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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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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Caia Image RF is a varied collection that ranges from Business content shot in Granada & Venice, Lifestyle from New York & Los Angeles right through to cutting edge sporting imagery such as Triathlon and Formula One. Caia means "rejoice" and is brewed from a secret blend of top end production, creativity and contemporary style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to see more? click here!

With over 4,000 images now available on the agefotostock website and our THP platform, and another 6,000+ images forecast for 2013, we're thrilled to be offering some of the best royalty free imagery available to the creative industry today.


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We are constantly asked by photographers to provide them with image ideas for shoots that will be relevant according to current market needs. Here you have one idea for which there is always a great demand.

¿Do you have kids in your family, close circle of friends or acquaintances? Yes? Then you are so lucky, not only because they sure make life more fun, but because the daily life of children, with their routines and activities can be a great source of very interesting moments to photograph, especially to make natural images that show emotions. The children don’t have to be the cutest ad-perfect-kids; you just need know how to bring out their expressivity, whether humoristic  or completely the opposite.

Take the following essential points into consideration before you get started:

  • Model releases, model releases, model releases!!!! Even if the kids are your nieces, godsons or your best friend’s first child, to make your images available for the market, and to avoid any legal complications in the future, make sure that you have the model releases signed by their legal guardian.  See the model release section of our Road Atlas  and pay special attention to the paragraph regarding minors Model Releases.
  • Be very careful of how the children are portrayed, as the most innocent of the images can be considered highly suggestive for some. And always remember this: ABSOLUTELLY NO NUDITY. Images of naked or semi naked children will not be accepted. 

So here is a list of ideas based on an ordinary day of any kid that we hope serve you as a source for inspiration.

  • Wake up is a beautiful morning! - Morning routines
  • Lunch time!- During the day 
  • Home Sweet Home -Afternoon/Evening
  • Winding Down - Night time

The gallery ADORABLE CREATURES is a sample of children images that can be found at age fotostock that we are hoping will serve you as an additional source of ideas.


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Our next featured 10 x 10 age fotostock photographer manages to open doors to some of the most inaccessible places for his photo productions. Javier Larrea regularly shoots photos of both models and also “real people” within hospitals, laboratories, research & investigation centers, specialized clinics and important industry/manufacturing centers. Watch science, technology and more being discovered in his photos and read on to learn how he does it. You can see more of Larrea’s work at www.jlarrea.com or at his age fotostock Profile

Q: Choose 3 words that describe you.

A: Obsessive, persistent, hard-working.

Q: Was becoming a photographer an easy decision to make?

A: It was an easy decision, although it was slow to mature. I was afraid that the passion might die out and become just another job.

Q: What’s your favorite lens and why?

A: I've always liked having a lot of lenses and it’s one of the most important elements for creating variety in your work, especially for stock photography. The one I like the best is the Canon 85mm, F/1.2, ideal for portraits.

Q: How do you plan/prepare for a photo production?

A: I've always been obsessed with good organization. You must know the location well, observe its light, then study the images you would like to make and consider a good order and timing. And most importantly, get it all down on paper! But all of this without ideas is worthless, of course.

Q: What is the most interesting place you have photographed?

A: There are many interesting places, and I think the diversity of this work is what makes it really interesting. Some places amaze you with their magnificent light and others with their content. If I had to choose one place in particular, the white room* of a laboratory for research on stem cells made a strong impression on me.

* White room - a room that is virtually free of dust or bacteria; used in laboratory work and in assembly or repair of precision equipment.

Q: How do you get access to photograph inside places like laboratories, hospitals and industrial sites?

A: It is a combination of contacts, experience and of course, persistence. And keep in mind; it’s unlikely that anyone will open the doors of these places to you unless you are offering them something of value.

Q: Why did you choose age fotostock to represent your photography?

A: There are several reasons; first, because they listened to me, then they taught me, and finally they supported me and enabled me to achieve my dream of living from photography. Throughout these 22 years of collaboration, the people at age fotostock have demonstrated their ability and skill in this market. In hard times, they have been able to adapt to new scenarios, resize the business, maintain a standard of reliability and remain committed to the photographers.

I also would like to take a moment to address my fellow photographers and share my disagreement with the methods and prices of microstock. I think that all of us, when starting in this world of photography, needed some recognition for our work, even if only unpaid publications. But if we want to keep producing, paying off our computers and eating every day, I don’t think microstock is the right way.

Q: Do you promote yourself through social networks? (facebook, twitter, blog, etc)? Is it helpful?

A: A website is good for showing your work and for showing examples when applying for permits, access, etc. I think social networks are quite attractive for distributors, but I myself am interested in producing images, not promoting them.

Q: What is the best or worst photographic advice that you have ever received?

A: The best: "The important thing is the idea, not the hardware.”

Q: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

A: I've always enjoyed the world of advertising, but I spent 40 years dreaming of becoming a professional photographer, and now that I've made it, I can not think of doing anything else.


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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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