Photo & Video Release Guidelines
General campus and event photography and video recording performed by Millersville University faculty, professional staff or students on behalf of Millersville University.
These general guidelines were developed by Millersville University’s University Communications & Marketing to serve as best practices when capturing photography or videography on behalf of the university. The following guidelines apply to the distribution of photos/videos taken by university personnel or those acting as an agent of the university with the intent to distribute externally, such as on university websites, digital/social media channels or in marketing materials.
When photographing or recording video of an individual or group in a public venue or while attending a public event on- or off-campus where there is not a practical expectation of privacy, it is not required to obtain written releases from those individuals if the photos will be used for news purposes. This includes spaces on campus, such as: atriums/lobbies, sports fields or stadiums, Millersville sponsored events or commencement.
Individuals have a limited scope of privacy rights when they are in public spaces. Persons can be photographed or recorded on video without their consent. Exceptions exist in those cases when individuals have secluded themselves in places where they have a practical expectation of privacy, such as restrooms, dressing rooms, medical facilities and residence halls.
When using photographs or videos 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.
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 with little expectation of privacy, such as sporting events, homecoming, and concerts. These types of photographs are often considered "campus scene" photos.
- It is a large group setting, such as wide shots of classrooms or campus scenic shots with no single subject.
- The photograph is taken in a non-public environment and the primary focus is not recognizable, such as when a silhouette, rear/side view, or out of focus shot is taken.
- Millersville 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 always required (to be obtained and maintained by the departmental unit, college or school that secures the image for the reasonable life of the image) for:
- For Advertising Purposes: It is important to obtain a Release Formfrom all individuals who are clearly depicted in any photograph or recorded video that will be used in any form of paid advertising, including but not limited to use in print materials, or social media posts that have been sponsored or otherwise promoted as advertisements. Other examples include use on billboards, buses, and digital ads.
- For Minors: For students or community members under the age of 18, a Release Form must be signed by a legal guardian.
- Faculty and Staff: While there is greater latitude to photograph faculty and professional staff than students in many contexts, it is still important to be respectful of privacy concerns. Inform faculty and professional staff that photos or videos are being taken and ensure there are no significant, unaddressed privacy concerns.
- Classrooms or small group setting: Because there can be a practical expectation of privacyin a classroom or a small group, it is a general best practice to notify the instructor prior to video or photography and obtain Release Forms from all individuals present.
*As a general best practice, requests by students and faculty and staff in a classroom setting not to be photographed or to be recorded in video should be respected.
A sample release/consent form is available for download.
Questions about the use of photographs in promotional materials at Millersville University may be directed to Millersville University’s University Communications & Marketing.