Campus guidelines require photo releases on file for any identifiable person in a photo, including crowd photos at public events.

We asked for clarification from campus concerning the legal requirements of using photos of people, specifically, people in crowds at public events. Robin Kaler, associate chancellor, Public Affairs, provided the following instruction:

“Legal Counsel has made very clear to us that we are not to use images that include anyone who is recognizable and who has not signed a release. In situations where you cannot secure releases, we recommend using camera techniques to prevent challenges.” Kaler

  • Download and use the photo release form for adults. A separate form for minors is also available. Both forms are available in English and Spanish.
  • If you have a current photo release on file, you do not need to secure a new form.
  • Read more about photo releases on the CommIT website.

If you use a photo owned and taken by someone else, you must receive written permission to use the photo. Download and complete the Photographer License Form. The form specifies:

  • The photographer is granting use of the photo to Extension with no time limit.
  • The ownership of the photo remains with the photographer who may also grant others use/sale of the photo.
  • The photographer is confirming they own the rights of the photo; thus, have authority to grant Extension use.

If you secure a photo with a Creative Commons license, you must read to determine which of the 6 licenses the photo has and follow the requirements exactly.

  • Extension’s use of a photo is always considered “commercial.” This has been confirmed by campus.
  • The availability of a photo online does not mean it is legal to use.


COVID-19 photo regulations: When posting photographs of people at indoor events, all people must be masked.

Laura Mabry, ACES executive director of marketing and communications, has confirmed with August Schiess, campus director of social media, that when mask regulations are in place, no photos of unmasked participants at indoor events should be posted on social media or in news media.

“For any photos that have been taken indoors, including off-campus events, we are only sharing them if people are wearing masks. An exception would be if someone was speaking at a podium, like the chancellor, and they remove their mask to speak.” Schiess

  • Outdoor photos do not currently require masks.
  • As guidelines change, campus may update this requirement.