complex, in no short part due to the fact that more people are more aware of their rights, and more protective of their work, on either side of the camera. Rampant fraud and misappropriation are likely not going away anytime soon, and it’s in your best interest to have even the most modest legal awareness, and documentation to protect yourself and your work.
This sort of thing doesn’t need to be complicated, and the same technology that enables and encourages the aforementioned fraud and lack of appropriation, can make it a little easier to deal with it – Shake is an app for iOS and Android that can generate legally binding agreements on the spot. Recently, they’ve added templates for photographers for image and model releases, and if you have a smartphone, which you do, then I would recommend having a good look at it.
Within the image release, it grants full rights to the photographer to use and edit the model’s image, full rights to sell that image, and the model’s release of the photographer for any claims in connection with the use of the image. It covers what the vast majority of people will likely ever need, and even if it’s not as complete as you may like, short of having an attorney on retainer, this is a pretty good option