Best Practices for Photo and Video Permissions
Members of the Framingham State community and photographers/videographers doing work for hire at Framingham State should consult and follow the guidelines below.
Media Release Form
- Obtain a signed media release form if you are using photos/videos for marketing communications—which include print or online materials intended to promote your department, office, or center—and the people in those photos/videos are recognizable. News-related use does not require a signed release.
- Do not take or use photos/videos of minors (individuals under the age of consent, which is 18 in Massachusetts) without obtaining a parent’s or a guardian’s signature on the media release form.
- Keep signed permissions for as long as you think you may use the photos/videos.
Expectation of Privacy
- If you are taking photos/videos in a public space (e.g., the McCarthy Campus Center, athletic fields, etc.) or at a large, open event such as Commencement, there is a limited expectation of privacy and a signed release is not needed.
- If you are taking photos/videos in a classroom or at a closed event, it might be logistically difficult to have everyone sign a release form. One option is to contact the professor or event coordinator in advance to ask how they would prefer that you notify participants about the shoot. You also may post a sign at all entrances with the following text:
"Photographs and/or videos may be taken [in this class/at this event, etc.]. By entering and attending [this class/event, etc.], you acknowledge and agree that your likeness may be included in photos and videos of the event and used by Framingham State University in connection with communications about [your department] or in other Framingham State communications. If you do not agree to this usage, [please notify the photographer or videographer/sit on the left side/do not enter the event, etc.]." Download the Generic Crowd Photography/Videography Sign.
- If you are already using photos/videos on your website or other communications without permission from the subjects, attempt to contact the recognizable people to obtain their permission, preferably in writing. If you are not able to obtain consent, you would need to discontinue using the photos/videos.
- If your photographer/videographer is a Framingham State employee or hired contractor, you may use his or her photos/videos for Framingham State purposes. If your photographer/videographer is not an employee or hired contractor, be sure you have a signed contract outlining how the University may use the photos/videos. Framingham State Administration can assist you with the contract details, including the negotiation of ongoing usage rights.
Contact Marketing & Communications if you have any questions about photo and video permissions, or if you would like access to a library of photos to which the University has copyright and proper permissions.