What is a Property Release?

Our photographers frequently ask us about property releases for content submissions. We’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible, so here are the general guidelines:

Property Releases

What is a property release?

A property release must be submitted for any commercial content that is shot on private property, or is taken on public property but features distinctive private property.  You can read more about the legalities of photography on Wikipedia.

Why are property releases important?

Private property may be subject to certain protections. Legal considerations related to private property vary by jurisdiction, but some considerations include claims of trespass, orders of a congress or administrative agency, proprietary rights to designs on the property, or restrictions against shooting content upon admission.

A property release signifies that the owner or authorised representative of the property has given you permission to use images or footage taken on the property for commercial use.

When should I obtain a property release?

If you are shooting on private property, or shooting private property which is distinctive from a public place, be sure to obtain a property release from an authorised representative of the owner of the property, in order to avoid issues with licensing your content.

What types of properties may require a property release?

As a content creator, it is your responsibility to research any properties you shoot to determine whether a release is necessary. The below property types may be subject to restrictions that require a property release:

Modern architecture

Building interiors

Unique and/or custom designed luxury boats, vehicles, airplanes, etc.

Unique animals: race horses, unique pets, certain zoo animals, etc.

Content featuring unique building exteriors, even if taken from public property

Properties with photography policies, which may include stadiums, museums, concert venues, amusement parks, etc.

Famous landmarks and historic locations

What information is required to be filled out in a property release?

Photographer Information: This must be the legal name on your account, whether it’s a photographer name or a business name.

Information about the owner or an authorised representative of the property: A property release must have the name, contact information and signature of either the owner or an authorised representative of the property.

Please note that the person signing the property release must have authorisation to do so. As a result, a person who merely works at a property or venue may not be the proper person to sign the release. For example, a security guard at a museum is unlikely to have the authorisation to sign a property release on behalf of the property owner.

If you do not have a model and/or property release for content which requires such a release, then we may not be able to accept the images submitted.

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