As a photographer I’m constantly having models sign model releases. Having a signed model release has saved me on more than one occasion when it came time to have my work published in various magazines and ads. With that said, I gave up on paper based releases years ago. Since that time I’ve always done model releases electronically on my iPhone or now my iPad. I’ve reviewed a few different model release Apps here and yesterday I was introduced to a new one. I decided to give it a shot. Top Model Release has a nice clean, straight forward interface. After launching the App you immediately walk through the process of setting up the photographer profile. This involves entering your information such as your name, address, etc. Luckily if you have a contact already setup in the Contacts app you can just choose your card to save time. You can also insert a logo and insert your signature. Next you’re ready to create your first release. You can choose either Adult, Minor or Property Release. The App comes preconfigured with very decent sample releases already built-in. Of course you can customize these to your own specific needs or completely replace them with the wording you use on your actual releases. I did a sample Adult release and the process was really straight forward. You can either manually enter the model info in or choose a Contact. Then you put in the date and location information about your shoot. It would be nice to see a “get current location” option. There’s also a spot to enter Agency information, which I haven’t seen in the other Apps.
Next up you can choose a photo to put on the release or snap one on the spot. Lastly the model can digitally sign right on your device with a finger or stylus. As you would expect the App then generates a nicely formated PDF that you can email directly to your model and yourself by default or print it. Now all of the above isn’t really new and I’ve seen most of this in the other Apps I’ve tried. I will give Top Release kudos for having a few extra bells and whistles. The first one is that you can duplicate an existing release to speed up the process for the next one you create. For example, if you work with the same model often you can duplicate the Model info. If you’re shooting a different model, you can duplicate the shoot info or you can simply duplicate the full release. It’s not apparent at first, but you can create additional “custom” releases to choose from besides the default adult, property and minor releases. This makes it easy to have different releases for the kinds of work you do, perhaps a release for paid work and a slightly different one for trades. The one thing I was immediately surprised by was that it has iCloud syncing that just works in the background. I didn’t have to turn it on, nor did it ask me. I did a test on the iPhone and by the time I got to the iPad to do a test the one from the iPhone was listed there! Overall, I can’t really find anything wrong with this App. It does everything I would need and it does it in a nice way. The one thing that I’m a stickler for is the final presentation of the actual release/PDF and Top Model Release produces a great looking release. As a matter of fact it bears a striking resemblance to Easy Release, however I especially like how it sized my logo larger than some of the other Apps I’ve used. While the App has everything I need in it, I will point out that it does lack a couple of things that others may need. The releases are limited to one page. If you have a lengthy contact this App may not work for you. Also there is no way to customize it with additional fields.
If you’re looking for a great model release App, Top Model Release is a solid choice. It’s clear that the developer has listened to my feedback on other apps in this category and didn’t make the same mistakes!
Yes it can be awkward signing with your finger so get a stylus!
If you’re going to be a doing a lot of these, you might want to make an investment in a touch screen stylus to make it easier for your clients to sign. I got one of these and I LOVE IT! Makes it so much easier to sign! If you want an even better one, go with this one from Wacom or this one which is also a pen.