One way to shoot people without needing a model release form

I just want to share in this blog one way to shoot people oriented stock photo without needing a model release form. For those who are new to stock photography, any photo with recognizable persons in it must have an accompanying model release form or else it can be sold only for editorial use.

I have two photos taken last week at farmer market have been accepted by Dreamstime and most other microstock sites as Royalty Free image without needing to fill in a model release form.

What I did is to exclude the person's face from the image, and just focus on the activities or action of the person.

Your article must be written in English

August 13, 2009


Good idea!

June 30, 2009


But sometimes they reject, each reviewer/site has own acceptance level and some are just overprotecting.

June 29, 2009


Really good tip!

June 26, 2009


This should not be considered true in all cases. It is still prudent to look at each photo you take and decide if a release is needed. The key is not whether you can see the individual's face but rather if they are recognizable. For example, if you shoot someone's hands and they have a unique birthmark or feature that they could later claim makes them identifiable, ie. the hands in the photo are theirs and no one else then a release is needed. The same principle applies to property releases.

And for the record a model release has nothing to do with whether the model is paid or not.

June 26, 2009


well, actually, you are all wrong. For to take a picture of someone in public for commercial use (exception is newspapers - i.e. in the public interest) you are impinging their article 5 rights to Privacy upon which they can attatch a claim for negligence. Models receive payment for hand work; why should this person not as iullustrated in the above pic?

June 25, 2009


sure, sometimes it works, but for me sometimes not. I had reviewers demanding a model release from body parts only. Thanks for sharing, Alex

June 25, 2009


I have also two images on line on that way:


June 25, 2009


Very interesting, Thanks for the tip :-)

June 25, 2009


That is a good tip for special subjects.
Greetings Ed

June 24, 2009


Nice images good luck with them :)

June 24, 2009


Very good tip and inspiration!

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Photo credits: Kenishirotie.