VCUarts Photography Guidelines

School of the Arts – Photography Guidelines

Last Edited: October 2018

Promotional Photography

  • Have you minimized disruption to classroom instruction? Photos of students should happen ideally after class time
  • Have you made participation voluntary? Faculty should let students know in advance that they can stick around after class if they choose to participate
  • Do you have consent to use the images from everyone depicted? Model release forms must be signed
  • Photographers will be from VCU and/or from VCUarts communications office
  • All other photography (for magazine articles, newspapers, etc.) should be coordinated through and with the VCUarts communications office

Photography of Events

  • Event photography may capture individuals, but the circumstances may make it too onerous to get a model release from each person. Use of these images is ok, provided we are not focusing in on individuals in a manner that makes the individual the subject of the image
  • There is no right to privacy in a public space, but it may be useful to notify participants of the presence of cameras at an event

Photography of Exhibitions

  • Have you ensured that participation is voluntary? Faculty should let students know ahead of time that the exhibitions (featuring close-ups of individual pieces) will be photographed on XX date and time so that students who do not want their artwork featured can opt out. We will make reasonable attempts to exclude their work from the featured artwork, yet some of the general exhibit space photos may include their work if part of the overall exhibit photograph.
  • Photos of exhibitions may not focus on a specific piece of art in a manner that can be reproduced as a print of the artwork. If the artwork is depicted in a manner that does not focus on the specific piece, the photo may be used for promotional use, this includes in print and on social media.

Photography of Artwork

  • If photographs are taken of individual pieces of artwork in a manner that can be reproduced as a print, student artists must give permission to use an image of their artwork in printed promotional pieces and sign a separate release form (if the student consents to being in the photograph as well, this can be all in one document). If course information or other educational records will be included in the promotional piece, this should follow FERPA guidelines.
  • Social media is more a grey area, as these images cannot be published in high-res. Best practices should be utilized when feasible.

Best Practice

  • Have a day when we have an open call for students to participate and stage the photos.
  • Get model release forms from individuals depicted in photos.

For questions, please contact:

Teresa Engle Ilnicki, Interim Director of Communications

Elizabeth L. Brooks, Associate University Counsel and Assistant Attorney General and Special Counsel
Phone (804) 828-1327
Fax (804) 828-6614