New release templates

We are launching new and improved versions of our branded model and property release forms. The updating process is necessary, because the now outdated documents did make clear all the information we legally require from the signing parties on the present day.

It has been several years since the last update and we felt we must address the increased legal needs and that we could present the information more comprehensively and logically, plus throw in a few bonus features.

Please let me walk you through the new designs

The first thing you will notice is the new look - two column layout for better presentation and, more practically, more space efficient. You have much more writing room than on the previous release forms.

The legal text is left the same, but we have added several fields new to Dreamstime, and convenient tips for filling them in.

You can now fill in the form digitally - in the free Acrobat Reader. All textual info can be entered via keyboard and the cursor moved to the next field with the Tab-key. If you highlight the fields, you can also easily spot the required fields - those are surrounded by a red border (and marked with an asterix for printed out forms). Pausing the cursor over a form field will briefly display a handy tooltip.

Let me point out the important changes one by one:

1) The most obvious is the visual reference area. This is not required, but for the convenience of those who work with many models. All contributors are encouraged, however, to paste in an image of the model for your own reference at least. TIP: In Acrobat Reader you can copy the image from say, Photoshop, and paste it onto the form directly. You can then resize it from the corner handles and drag it to the right area. Be sure to save - the image will be embedded within the document.

2) The same goes for Gender and Race selection. These are not required, but I see no point in avoiding them. This will help you and us to verify the integrity of this data on the release vs the data entered into the MR library. If you check a box, it cannot be unchecked again and only one box in the group can be selected. This check will be done automatically and intuitively - if you misfire, just click into the correct box once again. The boxes are initially left unchecked for those of you who must print the release first and fill in the form by hand (on assignment or a trip for example).

NB! While you can fill in all the textual data in Acrobat Reader, you must still print the filled document out to collect signatures. ALL SIGNATURES MUST BE HANDWRITTEN and authentic.

It is not allowed to paste in a scanned signature from another source. This will be noticed 100% by the image reviewers and the release is rejected. The digital form fields have been provided only for your convenience to fill in some data before or during the shoot (and for avoiding bad handwriting). We encourage to use this feature, but we still need authentic signatures, with no exceptions! The signatures must be written on the very same paper that you print out and then photograph or scan in again. In some innovative countries there are official means for digital signing, but documents signed in this way are not credible in the US. We will let you know if and when this happens.

3) The form field labels have been moved under the field baseline to save space and allow for longer instructions. Please note the following changes:

Model's Full Name - this seems obvious, still we do receive a lot of first OR last names only in this field. But we are legally required to have the full name, including middle names if they exist.

Model's Date of Birth - this has become a required field. We have prepared convenient slots for you to enter the numbers. Please note that the FORMAT for the date should be as exampled below the field (the US format - MM DD YYYY - month, date, followed by four digit year).

Model's Street Address - due to much confusion about the correct and universally comprehensible address format, we have broken it up into four distinct fields. The "Street Address" is for the street name and house / flat number only. Postal/ZIP code is not required, but if applicable, should be filled in (especially in case of the US addresses, since there is no separate field for the state code). If the model lives outside of modern infrastructure, then the city field can be used for a county name or another administrative region used by the postal service. All the address fields must combine into such an address which is reachable by the postal service internationally.

Once again, please do not write the city and country in the street address field and leave their designated fields empty!

Model's phone with an international country code - this is a required field as always, but we have stressed the need for an international prefix here. The + sign is already inserted, it must be followed by country code (ie. 372 for Estonia, 1 for US, 44 for UK - see the complete list), followed by regional code (if exists), followed by local number. Do not use spaces between blocks of numbers!

Model's E-mail Address - is not required, but is greatly appreciated, since it is the most convenient and efficient way of communication (but it also changes the most often).

Date - as all legal documents and contracts should have a date of signing, this is it. Enter the date on which this document was signed. It is not a required field, but helpful for your own track keeping.

Photographer's and Witness' Full Names - should be treated the same way as the model's full name requirement. Note that the witness must be a third person, witnessing the act of signing this release, the witness, therefore, cannot be the photographer nor the model.

