Aside from the camera, one of the most useful tools in stock photography is a small but very important scrawl. This signature on a Model Release form, which states that the subject of the photograph consents to being photographed, is extremely important - it can catapault your content from just the "editorial use only" sector into the full stock market of advertising, promotion, trade or product endorsement.

If you have the relevant releases your images can be used for commercial purposes, if not, what a pity! They may be licensed as editorial use only.

Understandably, at times this signature can be difficult to obtain. Sometimes it's difficult even just asking for it.  You may be shy, you may be busy, you may be in a foreign country where language barriers mean that you can barely ask for a glass of water let alone explain what it is you will happen to your images when you get home.  But we encourage you, & you´ll see it in your sales reports at the end of the month -  it's worth making the effort!

So how should you go about it?

A few weeks ago staff at age fotostock were impressed by a submission by our photographer Jorge Fernández Garcés, which included stunning images of people in Africa with complete model releases. Here follows some words from the wise:

Approaching the model:


"How I approach the signing of a model release depends on each situation and each model. My first concern when asking for a MR is if I will somehow create an unpleasant situation or mistrust, if so, I don’t try. Otherwise, if the subject is open to listening, I attempt to have someone there who speaks their language, to explain what they're really signing.

In distant countries and cultures so different to that of Western culture, I consider it essential to bring along a local guide and translator to help me to contact with people, as it is not always easy to convince someone to let you photograph, and much less for them to sign the MR. The most important thing here is undoubtedly find a guide who understands the needs of the photographer.

In my case I always ask the models to sign a paper rather than a electronic document. That’s firstly because I do not yet have a smartphone or ipad, and second because I think it is quite difficult to get anyone to sign a paper, let alone a electronic device. Although I am aware that in some cases it may arouse the curiosity of the person and facilitate the process."

Model reactions:


"There are people who are afraid to sign a paper and there are people who really do not care at all. I think it has much to do with the cultural environment. Westerners usually distrust anyone who asks them to sign a document. Other cultures that do not have so much contact with the bureaucracy do not give signing a paper very much importance.

In regards to these model released photos that I recently took in Africa,  I was traveling with my partner, along with a guide. In addition to helping with the preparation of the scene (flash illumination, etc..) she was responsible for identifying and organizing the signed MRs. For me this was very important, because sometimes we work with several models at once and things get busy - had I been alone, as I was taking the photos, probably many of the pictures would not be accompanied by MR."

Some advice?

"If you are in a foreign country, it is important to have an assistant who is in charge of organizing the MRs once obtained, especially if you are working in the street with several different subjects. And of course it may seem silly, but always carry spare MRs and a pen, as it is not always easy to find a pen when you need one!"

- Jorge Fernández Garcés

To all our photographers out there, what are your experiences of obtaining Model Releases? Any suggestions you´d like to share?


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Calling all photographers!!! Now that you are about to have your children, your friends' children, your nieces and nephews & even your grandchildren available all summer long, how about getting out there and involving them in taking the images that clients will be looking for in the next few months?

Our expert photo-researchers recommend submitting your seasonal images & videos 3-4 months before the actual season, so that they appear on our website right when the buyers are looking for them.

It may seem far away now, but in the fall, children and youth of all ages will be returning to their nurseries, day-cares, schools, and universities… and we want to be ready with a great selection of photos and videos that capture this moment, providing a fresh supply of relevant images just as the season kicks off.

Submit now for “Back to school”  - photos & videos of children preparing/going back to school and details of school materials of all kind.

Need more ideas on Back To School photography? CLICK HERE


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Inspired by sailors' clothing, Coco Chanel created her first nautical collection in 1917, with stripes and lines plentifully stamped on dresses and shirts. This elegant aesthetic, synonymous with casual chic Parisian style, continues to be popular in both catwalks and trend blogs today.

Spots became fashionable in the 40s and 50s due to the influence of Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, and the possession of a polka dot dress became a definite must as soon as Lucille Ball made it her staple in the hit television show I Love Lucy. Since then, dots have also taken an essential role in our wardrobe as well as in general fashion globally – just take a look at the rise in fame of artworks by Yayoi Kusama, "The Princess of Polka Dots".


Stripes and polka dots combine to create a look full of color, life and fun – an irresistible invitation that always rewards with a smile. Do you dare?


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Most of us have experienced those last few chaotic weeks of the educational term, and cramming for exams or having all-nighters writing the magical last paragraph on a thesis is a strong memory for many of us. Now with summer looming in the Northern hemisphere, students are finishing their year of studies, and many will be rewarded with a degree or diploma in a formal ceremony.

Whether it be for students finishing their schooling or professionals who have expanded their foundations, these moments of celebration are an important way to acknowledge the hard work done, the achievements made, the human ability to absorb information and utilize it to create positive changes in our own lives and in the lives of others. What we learn and what we teach can truly have a positive, active and immediate effect that spreads beyond the classroom and out into our wider world.

With students stepping out to meet the world with mind prepared and skills tuned, the images we have chosen for this lightbox celebrate the positive attitude and empowering spirit that education rewards us with.

CLICK HERE to see the lightbox of graduation photos


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artlist Inc., founded in 2002, is a Japanese company specializing in animal photos, with a collection of more than 10,000 RM photos of over 70 breeds of adorable dogs and cats. Their main philosophy is "To bring fun and happiness to the world," which they achieve by carefully selecting their models based on Japan Kennel Club standards and photographing them with a professional animal cameraman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With breeding types carefully documented in the caption & keywords, and incredibly cute photos, this collection is a complete delight. Like to see more? Click here!


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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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