Use of photography and film

Whilst visual imagery (photograph, film footage) is key to the success of your project, together with the use of colour, branding, style and concept, which all contribute to the impact and identity of your materials the requirement to be GDPR compliant when using any images is essential. It is illegal to use anyone’s image without their consent and this consent must be documented and be able to be demonstrated. Please use the revised Model consent form and follow the guidelines.

Guidance for use of images

  • You can only use the material if you are able to demonstrate a person’s written consent.
  • If you cannot demonstrate consent, then the material must be removed from University records.
  • This is the Model consent form.
  • The completed and signed consent form must be available for inspection, as could be required at any time. If you can use Asset Bank, then the consent form should be stored with the image electronically. If not, then in paper form.
  • A model has the right to request a list of places where their image has appeared, therefore a log must be completed, recording the date, location and format that the image has been used.

Asset Bank holds the University’s photolibrary.

‘View only’ access to Asset Bank is automatic for staff and students with a University of Exeter username and password. Upload/download permission is restricted to the Multimedia design, digital and marketing teams to protect against overuse and misuse of certain images. If you have ‘view only’ permission you should contact your Campaign Manager or Web Officer to have your chosen images downloaded.

If you are a member of the Multimedia design, digital or marketing team you can request your download permission via the ‘Contact Us’  link on the left-hand menu in Asset Bank.

Uploading images **UNDER REVIEW**

If you have ‘upload’ permission please read our guidelines on uploading images to Asset Bank below.

Asset Bank does not hold our entire photo stock but we are adding to it all the time. If you can’t find the image you want please contact the Multimedia design studio or the Digital team.

Uploading images to Asset Bank **UNDER REVIEW**

In order that this resource can work efficiently for everyone searching for images and remain manageable, current and relevant, please follow these guidelines when uploading images.

  • Scan and store the model consent form with the image or film footage.
  • Do not upload very hi-res (10Mb+) images. This resolution may be needed in certain print projects and the CD should be kept. Images uploaded to Asset Bank should be limited to 3Mb because of storage capacity.
  • Do not upload every image supplied on the CD. There will be many very similar photos in each set and you should choose the best one.
  • Meaningful keywords: complete the title, description and key words as meaningfully as possible so that your photos are found in a search. For annual events please add the year eg Graduation 2013.
  • Image-specific keywords: if you use the bulk upload facility please make sure that the title, description and key words are appropriate for all the images. Do not put unspecific information eg Building on Streatham Campus or Undergraduate brochure
  • Terms of use: for general photos that can be used by anyone put ‘No restrictions’. Otherwise put ‘Please contact ....... before downloading’.
  • Indicate an end (expiry) date. Suggest three years as the maximum – most photos will look out-of-date after this time because of fashion, equipment, building decor etc. On expiry images will not be found in a search but are effectively archived.
  • Consent: the model must sign the consent form before we can use the image. For buildings, abstracts etc select N/A.
  • Usage right: select ‘Internal Use'. This is because we have set up Asset Bank so that it can only be accessed from addresses; once downloaded images can be sent to external agencies if required.
  • Categories: select the category, and if applicable, the sub-category. If there is a sub-category only, click ‘Add’ for the sub-category. 
  • Access Levels: Select ‘Universal’.
  • Click ‘Submit’.

The Model consent form should be signed by all models used in photographic shoots/video footage, scanned and stored in Asset Bank in order to comply with the GDPR.  

If those you are photographing/filming are, or may be under 18, then you need to get the consent of their parent or the person with parental responsibility. See Model (minors) consent form. If you are in any doubt then do not proceed with the photo shoot/filming.

GDPR requires you to obtain the model’s consent if you take their photograph or footage for use by the University. This applies to students, staff and non-University models and you should scan and store the consent forms with the image in the central image library, Asset Bank. 

If the activity includes minors (under 18) parental consent must be obtained. Please refer to the sample Model (minors) consent form. You would normally coordinate signatures via the teacher or leader of the group.

If you take a group photo, for example a lecture, students should be given the opportunity to leave the group whilst the photo/filming is taking place. The person in charge of the group (lecturer in this case) should sign the consent form on behalf of the group.

Sometimes photographers and filmmakers will shoot in a public area where people in the background may be captured on camera. It is not practical to get every single person who enters that area to sign a photo/film release form. So, “crowd photo/film release notices” should be posted at all entrances.

If you are taking photographs/filming at an event please find below a link to download the Crowd Photo Release Notice, available as size A3 and A4 Posters to display at the event entrance.

If you are commissioning photography for a specific piece of print or for a web campaign we strongly recommend that you ask the Studio to work with the photographer and provide art direction for the shoot. Please contact the Multimedia Design Studio to discuss.

It’s important that you give the photographer as much information about the shoot in advance, as this will help them prepare. Tell them how you will use the photo and show them images that have inspired you so that they know what style you want.

Your brief should cover:

  • Objective – what story do you want the photo to tell?
  • Location – indoors/outdoors, is there a bad weather plan?
  • Start and finish times – make sure you allow enough set up time. 
  • Lighting – is there enough natural light or is lighting equipment needed?
  • Image format – landscape or portrait? Our web banners must be landscape and have an uncluttered area for text. Ask for the photo to be shot so that it can be cropped in different ways.
  • Event photography – who are the important people to capture? Eating and drinking is often not flattering and limits the photo’s use.
  • File format – ask for a CD with the photos at both high and medium resolution. Hi-res files (10mb+) are needed for some print projects but should not be stored on Asset Bank because of server capacity. Medium res files (3mb) may be uploaded to Asset Bank.
  • Deadline for deliverables: set a realistic deadline for receipt of the CD. If the images are for immediate release to the press make appropriate arrangements with the photographer.

Before the shoot, think about:

  • Diversity and inclusivity of your subjects.
  • Room preparation – some removal of clutter may be necessary.
  • Group shots – if the group or the style of photography has a dress code warn the subjects in advance.
  • Props – make arrangements if props are needed.
  • Safety – make sure that all safety requirements are followed, eg in laboratory shots protective glasses, hair tied back, white coats etc; building work hard hats, hi-vis jackets etc.

Sometimes photographers and filmmakers/videographers will shoot in a public area where people in the background may be captured on camera. It isn’t feasible to get every single person who enters that area to sign a photo release form. So please ensure you post a “crowd photo release notice” at all entrances.

If you are taking photographs at an event please find below a link to download the Crowd Photo Release Notice, available as size A3 and A4 Posters to display at the event entrance.

A4 photo release notice

A3 photo release notice


The photographers and filmmakers listed below have all worked for the University. Before booking a photographer/filmmaker please contact the Multimedia Design Studio to discuss their suitability for your project.

Photographers - Devon

Photographers - Cornwall