Alec Soth's Archived Blog

September 11, 2006

FAQ: Model releases

Filed under: FAQ\'s — alecsothblog @ 11:18 pm

I keep my release short and unthreatening:

In exchange for consideration received, I hereby give permission to Alec Soth to use my name and photographic likeness in all forms and media.

Since I don’t use my images for advertising I don’t need a release. But it is a good place to keep names and contact info. Years ago I used to tell my subjects I would send a print but usually didn’t do it. I have a lot of built up guilt. Now I’m pretty good about mailing a picture to everyone I photograph.


  1. This is a good idea. Since I try to get every single person to sign a model release if at all possible, I once sent one home with my younger brother’s girlfriend after taking their picture. Fortunately the image was a flop, because her father was quite suspicious (I believe she was 16 or 17 at the time) and pretty much said he wouldn’t sign it. Unthreatening is key… legal mumbo jumbo turns people off.

    Comment by Walker — September 12, 2006 @ 3:44 am

  2. what is the consideration that you give your models?

    Comment by bram — September 12, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

  3. I usually just send pictures, but I bought this woman a beer:

    Comment by Alec Soth — September 12, 2006 @ 2:07 pm

  4. Did you have your model release looked at by an attorney? I am assuming this release is accepted by your galleries.

    Comment by bram — September 12, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  5. I didn’t. Probably worth the paper it is printed on. But I do also have a copy of Magnum Photos releases. It says:

    For value received, I consent to the publication of my photograph used by Magnum Photos, Inc., whether for not with my name or any text, captions, illustrations whatsoever, and I release them from any liability for such use in any and all media.

    My galleries have never once asked about releases. Nor do they need to worry:

    Comment by Alec Soth — September 12, 2006 @ 3:15 pm

  6. Alec,
    thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.

    take good care.

    Comment by bram — September 12, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

  7. Thank you.

    Comment by wayne — September 13, 2006 @ 1:43 am

  8. Alec, your amazingly simple model release is discussed on APUG, feel free to stop by 🙂

    Comment by Amund — September 13, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

  9. Alec, just curious, do you present potential subjects with the release before you take the picture, or shoot first and ask later?

    Comment by Noah Addis — September 27, 2006 @ 10:46 am

  10. I usually tell them before, but have them sign aften.

    Comment by Alec Soth — September 27, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

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