When taking photographs, recording audio, or shooting video for stories, promotional materials, or other purposes, it is important to consider whether the subject of the photograph or recording needs to complete a consent form prior to publication.
Releases are not typically required for:
- Public events, particularly those in public spaces, such as Involvement Fest, Homecoming, or athletics games
- Crowd shots or other photos where subjects are not easily identifiable
- Formal group photos of university employees representing UMBC, such as at an event or for the purpose of a news announcement
- Invited campus speakers
Releases are typically required for:
- Photographs taken in space that is presumed to be private, such as residence halls
- Photographs taken during a private event
- Photo shoots scheduled for promotional purposes
- Individual photos of faculty, staff, and students
- Minor subjects (under age 18, including university students)
- Students who are identifiable and who are in a location for a purpose other than to be photographed (e.g., practicing for a dance performance)
- Self-submitted personal photos from faculty, staff, students, or other community members
A release is required when a person’s likeness will be used in a paid advertising campaign.
Please use this UMBC Photographic, Video, and Audio Consent and Release Form as needed. If you are uncertain if a form is necessary in a particular situation, it is best to err on the side of caution and complete the form.
You should store any of your department’s signed (scanned or digital) forms in Box, either in a folder designated solely for this purpose or ideally in the same folder as the image, audio, or video files connected with the releases. For printed and scanned forms, we recommend using the consistent file naming convention “Year-Month-Date-Firstname-lastname-photoshoot” so you can retrieve signed forms if necessary in the future (example: “2021-02-01-Sarah-Smith-orientation“).
While the release form allows the university to use, reproduce, exhibit, alter, and distribute the released material in any medium and for any purpose, it is important to be sensitive to the perspectives and wishes of community members who complete release forms. If an intended use of released material varies notably from initial expectations of use, or involves sensitive topics or formats, confirming permission is advised.