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Photo & Video

Photography and videography are important pieces for making your communications more interesting and effective in reaching your audience. Photography shows the personality of your unit and whenever possible, photos of our students, faculty, and staff should be used. Penn State’s brand manual talks about what makes a strong photo.

Where to find photos

Take them yourself. The best way to ensure you have the right to use a photo is to take the photo yourself. You don't need fancy equipment if you are taking photos for social media or web use. Ensure you have good lighting and you have consent from the individuals you are photographing. 

Contact our office to take them. The Student Affairs Communications and Marketing office is available to take photos. Submit a project request form to schedule services. Our office also keeps a library of past photos available for use.  

Contact our office for other options. We have access to a library of general Penn State photos as well as stock photos we can browse for you depending on your need. Do not use photos found online unless you are positive about the usage rights. Some free stock photo options are listed below.

Videography & Video Requests

We encourage you to look for ways to tell your story through video. Cell phones are a great resource if you want to capture video for social media. If you are creating a video yourself, please keep these things in mind.

  • All videos created by Student Affairs units, with the exception of social media posts, must be branded with an end slide that includes the appropriate wordmark and website URL.
  • All videos created by Student Affairs units for use on the website MUST be housed on the Student Affairs YouTube page. Please contact the Communication Manager to upload your video.
  • All videos MUST have closed captioning for accessibility. If you are submitting a video to us, please submit a script for us to create the closed captioning.

If you are unsure about how to adhere to any of these guidelines, please contact our office for assistance.  

Consent for Photos/Video

Penn State students, faculty, and staff in public places or at public events can be photographed for social media and news. It is best practice to introduce yourself and get verbal permission to post the photo if an individual is clearly recognizable in the photo. If contacted and asked to remove a photo, please do so as soon as possible.

For printed publications and the website, photos should have a signed release form if there is a clear focus on an individual or a few individuals. If you are unsure if you need a release form it’s a good idea to have the photo subject sign one just in case.

If you are photographing children, it is extremely important to have a release form signed by their parent or guardian no matter where or how the photo will be used. In general, it’s a good idea to refrain from photographing children’s faces. If it can’t be avoided, or if the event revolves around children, make sure to speak to a parent or guardian and have them sign the release form.

If you are hosting an event where registration is required, you can include a blanket consent as part of the registration process or with highly visible signage at the event. Please contact our office if you need help developing language to include.

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Photo & Video
Penn State Student Affairs
Communications & Marketing

203 Boucke Building 
University Park, PA 16802


Our events and programs are open to all students regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other protected class. Student Affairs is committed to building a community of belonging for all.