Release form??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LeeRod, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. LeeRod macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2010
    OK here's the deal. I am FAR form being a professional photographer. But I took some pictures at my cousins wedding last weekend. I edited one and sent it in a text to her and a couple other cousins. No watermark on it. Apparently one of them went to get some other pictures developed at Wal-mart and wanted a print of this one so she just added it to her SD card and took it in. Which I have NO problem with them doing. Well apperantly the people there think that it WAS done by a professional, and need me to write a letter or sign a release or something for it. Which I don't understand since it doesn't have my watermark or name on it, so how will they know it is mine?

    So my question is, is there some sort of basic template that can be used for this? or a certain way I need to type this letter or release form out?

    Here is the image
    Newlyweds by erodrig4, on Flickr
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Simple letter.

    Something like....

    "I am the photographer of this photo, taken [date, place, so-and-so's wedding] and I give [person's name] permission to make prints of this image."

    Date it, and sign it, put your name on it as well, and your contact info. Also clip a small print of the photo in question, or just print it on the letter.

    I'm sure Walmart will accept something like this, they probably just need to have a letter (any letter) on file. As a professional photographer I am pleased that Walmart is protecting what might have been another photographer's intellectual property.

  3. Designer Dale, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012

    Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I have no idea why a general printing facility like Walmart would ask for this. Maybe they have rules prohibiting the printing of material they deem commercial without a release.

    Here is a link with basic info on when a release is needed. There are release forms in links down the page. Scroll down to "Where to Get Photographic Model Release Forms".

    release forms in an article from Better Photo

    snberk: When I worked for a professional photo printer in the '60s the owner wouldn't release any of the inevitable "inappropriate" photos that came out of the processing baths to avoid prosecution for distributing porno. It was a judgment call and the studio nudes done by our professional clients went out as ordered. It's a legal issue more than protecting IP, IMO...

  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Hi Dale

    I remember reading about some of those court cases. Especially the one about the photographer taking photos of his kid taking bath. But I don't think it's the case here. A few years ago wedding photographers (especially) made a big fuss about people scanning and printing their wedding photos. Many photographers made a substantial income providing prints from the wedding. As you know a tremendous amount of time can be spent on the post processing, and once a wedding photographer has spent the time pre-wedding, wedding, post processing, and the post wedding presentation they weren't even cracking minimum wage (at least in those states that have a minimum wage) so they counted on those print orders to finally start making a profit.

    The printing was as easy as pushing a button, because they had already done all the work to make the print flawless on spec. and on the gamble that the client would order enough prints to cover the post processing time spent on the entire album. So... when people started bypassing the photographer and going to Walmart (and other chains), they (the photographers) raised a stink and made sure that the chains assumed that the copyright was still held by the photographer.

    I don't know why I'm telling you this? Aren't you one of the photo gurus around here? I usually take what you say as being the definitive word on the topic. :)

    Anyway, all of this is from memory, and from a "Photography and the Law course I took nearly 20 years ago, and where the lawyer had to explain the differences between Canadian and American copyright law.

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