Before using photographs of individuals for Tulane University promotional materials and media, it is important to consider if the photograph's subject/model is required to sign a release/consent form.
The following guidelines were developed by the Office of Communications & Marketing and the Office of General Counsel. Please refer to your college, school, or program requirements if they are more stringent than those listed below.
Your department is responsible for collecting and archiving release forms for images taken by photographers other than Tulane staff photographers and freelance photographers hired by the Office of Communications & Marketing.
Crowd release signs will be posted by the Office of Communications & Marketing at large events and around campus. Please post the Crowd Release sign at your individual department events if you plan to photograph students/staff/faculty.
A release is generally required if the individual is:
- Recognizable or the primary focus of a photograph taken in a non-public space.
- Recruited specifically to serve as a model.
- Depicted in a setting associated with an expectation of privacy.
- A Minor (anyone under the age of 18). It is important to obtain a release signed by the minor's parent/legal guardian.
A release is generally not required if the individual is:
- Photographed in a public space or at public events. These are considered "campus scene" photos such as wide shots of campus life, sporting events, commencements, and outside events.
- Not recognizable in a non-public environment, such as a silhouette, posterior/dorsal view, or out-of-focus view.
- Invited to a group activity/event and chose to attend and participate of their own free will.
Even when a release is not required, it is a best practice to gain verbal consent prior to taking a photo or video of an individual or group of individuals. When requesting verbal consent, it is recommended that you list all the possible ways the images could be used, including social media, web, print, and advertising. If at any photoshoot, a student, faculty, or staff member declines to have their photo taken, this request must be followed.
For questions regarding release forms and photo/video usage, email Susan McCann: firstname.lastname@example.org.