DON'T FORGET TO SAVE THE DOCUMENT! if you need that data later. If you print out the release right away, then you can close and discard the changes and start again from a blank form next time.

Because the release has to be printed out and signed by hand, there is no submit button on the form and the required fields cannot be enforced upon saving. It is the responsibility of the contributor to ensure all required fields have been filled. We have done everything on our part to make those fields stand out.

There is no point in archiving the PDFs since they do not contain signatures, but if you wish to do so, it is possible to save the document with the entered data.

The international forms will be available shortly hereafter. We will notify of this via the news section on the homepage.

Remember that that although our model and property releases are available in several languages, all fields must be field with roman letters only.

Signing model release

Photo credits: Razvanjp.
Kutt Niinepuu
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  • Demonike
  • Peetri Alev, Estonia
I am a graphic designer, webmaster, photographer. Live in Estonia. 3 kids. Mac-person. Nikon-person.
Initially gave my images for free back in 2003. Then discovered that some people would actually be willing to pay for my random photo experiments. Found Dreamstime, had lots to say in the forums and Serban invited me into their family :)
• I am totally self taught. Through trial and error. Mostly latter :)
• What makes an ideal microstock photo? I think it is broad usability. Solely.
• I have studio experience, but am not so active lately. Mostly shoot events, family, objects. I like to use my Nikon Speedlights (900 and 800) off the camera wirelessly. Could use even more units for interesting light effects and colors (different gel filters).
• My photographic mantra: get an idea, try it out, improve. I would call this Japanese-style, I guess :P
• My favorite photography subjects - non-moving objects, architecture.
• The most important characteristic / skill needed to become a successful microstock photographer is persistence and objectivity in my opinion. Suppress your ego.
• One piece of advice for newcomers - the beginning is always slow and painful. Do not give up and do not take anything personally. Strangers looking at your images (reviewers) do not know you at all and are utterly objective - they express their first impression of your image while only comparing it to the other ones they have seen. This is usually how the browsing buyer will see your image.
• The microstock industry has changed a lot since I began as a microstock photographer. A lot of stuff seems to be available for free nowadays, but always check the source and usage terms. Many people think that the biggest free image bank in the world is Google - it could turn out to be the most expensive one, so be careful. Everyone seems to be a photographer - some are quite talented first off, others have to work their way up. Photography in general has become immensely more accessible. Veterans struggle to keep their edge.
• Being a microstock photographer has taught me not to overlook details in an image. They are often the deal makers or breakers. The more you work on details in your images (given the whole concept is salable) the more rewarding it will be in the long run.

Your comment must be written in English.

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I have many signed generic Model release forms (that used to be acceptable everywhere) that I used for years and they


Hi Fleurdly, you can upload it while you are submitting an image or visit the PR Library section within your account admin area. When you have uploaded a MR or PR, it will be added to the respective library, so you can easily select and attach the same releases to other images you are going to upload. Use one Model Release per model (within the age group) and one release for a property. Doing this will ensure proper grouping of the submitted images in our database.


First time doing this and I have a generic signed property release for my images. How do I attach it to the image so that it says I have a release.


A release has to be signed whenever there is a recognizable person in the image - even if it is yourself. To the agency and to the buyers your connection to the models is irrelevant. To make it really black and white, we require model releases for every model. If you are the parent of your model, you can fill out the photographer's and parent's data, but you are still required to have a third person witnessing. The witness can neither be the photographer nor the undersigning parent. It can be however, the other parent to the minor.


Do I need to sign a release if the pictures are my children?


The rule is simple - if a person in the royalty free stock image is recognizable, the image needs his signed MR attached. Otherwise the image could classify as an Editorial image, but it has to have some news value as well as a ver good and complete description of the scene. Also as it is a niche market, choose your images well and submit up to 5 of the best ones.


If you shoot parades or rodeo's do you have to get model release for everyone that is visible.??? As I shoot a lot of rodeo's, barrel racing and parades in my travels.

I am new to selling to stock agencies. And any help will be greatly appreciated.!!!

