Hint to get more model releases from strangers of street photography

Hi everyone,

Thought I would share my hints with you about how I build up model releases for my photos , especially photos that I take on the street, beach or whereever of virtual strangers.

Let's take the beach for a perfect setting. If I plan a day at the beach, when packing my camera bag, I always include at least half a dozen Dreamstime model release forms, as I know that while I am there, I am going to snap off some wonderful photos of strangers enjoying the day, as much as we are.

So, how do I get the model releases.

I simply ask.

If I find a wonderful subject, or snap off a few unsuspecting photos that turn out to be quite wonderful, I just wander up to the person and explain that I am a photographer for Dreamstime and explain what a stock photography stock agency is and how that editors of magazines, newspapers, travel brochures etc are come to Dreamstime looking for images suitable for their needs.

I also have my own cards printed up, with our photography business name, our personal names, email and phone number.

After chatting for a few moments, I explain that I have snapped off a few wonderful photos of them while they were actively enjoying themselves and that I would love to be able to submit them to Dreamstime, however I cannot do so without a model release form.

I also, and this is important, tell them that I am more than happy to send them the images through email for them to keep at no charge.

The majority of time I have met with a very friendly response to my request and most people are more than willing to fill in the model release form for me.

It is surprising the amount of people that are aware of photography stock agencies and often the thought of them appearing in an advertisement or brochure really appeals to their dream of 15 minutes of fame!

On occasion I do meet with a no answer, but few and far between and obtaining the model releases from the people who are more than happy to do them, is worth the odd no , now and then.

So next time you decide to go for a country walk, a trip to the beach or even the city, don't forget to pack half a dozen model release forms into your bag and find that courage to just go and ask that person that you just got that amazing shot of, if they would be kind enough to fill out the release form. Show them their photo and also, dont forget to offer to send them a copy through email.

I am sure that like myself, you will be suprised by the good response you receive.

I am never without Dreamstime model releases in my bag, as you never know when you might just take THE photo, you know, that amazing one and if it happens to have a stranger in it and you don't have a model release form on hand, then you will never be able to share it with more than your own friends and family.

It has worked for me and I will continue to carry the model release forms in my camera bag as an absolute necessary part of my whole camera kit, especially when going out with the objective of getting some wonderful stock photos.

Hope this post gives you the courage to go up to that stranger, the one you just caught the most amazing image of, and ask if they would be kind enough to fill one out for you!

After you have done this a few times, you will find that it gets easier and you will become less and less shy about approaching a person about it. Most people actually like the idea that their photo may end up in a magazine or advertisement or brochure. But, very importantly, never forget to offer and carry through and email them copies of the images you snapped off of them.

Photo credits: Lifeontheside.

Your article must be written in English

May 29, 2017


Great article!

December 07, 2015


Thank you so much

October 03, 2014


You're absolutely right Lifeontheside...and to think that normally I am pretty outgoing!

September 30, 2014


Charlottep68 you will find that you will be nervous the first few times, but after that you will find that it comes really easy and you just stroll up. Just remember to let them know that you are a stock photographer at the beginning of the conversation and explain that a little. Remember, the worse thing that can happen is that they say no. Not a big deal. The more you try and ask, the more your nerves will disappear.

September 30, 2014


Great idea. I have taken some release forms with me when on an outing as well, but find that I get so nervous that I won't even take a picture! I am working on it though and will get there.

September 29, 2014


The opportunity is for the person who had prepared ❤

September 28, 2014


would giving them away to the model/parents be against the rules of having your pictures out there where others can use them for free? For instance what if the model puts them up on a webpage and allows others to use it without your knowledge. Do you have a clause in there for that? Just asking in case I take pics of people

September 28, 2014


Very nice article and helpful, thank you. I will try that :)

September 12, 2014



September 10, 2014


great idea, i should really do this when i attend events as well

September 03, 2014


Education Academy could just be the best studying center for web developing lessons

September 01, 2014


This is a great article. The more I do it, the easier it gets, but it's still hard. I have to push past the fear, because I am more and more surprised at what a positive response I get!

September 01, 2014


Half a dozen of MR forms are not enough...
You need to carry a pen as well!! :)

Nice article.

August 31, 2014


Yeah, think positive :-)

Related image searches
Street related image searches