How to Ask for a Model Release

New FREE Report Series from the Ultimate Stock Photography Workshop:
Day 1 -- How to Ask for a Model Release

“OK, but HOW to ask for a model release -- that's what I want to know”

We’re exactly three hours into the first day of our Ultimate Stock Photography Workshop, and I sense a little anxiety in the room.

Shelly Perry and Jani Bryson – both professional photographers – have been talking about how and where they find the models who appear in so many of their most lucrative images. (I’ll tell you how they do it in a second.)

But what people really want to know this instant is this: If you need a model release to sell a “people” shot as stock (and you do), then how do you go about asking for one?

Luckily, Jani just piped up with her perfect 27-word formula. And it instantly melted away everyone’s fears.

Hi, Jen Stevens here in Santa Fe. I’ll be your on-the-ground reporter for the next few days, and I’ll pass along some of the money-making, photo-improving, (and anxiety-reducing) tips I pick up.

Like this one from Jani: When you snap a photo of a person and you don't know how to ask for a model release, simply say this:

“You know, these images are turning out really well. I’d really like to submit some of these to my agency. Will you sign a model release that will allow me to do that?”

Sounds simple enough when you hear it put that way. But it’s not a simple thing to come up with on your own. And, when it comes down to it, that’s what this workshop is all about. It’s about providing a forum where the pros can share their tips and hard-won secrets with folks just like you.

And I’m not exaggerating when I say: These speakers have been dishing tips and secrets out left and right. We’ve just come back from a coffee break, but while we were out in the lobby, two people came up to me to say, “This has been worth the price already… and we’re halfway through the first day.”

I think so, too.  I promised I’d tell you what the pros do to find those models.

** 1. When you’re starting out, ask your family, grab your friends, and ask if they’ll sign a model release for you. They’ll be eager to help you. And it’s images of “regular” people that sell.

** 2. Tap your sphere of influence. Do you have a friend who’s a doctor or a nurse? Know a firefighter? Have friends whose children attend preschool with your kids? You’ve got “access” others don’t, and that gives you an advantage.

** 3. Hand a stranger you’d like to shoot your business card. And tell them that you’re interested in photographing them. They’ll know you’re legitimate. With this method, you’re leaving it in their court. If they’re comfortable getting in touch, they will. Shelly said she landed one of her best-selling images this way.

Tomorrow we’re off to shoot models on location at an Old Western ghost town. I’ll check back then and tell you what I’ve learned.


-- Jen

Jen Stevens
On-the-ground reporter for AWAI

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]