Thank you
Robert Freddie: Lain


so after the model (me, as i act very often as a photographer and a model for my images) so after i print and sighn this form and make a photo of it ...where should i send the file? thank you.


Yes, the version number of the app must be visible in every digital MR.


Hi, I see in 2012 you say "Easy Release" is being accepted, is that still the case? Thanks :)


Axel78 - model picture is not required, but for shots including nudity you have to scan or take a photo of the models ID, where their name and birth date can be confirmed. This document must be put on the release form at the time of uploading the release. They cannot be associated later on.

Bobbrooky - in such situations as you describe here, try to put yourself at the other end of your camera. If you're in a public event, maybe even one of the participants, you can expect the press to take photos of you and your doings. However press rights cohere with our Editorial rights. This means that the press can use these images of you to illustrate the article they write about the event, or reference the images later on with similar events. They cannot, however, put the photos of you on a billboard, poster, product or service advertisement, use your face in a derivative work of art, etc. All these things can be done within the legal bounds of the royalty free licence. Here you can understand why it is necessary for the model to agree upon these case uses, to agree that their recognizable faces can be presented out of context, anywhere and possibly make money out of it.
So the short answer is that if you cannot get the model release signed, i.e in a public event, then you cannot sell the images under the RF licence. Nothing to do about it. Even if you can get the MR signed, you have to make sure there are NO OTHER recognizable people in the image (sometimes a person can recognize himself in the picture without seeing the face), plus that there are no logos, brands, badges, serial- and licence plate numbers visible.



Can i upload a Model Release form without model picture and after send a copy in pdf of his ID ?


Today I took some excellent shots of an agricultural show here in the UK. The latest tractors showed off their capabilities, which was impressive. The images I took at the show make the tractor drivers, recognisable.
Now I have steered clear of taking images that need model releases in the past because I know what I would say, to some unknown person to me, who was asking my full name, date of birth, tel no, address, ethnic origin etc etc, the first word would begin with F and the second word would be off! I understand the logic of this in using a hired model in a studio situation for a certain shoot, but in all honesty, to approach an unknown and expect them to divulge this information and then sign a piece of paper for someone with a camera around their neck, would be foolish (regarding their identity) and (here in the UK anyway) extremely rude. Not knowing which company or individual may view these details, or how they could be used, by say a fraudster, makes me as an individual, very uneasy.
What I am really trying to say is, is this just a British thing? or would people from other countries be .more compliant with such requests, I am sure we have all seen the data leaks from some of the worlds most reputable companies.
If this is not just a British thing, then surely there must be an alternative (other than editorial) for the industry to use?


Only the parent or guardian can sign the MR for a minor. The fields are clearly marked, which data is required and where...Mostly it implies that the parent fills it in on behalf of the underage model and provides the models name to identify. Download our official MR template for clarity from the Resources > Utilities section on our homepage


In whose name and who signs a model release for an underage child??


After you have printed and signed it, you can then upload it to your MR library together with any other model release forms you might have. You then *attach* this uploaded MR to the relevant submissions upon uploading those images. You can re-use the MRs in your model release library for any future submissions.


Apologize as I am new to this. I am the model and photographer do I still need to fill it in ? I have filled it in and saved it. When I print it off and sign it, where do I send it ?


If you understand the real necessity for a model release (it is not for dreamstime that you must sign it), then you would sign a new release for every session. But our system here works in a way that you only need to upload one MR per model, until the model has aged to a new age group. Then you should upload an updated MR. This way the system can relate and offer "more images with this model" beside the image thumbnail.
You can use your own release, but make sure all the legal requirements are met, the easiest is to take Dreamstimes form as a basis for which info is needed. All fields in our MR are required, so if no legal street address, then the MR is no good. The same goes for the phone number. The model must be available for contact in case of a legal proceeding, etc.


Do I need for every session a new contract on that particular date or is one signed form enough for all passed and future sessions? Or just passed sessions? Please let me know. Thank you!


Hello, I have my own model release forms, can I use them, or do I need to use yours and have them re-signed? Also if a model gave me only her Po box number and not street& number is this still okay? Thank you!