Dear Photographer: When Are Model Releases Necessary?

I’m a documentary/editorial photographer and I’m a bit confused when it comes to model releases. Ninety percent of the time, I do not have subjects sign releases. Publications have never asked me for them when purchasing my images and so far there has been no problem. However, I’ve recently been asked to show some of my work as part of a group show in a gallery. Should I be worried that I don’t have model releases for the images they are wanting to show? Are there any hard and fast rules when it comes to releases that I should be aware of going forward?—Anonymous

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get some visual inspiration into your day!