Model & Property Releases - Important Information

What is a release?
When are Model Releases required?
What data does Bigstock require for a model release?
When are Model Releases required for children?
When is a Property Release required?
What types of releases are accepted by Bigstock?
How do I upload and assign a model or property release to my image?
More about Requirements for Acceptable Model and Property Releases
Is a model's personal information shared with customers?


What is a release?
A release is a legal document that “releases” the photographer from certain legal issues. The most common types of releases are model and property releases. Model releases govern how an image featuring a recognizable individual may be used. Property releases govern how an image taken on private property may be used.
 
If content depicts an identifiable person, you should obtain a valid model release to submit the content commercially.

If you are shooting on private property, or shooting private property which is distinctive from a public place, be sure to obtain a property release from an authorized representative/owner of the property.



When are Model Releases required?
Any image that depicts an identifiable person and shows definable features such as their face, even part of their face, a scar, or tattoo, must have an Adult or Minor model release attached for commercial licensing. This includes outdoor shots with recognizable people in the background when image is viewed at 100% magnification of actual file size.
You can download our standard Adult Model Release or Minor Model Release here.


What data does Bigstock require for a model release?
When submitting your work to Bigstock, making sure you have a properly filed model release is one of the most important things to consider. If there is a recognizable individual or individuals in your contributions, and this release is not included the content, it will immediately be rejected.

A release should not be uploaded like an image in the upload page. Instead, it must be uploaded BEFORE you upload your images through the Manage Releases page. Releases on file can then be linked to content subsequently uploaded in the Edit & Submit area prior to submitting.

You may use your own or other release forms, but they must be in .jpeg format and be "materially the same" to Bigstock’s release forms: containing photographer and model details, as well as a witness signature.

To make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, here are a few key points to remember when filling out your model releases, along with some scenarios that can lead to confusion over copyright. Download our model release to follow along:

Photographer Information
    Full name as listed on your Bigstock Account (include Business Name as well, if applicable)

Model Information
    Full name
    Birth Date
    Full address or e-mail address
    Signature & Date
    If you are adding Ethnicity information refer to our Ethnicity Guide below

Witness Information
    Full name
    Signature & Date
    The date of the model and witness signatures should be the same. This is because the witness must have observed the model signing the release.
    The witness must not be the photographer and must not be the model, or model’s parent / guardian

Special circumstances
    Self-portraits: The photographer must sign as both the photographer and the model. Someone else must be the witness.
    Deceased model: The next of kin must fill out & sign the model release in the name of the model.
    Model under 18 years old: Submit a Minor Model Release, signed by a parent or legal guardian.
    Nude model: Releases for nude models must include a copy of the model’s photo identification with proof that the model is over the age of 21.

Model Ethnicity (Optional but important)
    With the Bigstock Model Release form, contributors have the option to indicate the ethnicity of each model. Some of our clients require model ethnicity information for legal reasons, so we encourage you to provide it where possible. Please refer to the following guidelines when filling in the Model Ethnicity section of the release form:
  • Asian – Individuals from Japan, China, South Korea, India, Southeast Asia etc.
  • Black – Individuals of African ancestry. (Includes African & African-American)
  • European – Individuals from the European continent
  • Middle Eastern – Individuals from Iran, Turkey, and Egypt, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and Fertile Crescent regions.
  • Pacific Islander – Individuals from Oceania (a group of islands located in the Pacific)
  • African American – Individuals from the USA with African ancestry
  • Caucasian – Individuals who are white but not from the European continent
  • Hispanic – Spanish-speaking individuals from Latin America
  • Native American – Individuals indigenous to the Americas
  • Mixed Race – Individuals with two or more of the ethnicities listed above


When are Model Releases required for children?
Any image that depicts an identifiable child under the age of 18 years and shows definable features such as their face, even part of their face, a scar, or tattoo, must have a Minor model release attached for commercial licensing. A Minor Model Release form must be filled out completely and signed by the parent or legal guardian.
You can download our standard Adult Model Release or Minor Model Release here.



When is a Property Release required?

All images taken ON private property, including residential homes and businesses, should have a property release signed by the property owner.

Locations that Require Property Releases
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 commercial photography policies
  • Zoos: wide shots of animals in the designed habitat or enclosure
  • Recognizable “working” animals (i.e., race horses with numbers or 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

Homes, Building Exteriors, & Private Property
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 if the structure has a very distinct modern design). If there is any question as to whether or not it was taken from public property, we will return the image to you and ask for a property release.

You can download our standard Property Release here.
 

What types of releases are accepted by Bigstock?

Official Bigstock and Shutterstock Releases are acceptable

Shutterstock releases are available in 14 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.


How do I upload and assign a model or property release to my image?

Before you can assign a release to an image, it must be uploaded to the release manager found in your account under the Upload tab. 

* Be sure to scan and upload JPG versions of the releases to your account in the ‘Manage Releases’ section before you upload the images associated with them. Documents must be submitted in JPG format not PDF

Give each release a distinctive title that indicates the full name of the model or location of the property to make it easier and more accurate when you go to link them to your images.

Once the release is there and has been given a name, you can upload your image(s) and assign the appropriate release.  In the edit and submit area of your account, select the image and choose "edit selected image" or double-click the thumbnail.

After the title, description, keywords and categories have been completed, you will select the Model/Property Release tab.  Here you will choose the release that applies to the image by checking the appropriate box that represents the release.

* You can (and should!) assign the same release to multiple images if that model or property appears in more than one image.
* You can (and should!) link multiple releases to a single image if there is more than one person that is recognizable.

You are now able to submit the image to the review queue and the release will be attached with it.


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. 



Is a model's personal information shared with customers?
Unfortunately, our privacy policy does not permit us to release any personal information regarding the models featured in any image in our collection.


 
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