Minor (Child) Photo Release Form

A Minor (Child) Photo Release Form is a written authorization that grants permission to take photos of a child. All people enjoy the right to privacy – even the very youngest – so make sure collect release forms before taking photographs of any children.

What to Include

The release form is a formal document that should include:

  • The name of the child who will be photographed
  • The name and relationship of the person giving the authorization (parent or legal guardian)
  • The setting where photos will be taken
  • The parent or guardian’s signature, and the date of authorization

Release forms do not usually have expiration dates, but remember that permission can be revoked anytime.

How to Use a Minor Photo Release Form

1. Detail photo shoot requirements

Though the release form is usually a general document that does not constrain permission to one date or setting, it is wise to speak to parents about photography plans. Will photos be taken periodically during the school day or at a summer camp, or is this release really just intended for a one-time event? Try to be specific.

2. Disclose types of media publication

Explain how photos will be used. Again, though releases are often general in their permissions, you should aim to be specific with parents about plans.

While it might be fine to use photos for promotional purposes, don’t forget to reward children and their families for their authorization. Share the best photos with families – perhaps by creating a newsletter, community bulletin, or other feel-good release.

3. Require identification

Make sure to verify identities before taking signatures; only a child’s parent or legal guardian is authorized to sign a release form on their behalf.

4. Obtain signatures from parent/guardian

Once the form has been signed, make sure to file it away in a safe place. Though you are unlikely to have to produce it in the future, you should always be prepared.


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