So, you’re planning a photoshoot and wondering if you need signed talent release forms? A talent release form is an important tool used to protect from liability and licensing issues by allowing your DMO the right to use the subject’s imagery for advertising/commercial purposes. And even though your DMO may be a non-profit or quasi-organization, your mission is to drive people to your destination so a majority of for-profit businesses can make more money—so in a legal dispute, your marketing efforts will likely be considered a "commercial endeavor".
Below, we have provided a downloadable form template for your DMO for your reference. If at all possible, you should send and retrieve the signed talent release forms from your known (paid and non-paid) talent prior to the photoshoot. However, make sure to have PLENTY of extra forms during the photoshoot—inevitably you will not have a few backs from known talent and new talent is almost always added at the last minute. If your talent is underage, make sure to have this form signed by a parent or legal guardian. Remember, ALL TALENT needs to sign a form, even friends who volunteered to be on camera, paid talent and random people met on location and included in shots.
Hint: Often in the rush and frenzy of a photoshoot, this important step can get overlooked by participants with many other responsibilities related to making the final image as good as it can possibly be. So, it can be very helpful to have an intern or junior member of your DMO or agency staff in charge of getting these forms signed, keeping up with them during the shoot and ensuring they get placed in the file with the photographer's invoice for later reference if needed.
Disclaimer: This downloadable talent release is provided here free and is intended to be a guideline rather than a comprehensive, complete contract. Stamp Idea Group, LLC is not responsible for any damages, lawsuits, or disputes that may arise from the use of this talent release form. It is recommended that users have this reviewed by a local intellectual property attorney who is knowledgeable with your state, county and city rules and laws. If you need more tips for your photoshoot, check out Camille’s advice for a successful photoshoot here.
Click here to download a generic talent release form that you can edit.