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Best Business Practices for Photographers, Third Edition, 3rd Edition by John Harrington

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Chapter 34

Releases: Model, Property, and Others

A release, whether model, property, trademark, or any other type, is a legal instrument (whether written, audio, or video) that, once executed, terminates or transfers liability between the parties involved in the document, to the extent documented in the release. For the purposes of photography, we call the photographer the release and the subject photographed the releasor. But is it that simple?

In cases of children, they are not allowed to engage in legal contracts such as releases, so a parent or legal guardian must sign a minor release. In instances where the subject being photographed is an item that is property—whether a house, a particularly unique tree on private property, a custom car, ...

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