Images of People

There is an updated policy regarding photographing crowds at public events: 

Respecting people and their privacy is one of our core guiding principles. However, when you plan to take photographs or record video at an event, with the intent of using the images or likenesses in marketing-communications materials, it may be impractical to obtain written permission from each individual. Under circumstances where individual consent is impractical, you should:

  • Include the following disclaimer in pre-event materials for publicity, registration, etc.
    The university plans to capture photographs and video of this event. Be aware that if you attend, you are consenting to the possibility that your image and likeness may be shared or published by the university for marketing-communications purposes.
  • Post the following notice prominently at each entrance to the event. You can download photography notice signage.
    THIS EVENT IS BEING PHOTOGRAPHED & FILMED. By attending, you consent to your image being used in university marketing, social media and publications. Please alert the photographer if you don’t want your photograph taken. [If applicable add: Please sit in the “No Official Photography” area if you don’t want your photograph taken.]
  • Bring a supply of paper model release forms with you to large events and attempt to get an actual “wet” signature from anyone who is recognizable in an image you feel has great potential to be widely used.
  • Be especially cautious about collecting close-up still images and video of children, and NEVER use images/video of those under 18 years old and who are recognizable in an image or video clip without the written permission of their parent or guardian.
  • Be prepared to remove a still image from digital use as quickly as possible if someone who is recognizable in the image complains and be ready to explain if a video clip cannot be removed.
  • Be prepared to remove a still image or a video clip from the university’s database as quickly as possible if someone who is recognizable in the image/video clip complains.


    Images taken by other photographers

    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.


    Finding Approved Images

    • Here are some places to find approved photos for projects:
      • Unsplash: Unsplash offers professional marketing-quality photo at no cost. Its license allows for free download for personal or commercial uses without further permissions.
      • Storyblocks: Storyblocks offers high quality images, videos, and music for download and use without further permissions.
      • Getty Images: Extension pays for access to this royalty-free imagery. Our license grants rights to anyone within the organization to use photos for almost unrestricted purposes and frequency. If you need a photo and can't find anything through one of the free services, use this link to search Getty for an image you need and submit a marketing request. We'll provide the photo to you at no cost. Photos may only be used by Extension, not by our partners. Images can be used for multiple projects.
      • Adobe Stock: Staff can download unlimited standard level stock photos and illustrations directly from Adobe Stock when logged in with their University of Illinois enterprise credentials. You can use all assets, except those marked “editorial use only.” Photos can be downloaded when logged in to the Adobe Stock website or through Adobe Creative Cloud software, which is available to Extension staff to install directly on their computer using the IT software center. You can also search for stock images within Adobe programs such as Photoshop or InDesign. Design templates for InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator are also available. This service was first made available March 9, 2023.
      • Canva: Each Illinois Extension unit office and state program teams has access to a pro Canva account supplied by Extension CommIT. Contact the state communication office if you need login information. There are strict licensing requirements for using photos available in Canva. Canva is licensing you the right to use a design you create. You do not own the components that are within it. These are our restrictions
        • Cannot use a Canva stock image as a part of a trademark or logo design.
        • Cannot use a paid image in more than one design. Can tweak a design for use on multiple platforms.
        • Cannot reproduce the image more than 2,000 times (one-time use) or 250,000 times (royalty-free).
        • Cannot save photos to a network for use by others.
        • Cannot use Canva stock images in templates made available for sharing or for sale.
        • Cannot download Canva stock photos to use in designs created outside of Canva.
        • Cannot use images in items available for sale.
        • Cannot use Canva as a photo editing program for Canva photos without adding some type of creative treatment, such as text or graphic elements. 
      • Microsoft Applications: Microsoft products, such as PowerPoint and Word, offer photo searches. Go to the "insert" ribbon | select "online pictures" | enter a search term | check the box that says "Creative Commons." Microsoft does not fully guarantee all photos are creative commons, so use with caution only if a photo is not available through other free sources. 
      • Google Image Search: When you search for images, click the "Tool" tab | go to "Usage Rights" | choose "Creative Commons Licenses" in the pulldown. Google does not fully guarantee all photos are creative commons, so use with caution only if a photo is not available through other free sources.