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Elena Shumilova magical photos are now licenseable exclusively on 500px Prime

Published by Evgeny Tchebotarev · June 5th 2014

You have probably heard about Elena Shumilova by now. She came into the spotlight when 500px ISO sat down for an interview with Elena, and the Internet quickly picked up and spread around her magical photos — from Reddit and Boredpanda to PetaPixel and ABC News.

In her work, she takes photos of her children and somehow breathes life into each shot. The results are just breathtaking.

To a lot of 500px photographers, she became the iconic success star, gathering a massive following and staggering viewership. There are thousands of fans of her work — from creative artists to art directors — and we have received a lot of requests for her works to be available for licensing.

Exclusive Partnership

So today, we are announcing something special — all of Elena’s works are now available to license through 500px Prime exclusively as a part of our new Rights Managed (RM) collection.

Elena Shumilova is joining 500px Prime as an exclusive contributor. Agencies and creatives can now request her photos for their campaigns, commercials or art work through Elena's 500px profile by clicking Request to License on a photo page.

About 500px Prime

500px Prime is a premium photography marketplace that was launched in March 2014. 500px Prime offers access to over 4 million professional photographers worldwide, 37 million data-backed authentic and honest photos, and dedicated research teams. 500px Prime puts photographers first with a revolutionary commission structure where our photographers earn 70% of every photo sold.

New and Exciting Features Coming to 500px

Published by Zach Kim · May 28th 2014

It is a very exciting time here at 500px. A few weeks ago, we released a new update to our main photo feeds: Popular, Upcoming, Fresh, and Editor’s Choice. We are now proud to inform you that we have two more features coming shortly.

In the next couple of days we will be releasing our brand new Notifications Header! Soon everything that is happening around you will be one click away.

Designed to bring you the latest updates when you are on 500px, you will receive notifications if someone likes, comments or faves one of your photos. In addition you will be notified if you have a new follower and when one of your photos are added to the main photo feeds.

But the fun doesn’t stop there: Trending Profiles

We will also be launching a feature that will allow photography fans to discover the most prolific photographers in the 500px community.

Trending Profiles, a new section in the Discover sidebar, is a gallery of top contributors across all categories that is updated regularly.

Looking for an amazing fashion photographer? Want to see through the eyes of an urban explorer? Then be sure to check out Trending Profiles on

These features will help you to access and discover everything that is important to you on 500px so you can focus more on what you love and why we are all here: photography.

Inside 500px HQ: Hooray! It's Bike to Work Day!

Published by Klassy Goldberg · May 26th 2014

We love doing stuff together! Today, our team put the pedal to the metal and joined hundreds of cyclists for Toronto's annual Bike to Work Day.

Did you bike to work today? Tell us all about it!

Working with Model Releases

Published by Nuno Silva · May 21st 2014

What is a model release?
In the photography industry, a model release is a binding legal agreement between a photographer and their model or any potentially recognizable human subjects. This agreement ensures that everyone is aware, feels compensated, and has consented to this type of usage. There are multiple versions and formats of model releases but generally all of them must share five main statements to cover commercial licensing (like we offer with 500px Prime):

  • The model authorizes the photo to be published;
  • The model authorizes that the image can be used commercially;
  • The model authorizes the use of the image for advertising and editorial purposes;
  • It is made clear that the model will not be further compensated beyond what is agreed on at the time of the shoot and no longer has any rights to the photos.

To be acceptable and legally relevant, the release must contain information about the photographer and the model, including mailing address and contact information (such as email and/or phone number, home address, etc.) and must be signed by both parties. Additionally, not only the photographer, but “their assigns,” or similar, must be mentioned in order for the photographer to license their content through agencies, vendors, distributors, etc.

When do I really need one?
If there is a recognizable person in your photo and you want to make it available for commercial licensing you ALWAYS need a model release. Without one you could be liable and face serious legal issues by your models for improper use of their likeness. For a model, commercial licensing means that their depiction will be used to sell and promote something (often, not knowing for what or how). To protect the model, additional considerations in our 500px Prime license and our standard model release limit the usage and restrict how the image can be used (i.e. never in a defamatory way, in pornography or other offensive materials).

The general questions you have to ask yourself in order to determine whether you need a model release are:

  • Is the person the main focus of the image?
  • Would I be able to identify myself if that was me?
  • Even if the person in the photos is not the main focus of the composition, could it be cropped to single anyone out?

You may think that a “recognizable person” means a full frontal, straight on, and clearly visible person. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes a person can be recognizable by other factors like context, location, the people they are with, clothing, or tattoos. Besides profiting on likeness, in some jurisdictions liability could also include violating someone’s perceived privacy for commercial gain.

Let’s clarify some of those cases:


If the person in the image is the main focus or if his/her distinctive features can be identified from the silhouette, you need a model release. If the person is small and there is no context or details that can make it recognizable, you don’t need one.

Model release needed
The model’s feature are very visible and recognizable

No model release needed
There is no detail or factor that can make these people recognizable and their features are not visible.

Body parts and tattoos:

Normally you don’t need a model release for detailed shots of body parts, like hands or feet. Though in some cases, a person may be able to identify themselves due to tattoos or birthmarks, in which case a model release is required.

No model releases needed
Low-risk since the focus is on the sparklers and not on the people

Model release needed
The tattoo makes this person highly recognizable even if her face is not visible

Location and context:

Even if the model’s face is not clearly visible there may be contextual factors that could make him/her identifiable. Factors like unique outfits or clothes, locations, photo shoot setting, etc.

Model release needed
The location and the outfit of the model makes her very recognizable even if her face is not visible.

No model release needed
Even if the main focus of the image is the person there is not enough context to make them recognizable.

There are some cases where you want to make sure you have a model release no matter what. Subjects like minors or nudes are considered sensitive matter and they always require more caution. If the model of your photoshoot is a minor, you need a model release signed by a parent or by the guardian.

This sounds like a lot of work.
At first it does, and when you’re not used to working with releases it may seem restrictive. However, besides being one of the largest legal risks of working as a commercial photographer, having the piece of mind that your models are all consenting is well worth the effort.

After having your first few releases signed, you’ll notice how easy it is, how quickly it can be done, and when and how best to approach your models and subjects. Speak with any professional commercial photographer and they’ll tell you it’s a necessary and painless process once you’ve become proficient at it. Thanks to technological advances, you can even use a mobile app, such as EasyRelease, to legally collect and store your model releases.

Now that you know all there is to know about it, take our QUIZ to find out if you are a model release expert!

Note: This article should serve as a general guideline. Some jurisdictions have special laws regarding privacy, language issues on legal contracts, or other special considerations. Please ensure that your model releases comply with your local laws.

500px Prime Presents: Creative Data Trends

Published by Alexandra Kim · May 20th 2014


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