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Photographer-Crafted, Lawyer-Approved Top Model Release App Covers the Details

By Barbara Goldman


tmr app

© TMR APP
TMR App.


 “Credible photographers take care of the details.”  Photographer Catherine Hall, developer of the Top Model Release (TMR) App, knows that first hand.

Catherine Hall is a commercial, portrait, and wedding photographer whose images have inspired audiences for over a decade. Her fine-art photography has been exhibited throughout Europe and the United States, and international assignments have taken her to more than thirty countries on five continents.

When Hall first began her professional photography career, she undervalued the necessity of having subjects sign releases. As many artists are bound to do, she was more focused on crafting incredible pictures to expand her portfolio rather than paying attention to some of the business details that get you the work. When the opportunity arose to have her images featured publicly, she lost out because she neglected the very important detail of obtaining releases from her subjects. Adobe asked to feature several of her travel photographs, but because she had no model releases they could not print or publish any of her images.

Hall may have lost the Adobe offer but that hard-won lesson was a learning experience and  turned out to be a lucky business break for her with the development of the Top Model Release(TMR) App. The TMR iPhone version, designed exclusively for photographers, launched in May 2012 and the Universal iPhone/iPad version in November 2012.

The TMR lets photographers change and modify releases while on the go, from adding amendments to accessing standard releases in multiple languages. Hall had tried using other release apps in the market and was not satisfied with the fluidity, ease of use and lack of iCloud technology to sync between devices. “Like many photographers I am anal - I like to have releases done right, organized and more than anything backed up. I was always stressed on locations shoots carrying around such valuable pieces of paper (often as valuable as the images themselves) with no real mode of backing them up and archiving them until I got back to the studio. TMR allows me to backup releases via emailing them instantly and sync the releases between all my iOS devices. It gives me great piece of mind,” says Hall.

Although the solution is easy to use, creating the app was a big technological undertaking for Hall.  She brought an experienced team together that helped ensure top-notch quality for the project. “We wanted to create software with a very intuitive feel that had almost no learning curve and allowed people to be up in running in minutes so releases could be created on the go quickly and easily,” she says.

TMR has some terrific features.  Photographers can create unlimited model and property releases on-the-go, rather than having to cart around unwieldy stacks of paper that can get lost. It also lets them stamp business logos on PDF versions of the release electronically for total customization. And to simplify storage and cataloguing, photographers can embed the corresponding image directly into the release.  The TMR App has been approved by one of America’s leading photography copyright lawyers, Bert Krages, and also by Getty Images and iStockphoto.

Some of the most appealing and unique features of TMR Include:

-Quick start-up, Dropbox, Google Docs and iBooks integration. The integration of these applications makes it easy to export releases for more variety in viewing, sharing and backup.

-Access Releases from all iCloud synched devices. All iOS devices using the same iCloud account will have their releases sync'd so users can access their documents wherever they are on all their devices.

-Ability to save unfinished releases for later retrieval. TMR automatically saves every release as soon as data is entered or altered.  Users never have to manually save their information reducing the risk of loss of information.

-Duplication of entire release, shoot or model information for faster completion. The ability to duplicate release information streamlines the process of creating multiple releases for situations where the information or minimal information is changed  as, one photo shoot with multiple models, or the same model on many different occasions.

-Import of information from your contacts

-Print releases directly from the app

-Ability to send uncompleted releases.  Clients may not always be around to sign the release.  TMR allows users to send an unsigned or partially completed app to their clients.  The client can then prints and complete the release.

-Universal iPhone & iPad native features and support. Universal support means one app with one price for all devices.

-Compatible with all iOS devices

The TMR App also offers technical support through Uservoice. But Hall notes that for any kind of in-depth legal advice, questions or concerns, users should always consult an attorney.

The TMR app is currently built to take advantage of Apple’s iCloud technology, but the possibility of an Android solution is being discussed and Hall hopes to produce a cross-platform version. For now, the app is available only for iOS devices.

With such prestigious commercial clients as Pricewaterhouse Coopers, News Corp, Reuters and John Deere and professional sponsorships with Epson, SanDisk and Adobe, Hall now has peace of mind when she is out shooting. And with her nearly two million social media followers she has a built-in audience to promote and get the word out about the TMR App. Hall listened to photographers, took care of the details and got it right.  The TMR App is now the premier paperless solution for every photographer.

You can see more of Catherine Hall’s work at her site, www.catherinehall.net, and download the TMR APP here.

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