Simple Photo / Video Policies and Release Forms for Organizations

Simple Photo / Video Policies and Release Forms for Organizations

Recently, I had a local church contact me asking for advice on photo policies and release forms for children. This would relate to using children’s photos from events on social networks, printed pieces, web sites, etc. If you have not considered this before, please do so now because it is an important protection to put in place. At a recent youth camp, a mom was concerned about having pictures of here daughters published due to a situation with an estranged dad. She felt it was important to not publicize what here daughters were involved in and asked that we not publish their photos on our social networks. That was good to know and we were glad to comply. The reason she brought this to our attention was because we asked for a signed photo/video release form.

This topic relates to adults as well. There are many good reasons why you should be pro-active in acquiring permission to use anyone’s image for public view and the permission should cover both photo and video. This has been a standard commercially for years with the use of model release forms. It is a protection that is well worth putting in place for your organization as well as for the individuals being photographed.

Below are two suggested photo release forms that you can download and use. These are generic forms that were suggested to me by a lawyer. You can tweak them as needed and they can be combined into one form with a signature block for the adult, or guardian if a minor. These forms are offered to give you a simple solution to address this need.

Minor Photo/Video Release Form
Adult Photo/Video Release Form

Please note: these forms are intended to simply acknowledge and comply with the wishes of your event participants. They should not be considered as binding legal documents and therefore due diligence is suggested on your part to know the laws of your state and apply accordingly.

Ways to Implement:

  • Include the photo/video release with every event registration.
  • Make it a required form for every participant.
  • Make it easily accessible online for participants to download.
  • Use the forms to alert your photographer to anyone not wanting their picture taken or shared publicly.

One ministry that I am aware of simply includes a standard statement on all their registration forms telling participants that they will be taking photos and videos with a check box choice to opt out if the participant does not want to be included.

Do any of you have a policy in place, actual forms, or additional advice on ways to implement or where to research further?

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