Modeling Agreements to Define and Protect Your Legal Rights

Models and photographers work hard, and a well-defined modeling agreement protects both people. Whether you are a model or photographer, you want to be sure the agreement carefully defines what is included and not included, any fees, royalties and permitted use of the images.

Many disputes between models, photographers and the purchasers of images could be avoided by using experienced copyright lawyers to carefully draft your modeling agreement.

Rights of the Model in a Modeling Agreement

As the subject of the photographs, the model has rights and expectations. When we create or review an agreement, we focus on a range of questions, including:

Release from the Model

  • What are the terms of the release?
  • What are the associated fees?
  • Can the photographs be used for any purpose, including advertising, product packaging, merchandising, stock photos and other uses?
  • Does the model retain any rights, and if yes, what rights?

Logistics of the Photo Shoot

  • Where will the shoot be held? If on location, are travel expenses paid for, including airfare, hotel, food and other expenses?
  • What happens if weather or other events cause a delay or cancellation of the shoot?
  • Who will supply equipment, backdrops, insurance, support staff and other needs for the shoot?

Fees Earned for the Photo Shoot

  • How much will the model be paid for the shoot?
  • When will fees be paid to the model?
  • Will royalties be paid on the usage?

Quantity and Usage of Photos from the Photo Shoot

  • How many photos will be taken?
  • How many wardrobe changes will be required?
  • Will all rights to the images remain with the photographer?
  • If the model receives any rights to use the images, how are they restricted (usage, duration, otherwise)?

Other Considerations

  • Will the images be used commercially?
  • Will the images be used on the web, shown in print, shown on television, used on merchandise, advertisements, brochures, etc.?
  • Can the model use them as part of their portfolio?
  • Can the model post the image on social media or websites?

Considerations for the Photographer

  • Can the photographer use the image as he/she sees fit, or are there restrictions?
  • Can the photographer use the images for merchandise?
  • If the photograph is of a celebrity, for example, can the photographer use the image for any purpose, limited purposes or for no purpose at all?

Why is the Model Release So Important?

As you can see by the discussion above, there are no absolutes in this industry. The terms of the model release need to be carefully negotiated between the parties, including circulation, distribution, usage, duration of licenses and more.

Too many agreements are very short and have no detail, leaving the parties to their own interpretation as to their rights. This is not in anyone’s interest. The better defined the agreement, the better you are protected, the more easily you will be paid, and the more likely you will be able to have a successful project.

Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC Today

If you would like us to assist you with your model Release, call (800) 778-1660 to speak with the copyright lawyers at Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC today. We have the experience to help you with your project, and look forward to discussing your needs.