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Document and article by on May 1, 2024 Written by Easy Legal Docs Editorial Team

The use of model release forms is a crucial component in the photography and videography fields, ensuring that content creators have the legal right to use images or footage of identifiable individuals. Minors, under the age of 18, require special attention.

While a minor can provide their own consent in certain circumstances, it is typically the responsibility of a parent or legal guardian to grant permission for the minor’s image to be used in media. The Model Release Form for Minors is designed to facilitate this process, serving as a legal document that authorizes the use of a minor’s likeness.

For a Model Release Form to be valid, it must adhere to applicable laws and regulations. These forms often contain specific clauses outlining the permitted uses of the images or footage, as well as any compensation or lack thereof. Utilizing a comprehensive form is essential to avoid potential disputes over the use of a minor’s image, and it provides a clear framework by which all parties understand the terms of consent.

Photographers, videographers, and content creators ought to be well-versed in the nuances of these forms to conduct their work ethically and within the bounds of the law. When creating content that features minors, securing the appropriate model release ensures that the individual responsible for the minor’s welfare is in agreement with the nature and scope of the media’s usage. It is imperative for all involved to understand the significance of these forms to protect the rights and well-being of minors in the digital age.

Understanding Model Release Forms for Minors

When working with minors in any capacity, including photography or videography, it is crucial to understand the legal framework surrounding the use of their image or likeness. A model release form for minors is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions under which you can use a minor’s image. Here, you secure consent from the minor’s parent or legal guardian, who has the authority to make decisions on the minor’s behalf.

What is a Model Release Form?

A model release form is a documented consent provided by the subject of a photograph or a video, allowing the use of their image for certain purposes. In the context of working with minors, it is not the minor themselves who sign the form, but rather their legal representatives. This form is particularly important for commercial use, but may also be needed for non-commercial purposes should the images or videos suggest endorsement or association with a product, service, or opinion.

Importance of Model Release Forms for Minors

Obtaining a signed model release form for a minor is paramount to protect the minor and the content user. It serves as a legally binding agreement that the parent or legal guardian consents to the use of the minor’s image. This reduces the risk of legal challenges and ensures that any images or videos recorded, especially those that the minor can be recognized in, are used in a manner that aligns with parental expectations. For content creators, it also provides a level of security by clearly outlining the permissible uses of the material they gather.

Legal Requirements and Best Practices

Ensuring that a model release form for a minor meets legal requirements and incorporates best practices is essential for protecting both the minor and the content creator. This section outlines specific age considerations, the necessity of obtaining parental or guardian consent, and outlines the permitted content usage provisions that should be included in such a form.

Age of Consent and Parental/Guardian Permission

Child’s Age: Under 13 Children under the age of 13 are considered unable to provide legal consent. Therefore, parental or guardian permission is mandatory. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and its recent update, the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act, also known as COPPA 2.0, specifically address the collection of data from children under the age of 16, requiring parental consent.

Child’s Age: 13 to 17 For minors aged 13 to 17, parental or guardian permission is not universally required. In some states, parental permission for minors aged 13 to 17 may not be required, but it varies by law. For instance, in California, the Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World Act grants minors rights concerning the removal of certain content. Additionally, California Family Code section 6750 stipulates that a parent or guardian must provide written permission before a minor’s “name, voice, or likeness” is used commercially.

Age of Majority: 18 and Above At the age of 18, individuals reach the age of majority and can consent to various activities, including the use of their image. This is the general age of majority for most legal decisions in the United States. Before this age, even if a minor has given consent, they may not have the legal capacity to enforce their rights without parental or guardian consent.

Content creators should be diligent in understanding the relevant state and federal laws that govern content involving minors to ensure compliance and protect the rights of all parties involved.

Content Usage Rights and Limitations

It is crucial to clarify the content usage rights and limitations in a model release form for a minor. This section highlights some common components:

  • Purpose: The form should specify the exact purposes for which the model’s image may be used (e.g., advertising, editorial, educational).
  • Media and Duration: The media on which the image may be shared, as well as the duration of this permission, should be clearly stated (e.g., online, print, and broadcast; temporary or perpetual right).
  • Alteration: Whether or not the image can be altered (e.g., cropped, color-corrected) should be decided and recorded.
  • Revocation: The right to revoke the release should be addressed, as well as the process to invoke this right.

Best practices in this context involve precise and unambiguous stipulations in the release form so that all parties involved have a clear understanding of the terms and implications. This not only protects the rights of the model but also reduces the risk of potential legal disputes at a later stage.

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Model Release Form for Minors Template

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Template Model Release Form for Minors

Model Release Form for Minors FAQs

What is a model release form for minors?

A model release form for minors is a legal document that gives parents or guardians permission to allow their child to participate in a photoshoot, modeling gig, or other type of media project. The form outlines the terms of the shoot or project, and the child's parents or guardians must sign it before the child can participate.

Why is a model release form for minors required?

A model release form for minors is required in order to protect the child's interests. The form ensures that the minor will not be taken advantage of and that their rights will be respected. It also allows the parent or guardian to provide consent for the child to be photographed.

How do I get a model release form for minors?

There are a few different ways to get a model release form. Most photography studios should be able to supply you with their own model release forms. Alternatively, you can find a number of free templates online such as the one provided by

What age does a minor need to be in order to sign a model release form?

The age requirement for signing a model release form varies depending on your state’s or country's law but is typically 18 years old in most U.S states, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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