Tech Corner

Easy Release VS Photographers Contract Maker: Photography Model Release Apps for iPad

Easy Release VS Photographers Contract Maker: Photography Model Release Apps for iPad

So technology just made it cool to do standard legal work. I’m sure every photographer knows about model release forms that SHOULD be filled out and signed after each photo shoot with a model.

It’s good practice to always draw one up for the future in case the images need to be used or if any of the images are in question for copyright. Honestly in my career span of 5+ years I’ve only used release forms on a handful of occasions for calender and commercial projects. For weddings though I always do up a standard contract for my clients.

The iPad is a very useful tool for photographers. It’s a sleek, high tech way to present your portfolio, show reference poses to models, sign model release and wedding contracts digitally and have them emailed to you and the client instantly.

Currently there are two offerings in the App Store, Easy Release ($9.99) which is the more popular one and Photographers Contract Maker($2.99). Last night I decided to try them out both to see which one would be more suited to my needs.

Quick conclusion: Easy Release is my choice for Model Release Forms and Photographers Contract Maker for Wedding Contracts.

Now lets go into more detail for each.

Easy Release
Easy Release - ApplicationGap
In my initial testing of the two I played around with Easy Release first. The interface is straight forward, organization of your contracts well laid out and the overall presentation of the final contract itself with picture of client and signature very well put together. Here is a screenshot of the interface

It’s also easy to customize and create your own contracts. When your sending out the contracts, it sends both a PDF and a JPEG version of the contract. The area to sign is also a little bigger than in Photographers Contract Maker and with longer names it makes it much easier to sign. They currently only have two paper sizes, letter and A4 which is just right for model releases but for wedding contracts spanning from 4-12 pages it cuts off at about the first 2 pages. I sent an email last night to ApplicationGap with a suggestion to increase the pages for contracts so hopefully they update the feature in their next release.

Edit: They replied saying

for competitive reasons, we do not disclose our upcoming features or development schedule ahead of time

so lets just wait and see what they have in store for us.

Photographers Contract Maker
Photographers Contract Maker - MIchael The Maven
On first glance I thought Easy Release was gonna be my contract maker of choice but after seeing the current page limitation I fired up PCM to see how well they handled other type of contracts. Photographers Contract Maker so far after a couple hours of messing around has more areas to customize. Below is a screen shot of the main interface.

Also you have a much larger variety of place holders when compared to Easy Release which has only 5 (Photographer, Model, Property, Owner, Company). Switching between landscape and portrait orientations sometimes needs an extra shake and for one of the portrait sides it refuses to change to that orientation which can be annoying but I’m sure they’ll have a fix for it.

Final Word
If your on a budget Photographers Contract Maker for $2.99 will just about do the job for you. If you shoot a lot of weddings, its a no brainer. The overall presentation and input for Easy Release gives it a more polished/professional feel especially when you see the final contract layout. Photographers Contract Maker wins this battle overall, I’ve used it on my meetings with wedding clients to do up contracts and even receipts. Easy Release is really good for one page releases but at more than a triple of the price of PCM it really should deliver what PCM does and more.

P.S. Next update, battle of the portfolio apps, FolioBook vs Padport

Check out the comments below for other user experiences.


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Jonah W - 16. Jan, 2011 - Reply

Great review. I purchased PCM when it first came out and love it. I got Easy Release about a month later. Easy Release can only do one thing: One page releases. Also, while it’s description says it is customizable- this is misleading. PCM does both Releases and multiple page contracts, insert additional images and it is only $2.99. Why would anyone want to spend $10 on an app that does less?

admin - 17. Jan, 2011 - Reply

Definately agree with you on that one. I read so many good reviews about Easy Release thats why I got that one first. When I did a search in the App Store PCM also came up in the search and for $2.99 I said it won’t hurt to try it out also. I’m glad I did, it provides much more flexibility and at a 1/3 of the price of Easy Release.

Heather Murphy - 27. Mar, 2011 - Reply

Thank you! I was just about to add a release app to my shiny new iPad and thought I’d check the web for reviews. Easy Release was suggested to me, but I am going to give PCM a spin. Thanks!

Ashley - 28. Dec, 2011 - Reply

I’m a little confused with the PCM app. I tested it out and when I send the contract to myself and the client, the signature doesn’t show up with the contract. I actually can’t even find the signature anymore once the client signs it. It will show up “signed” but I can’t actually see the signature anywhere. :/

Anyone know anything or can give me more information?

Rye - 28. Dec, 2011 - Reply

PCM has been having various iOS5 bugs that they have been trying to resolve. If you have the latest version from the App Store i’d say that the best thing to do is to report the issue to them directly. You can email them at (found this email on this page in the App Store) and hopefully they can provide a fix for it in the next update.


NJ - 15. Apr, 2012 - Reply

Great Review!
I do stock and I started using Easy Release because legal at the stock company I submit to accepts the Easy Release verbage and the jpeg generated by the app makes my stock transactions super easy.
Although it’s one page sometimes less is more; It depends on the purpose for the contract. I have both Easy Release and PCM on my devices and use them both but use Easy Release more because the one page contains and does all I need it to do for portrait sessions. I add my additional terms/info in the addendum field-one page and done.