One of the biggest challenges new stock photographers face is how exactly to ask someone to sign a model release form. It is an essential skill because a PICHA cannot accept and sell your image of that person unless they sign the release form.
Here are a few scripts that you can use when faced with this sometimes intimidating task:
When contacting someone to do a stock photography shoot with you, always let them know that there is a release form that will need to be signed:
“Just to let you know, there is a basic model release form that I will need you to sign before the shoot on [insert day of the week here]. It’s a quick form that essentially gives me permission to submit the images taken to my stock photography agency.”
When you are specifically shooting someone for your stock photography portfolio, make sure you have this conversation before you do the actual shoot:
“Before we get started, here’s that model release form I mentioned. It basically gives me permission to submit some of the images we take to my stock photography agency for consideration. Would you mind having a quick read through and signing it while I finish setting up?”
When shooting someone for other reasons:
“You know, these images are turning out really great. I’d really like to submit some of these to my stock photography agency for consideration. Would you sign a model release that will allow me to do that?”
Offer your model something in exchange for the photos that require a model release form. That way, they feel as if they’re also getting something of value out of the exchange and not simply being used for your profit. This can be a trade exchange, printed copies of the images or a nominal payment for the session or per image accepted by the stock agency.