More about Requirements for Acceptable Model and Property Releases

When to Use a Release

Any image that depicts an identifiable person or private property must have a release attached in order to be licensed commercially.

If you forget to upload the release, your image(s) will be marked accordingly and rejected. You will need to upload both the release and then image, link accordingly, and then re-submit the image for review.

* Be sure to upload each release under the appropriate "type": Model Release, Property Release, Credential for event coverage, or Reference Image for illustrations.

You can download blank versions of our Adult Model Release or Minor Model Release or Property Release right here or from the upper right corner of the Manage Releases area. * Once filled out, documents must be submitted in JPG format not PDF.


General Model Release Data Requirements:

  • Photographer Name  (must be the printed/typed name of the contributor)
  • Model Name (printed/typed)
  • Model Address
  • Model Signature & Date
  • Parent/Guardian Signature & Date (if the model is a minor)
  • Witness Name (printed/typed)
  • Witness Signature
  • Photo ID of the model if the image is nude or posed in an adult/sexual situation
  • The release must be attached in the model release field.
  • A separate release is needed for each model in an image.


Property Releases

Images of private homes or buildings are OK for commercial stock as long as they are taken from public property and there is nothing identifiable in the image ( such as address numbers, statues, or the structure has a very distinct modern design ). If the subject of your image contains any of the following, please provide a completed property release that has been signed by the owner before your content is submitted. Property releases are required for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Amusement parks
  • Concert venues
  • Modern architecture
  • Museums
  • Photos taken from private property
  • Public places with photography policies
  • Zoos: wide shots of animals in the designed habitat or enclosure
  • Recognizable “working” animals  (i.e., race horses with numbers/markings or animals that earn money for their owner)
  • Stadiums
  • Unique and/or custom designed luxury yachts with visible registration numbers/letters, unique paint job, or other discernible “logo” markings
  • Unique/identifiable building interiors
  • Studio shots of exotic or uniquely identifiable animals


General Property Release Data Requirements

  • Photographer Name (must be the printed/typed name of the contributor)
  • Property Owner/Authorized Representative Name (printed/typed)
  • Property Owner/Authorized Representative Signature & Date
  • Property Owner/Authorized Representative Address
  • Witness Name (printed/typed)
  • Witness Signature
  • The release must be attached in the property release field.


Digital Signatures
Digital signatures that have been created using a touch sensitive device (Wacom tablet, iPhone, Android device) can be accepted.
 ** Certificate signatures, such as signatures created in Adobe Acrobat, cannot be accepted. 


As a contributor, it is your responsibility to do the research and determine if a property release signed by the owner is necessary.

As with model releases, the sole exception to the release requirement is when submitting editorial images that are newsworthy. Bigstock makes exceptions only for “newsworthy” images that are submitted for Editorial Use only. These images require special captioning and are labeled so customers know they cannot be used commercially.

* Content submitted as editorial simply to avoid our Model or Property Release requirement will not be approved for the Bigstock Editorial archive.

* Releases will be accepted on the condition that no modifications have been made to the legal terms on the release. 



Official Shutterstock Releases are acceptable

Shutterstock releases are available in 15 languages:

  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish

English Releases from Other Companies

We currently accept the English versions of the following releases:

  • 123rf
  • Alamy
  • American Society of Media Photographers
  • Bigstock
  • Corbis
  • Dreamstime
  • Easy Release (default release)
  • Fotolia
  • Getty
  • iStockphoto

Foreign Language Releases from Other Companies

We only accept foreign language releases from Easy Release, Getty, and iStockphoto.

* Once filled out, documents must be submitted in JPG format not PDF.


Read the following article on ‘The Bigstock Blog’ to learn even more:


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