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Staff Summer Celebration 2023

Photo and Video Best Practices

UC San Diego strives to maintain a climate of fairness, cooperation, and professionalism. We also aspire to capture our values of inclusiveness, respect, and dignity in our photography and videography. Please consider the following principles and best practices when shooting photos and video at UC San Diego of our faculty, staff, and students.

Principles and Values

  • Be Inclusive: Our campus and community comprise a variety of people, places and experiences. Our photography and videography should capture this diversity while also remaining authentic and reflective of our campus.
  • Be Respectful: We want to promote open expression of campus community members' individuality while also being courteous, sensitive and maintaining confidentiality, when needed.
  • Be Purposeful: Photos and videos tell a story. Think carefully about the story you want to tell through imagery. What is the goal? Who is it for? What do you want them to do?


  • For dedicated photo or video shoots or at very small campus events (e.g., classroom or lab photo shoots, lectures in small venues, outdoor events like picnics or potlucks, etc.), obtain a signed release from all subjects appearing in the photo or video. Use UC San Diego’s official model release form to document an individual’s consent to be photographed or filmed.
  •  At large campus events (e.g., commencement ceremonies, awards ceremonies, Homecoming events, etc.), release forms are not mandatory, but post signs informing participants that they may be included in photography or video. Special Events and Protocol provides these signs for events that they coordinate. Signs that you can print and display are also available for download via Google Drive.
  •  If a subject in photography or videography is under 18 years of age, ensure a parent or guardian also signs the release form. A release form signed by an individual under the age of 18 is not legally binding.
  •  If the subject later requests removing their photo(s) or video(s) from circulation, respect their wishes where possible, even if a release form was signed. Keep records of conversations with the subject.
  •  When using the UC San Diego Media Gallery in Photoshelter, consult the notes and metadata on the photo/video file for any limits on usage or specific permissions that may be required.
  • For questions related to photography and/or video permissions, contact

Usage Guidelines

While photos downloaded via the UC San Diego media gallery are all downloadable for those who have access, there are a few guidelines that are necessary to ensure proper use:

  • Copyright of images is retained by the Board of Regents of the University of California, unless noted otherwise. The copyright line should appear as “Copyright ©️ the Board of Regents of the University of California.”
  • Reproduction rights are granted for noncommercial use that markets, promotes and supports the University of California San Diego.
  • Please include the credit line noted with the image when used in editorial vehicles (e.g., press release) or external media. Credit line is not needed when publishing on UC San Diego websites.

If you have questions regarding photo use or image identification, contact Creative and Digital Strategy.