Just because you can, should you? The ethics of images sales.

A Taoist man lights a candle at the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Does he care what I do with his image?

A Taoist man lights a candle at the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Does he care what I do with his image?

I’ve been ruminating over some ethical issues.

Recently, I had a business ask to use several of my images, and they were willing to pay a decent amount of money. It’s not like I’m rolling in the dough (who is?) and I can afford to turn business away. But in this case, that’s exactly what I did. I turned them away for one simple reason: I did not have a model release, and there was no way I could obtain a release on those images; therefore I felt I could not in good conscience deliver the images for this business to use to generate revenue.

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Review: Easy Release app model release – The Best!

Last week I reviewed an iPod model release application that a lot of people really liked. It was called mRelease. In the comments, there was talk about how it was virtually identical to another model release application called Easy Release. The author of Easy Release wrote in and said that this was not the case and that we should look into it more. He was obviously very passionate about his product. So I contacted him, and he sent me a copy of Easy Release, and I have to tell you, he is right. The differences are night and day. Continue reading

mRelease Review: A iPhone/Touch Model Release

It was a fun week and one in which I spent the majority on the beach. Ya can’t beat that! But unfortunately it wasn’t much fun on the blog with me swimming with the sharks… literally. But the trip did serve to allow me to test drive a few applications. One that I am very impresses with is called, mRelease. It is a very cool iPhone image release application. There are two of these that I am familiar with, one of them Gavin Gough uses called Easy Release.

This little app came in handy this week. While sitting on the veranda of my bungalow overlooking the beach, I saw a young woman laying a rock sunbathing. The palm trees were gracefully framing her with a wonderful sailboat in the background. It was a scene made for stock. I took several images, a few of which her face could be seen. And then I thought, “But how do I get her to sign a release?” Then I remembered Gavin’s Easy Release. He showed it to me while I was with him in Bangkok last week. I frantically searched for it on my iPhone in the Apps Store. I found it, but I also found its competitor mRelease.  Quite frankly they looked about the same, but mRelease was only $7.99 as opposed to easy release $9.99. I am cheap, so I quickly downloaded it and looked it over.

It’s pretty simple to use. You put in your details as the photographer, then the name of the shoot. After that you simply hit the plus button to add a new release. The application asks you for the type of release. The options are, appearance release, property release, location release and crew release. Each option gives a short description of how that release should be used. The next option is the release scope. The application gives you two options, unlimited and production, again with a short description of each. Then, you need to type in the general information of the model. Name, if it’s a minor the Guardian’s name, e-mail and contact information. At this point you can take a photograph of the model for the release using your iPhone. Once you’ve done that you’re given a preview of the contract. At the bottom is a button that says a “signed release.” Push that button and the model can sign it using their finger on the iPhone. You can turn the iPhone sideways for a wider pad to write on.

Once I figured it out, it was easy to walk up to this young lady and asked her if I could get her to sign a model release. She seemed a little surprised to see it on a phone, but signed. In the end, I sent her a copy of the release in a pdf file, and the photo. This is an amazing little app that gives you a lot of options and certainly can cover your backside for a spontaneous shot in the field. It keeps you from carrying several types of releases and saves trees.

I think Easy Release is almost identical. But, one reviewer of Easy Release complained that it was only a model release and it didn’t offer other releases. I don’t know about that, maybe Gavin can chime in here? But certainly this application offers a lot and it’s going to remain on my iPhone.