Photo Release Guidelines
When using photographs of individuals in your promotional materials and media, it is important to consider if a release/consent form from the photograph's subjects/models is required before the photograph is published or otherwise made publicly available.
These general guidelines were developed by experts in Purdue Marketing & Media and the Office of the Registrar. If your college, school, or program has established more stringent requirements than what is listed below, you should observe your area's requirements.
When a Release is Not Typically Required
A release is generally not required if students or others are:
- photographed in a public space or at public events, such as sporting events, Boiler Gold Rush, and concerts. These types of photographs are often considered "campus scene" photos.
- the photograph is taken in a non-public environment and the primary focus is not recognizable, such as when a silhouette, posterior/dorsal view, or out of focus shot is taken
- Purdue faculty or staff.
- invited to attend a group activity/event and chose to participate of their own free will.
When a Release is Typically Required
A release is generally required if students or others (except Purdue faculty/staff) are:
- the primary focus of a photograph taken in a non-public space, are recognizable, and have been recruited specifically to serve as subjects/models.
- Minors (i.e., anyone under age 18). It is very important to obtain a release/consent form for minors.
- current students, identifiable, and in a location for a specific purpose other than being photographed. For example, if a group of current students is studying in a Purdue library and you want to take a photograph of the group studying, a release/consent form should be obtained from each subject/model.
As a courtesy to subjects/models, you are encouraged to obtain a photo release/consent form in instances where an individual can be identified and is the primary focus of a specific photograph.
A sample release/consent form is available.
Questions about the use of photographs in promotional materials at Purdue may be directed to Purdue Marketing & Media.