Best Practices in Photo & Video Permissions

Members of the MWCC community and photographers/videographers doing work for hire at MWCC 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, lab, 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.

Download the Media Release Form (2 print per 8.5×11 sheet)

Expectation of Privacy

  • If you are taking photos/videos in a public space (e.g., the student center, cafe, 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’d 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 MWCC in connection with communications about [your department] or in other MWCC 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 Sign

Terms of Use

  • 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 an MWCC employee, you may use his or her photos/videos for MWCC purposes. If your photographer/videographer is not an MWCC employee, be sure you have a signed contract outlining how MWCC may use the photos/videos. MWCC Administration can assist you with the contract details, including the negotiation of ongoing usage rights.
  • Credit the photographer or videographer when possible.

Visit the MWCC Photo Library (WebDAM) for photos and video clips that you may use in your communications. All permissions have already been obtained.

Contact Marketing & Communications if you have any questions about photo and video permissions.