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Model releases

Find out about the permissions you need to depict people in your stock assets. 

What’s a model release, and when do you need one? 

Whether your images show professional models, friends and family, or any other identifiable people, you need their permission before you submit the images to Adobe Stock. Your photo subjects give you their permission by signing a model release. 

A model release is a written agreement between you and a person depicted in your image. By signing a model release, that person gives you (and other authorized users, like Adobe Stock customers) permission to publish the image or use it for commercial purposes.

Still not sure if you need a model release? Ask yourself: “Would the people in my photo recognize themselves?” If your answer is “Yes,” then you need one. Keep in mind that recognition can be based on just about anything, including personal characteristics like tattoos and birthmarks as well as external factors in the photo like other recognizable people, unique clothing, equipment, or location. That’s why it’s always safer to get a model release, even for a close-up shot of a body part.  

Here are a few examples of submissions that need model releases:

  • A photo that includes a t-shirt with a visible face printed on it or a person’s portrait on a wall 

  • Illustrations or vector artwork based on real people or body parts

  • Videos that show people passing by in the background 

  • Videos that include voices — you’ll need a model release for the speaker

  • Self-portraits — you’ll need to sign the release as both the photographer and the model 

  • Photos that depict nudity, even if the subject isn’t recognizable — and don’t forget to include a copy of the subject’s photo ID to verify their age 

Here are images that need model releases:

And here are images that don’t need model releases: 

Get a model release form and checklist.

You can get a model release template from Adobe Stock, but we also accept release forms from other sources as long as they’re filled out correctly and are substantially similar to our release form.

You can download the release form here or from the Contributor portal. Or you can use Adobe Acrobat Sign, which requests an electronic signature directly from the portal — no need to download software to make it work. Learn more  

Here’s what you’ll see in the Contributor portal: 

1. Before you can submit your asset, you must first click the answer that is true for your specific file. 

2. If you choose "Yes," another window will pop up:

Before you upload your release, you can download our detailed checklist to confirm that you've included all the information we need. Here are the key requirements for model releases:

  • Visual reference image of the model — required if you use the Acrobat Sign feature to collect electronic signatures. 

  • To assure legibility, print all names in CAPITAL LETTERS. 

  • The name of the photographer needs to be the same as the Adobe Stock account holder name.

  • Companies and agencies may submit content created by different photographers and filmmakers. 

  • When photographing or filming a group, you need the names and signatures of each person on a separate release. For example, if you photograph or film the football team, the coach can’t sign for the whole group.

  • The moderators can’t accept a release that appears stitched together digitally.

  • Model releases need to be submitted as JPEGs. Model release filenames shouldn’t have more than 30 characters and must not contain offensive words. Note, when you add a name for your model release in the portal, it needs to be at least 5 characters long.

  • All signatures must be dated with the same date. If a witness signs the release, the date of signature for the witness and the model must match.

  • Information about the date and location of the photo/video shoot (some customers require this information in order to use an asset)

  • One release may not be used for multiple shoots. A new release needs to be created for each shoot. 

     

    Please follow these guidelines for the witness section

  • If the model was and still is under 18 years of age when you created the image, you need to get a parent or legal guardian’s signature. Try to get both parents to sign the release — one as the parent or legal guardian and the other as the witness. This reduces the risk that one parent will try to revoke the consent given by the other.

  • If you’re a parent photographing or filming your child, you need to print your name and sign twice — once as the artist and once as the parent. 

  • The witness can’t be the model or the photographer. We don’t require a signature from a witness if the model is 18 years old or older.

  • Acrobat Sign does not require a witness signature.

Recommended voluntary information

Accurate demographic information brings additional value to your content. While this information isn’t required, customers value representation and look for factual information to meet their project needs. Keep in mind that Adobe Stock buyers come from all over the world, so complete and specific information is critical. For example, even if you’re working with Japanese models in a largely Japanese region, don’t forget to add “Japanese” in your model release to build inclusivity and representation.

Engage in respectful conversation with your model and give them the opportunity to provide information about how they self-identify. Keep in mind that demographic information such as gender and ethnicity must be accurate, both in your model releases and in your assets. While your models might act out scenes in your assets, they should steer clear of performing demographic characteristics like ethnicity, cultural background, and more. 

Be mindful of regional or country laws where supplying information could cause discomfort or risk to the model. Inform the model that Adobe Stock is a global platform and reconfirm their consent to participate in the shoot. 

Models can provide their ethnicity, race, and heritage information in checkboxes, free text, or both, depending on the model release they use. 

Finally, be sure to include the demographic information you collect from your model in your keywords to boost visibility in search.

Model release languages

We’ve translated the Adobe Stock model release into the following languages:

 

We also accept model releases in the following languages, as long as they’re filled out correctly and are substantially similar to the Adobe Stock release form. 

 

  • Chinese

  • Czech 

  • Danish

  • Dutch 

  • Finnish

  • Norwegian 

  • Swedish

  • Turkish 

  • Ukrainian

Model release checklist

Be sure to download and use our checklist before finalizing and uploading your model release. This will help ensure that you don’t miss anything, and your content will be approved more quickly by our moderators. 

Adobe Artists: Nunez Image - Stocksy | 420686038, DisobeyArt | 301125797, Rawpixel.com | 339764573,  Carlos David | 452488285, Victor Torres - Stocksy| 510168616, anetlanda, Krakenimages.com, Tom Wagner | 329823628, Austockphoto | 441093973, Pansfun Images - Stocksy | 344967582 

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