How to Use Media Release Forms in Your Studio
We live in a world swirling with images and video.
Gone are the days of waiting a week to see if your pictures turned out! (And remember how long it took to hook up that video camera to the VCR so that you could see those awkward family birthday videos?)
Nowadays we can share pictures in a mere second. Kids grow up before our eyes on social media like FB and Instagram.
And in this world of instant sights and sounds, we need to know how to 1) protect our students and 2) protect our studios.
And that’s why you need a media release form.
If you haven’t already included one in your studio policies, you should! Whether you’re sharing pictures on social media or emailing them to your studio in newsletters, it’s always a good idea to ask your clients about sharing images of them online.
Here are some things to consider including in your media release form / email:
- A way to opt out completely.
- A way to opt in completely.
- A way to opt out/in depending on the picture or usage.
- Links to your social media pages so parents can see what you’ve shared.
- The option to change their minds.
That might sound like a lot, but wouldn’t you want those options for your own kids? I bet you would.
And one more thing I like to do…
Get it signed yearly.
This ties in with #5. Every year my clients sign a new media release form as part of their studio contract. This year my media release form was included on my Google Forms Fall Registration. Easy, peasy!
OH!! And I make sure to include this form in all of my workshop materials just in case I have a out-of-studio student attending.
Once you have your forms signed, keep track of them so that you can easily figure out what pictures you can and can’t share online. I used to keep mine in a binder that sits on my desk — sorted in order of “Share” – “Don’t Share” – and “Please Ask.”
Now that I’m not using physical forms as much, I have an excel sheet with the “signed” registration forms and media release information. (It’s easy to download that data from Google Forms!)
What’s in your form?
Do you have a media release form in your studio? What did YOU include in it? They can be simple or complex, informal or legally binding — there are so many options out there!
If you’re looking for media release wording, I’ve included 2 media release forms in my brand new Back to Lessons Photo Props.
- 21 page PDF with 23 back-to-school music designs your students will love.
- 2 Samples of Media Release Forms that you can copy and use for your studio!
(Pssst… they’re on sale until the end of the week!)
Happy Picture taking! 😉