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. This includes professional services staff, academics, students and members of the general public.
- 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 photo library and is administered by the Multimedia Design Studio. The system has recently been upgraded and is in the process of being populated. University wide release of the new library will happen in late 2020. You can access the old Asset Bank Library here. If you experience problems in accessing this library please contact the Image Library team.
All staff and students will automatically be signed up to Asset Bank upon joining the University. To protect against overuse and misuse of certain images, restrictions will be put in place based on the nature of your role, as follows:
- Students are given access to a set of core images only, that they can view and download as required.
- Academics, Associates and Professional Services staff are also able to view and download the core set of images, as well as viewing all other material on Asset Bank and requesting to download, to be approved by the administrators.
- Staff in the marketing teams are able to view and download all assets without permission, as well as upload material to be approved by the administrators.
Please note that by using Asset Bank you agree that any images, films or documents downloaded by or shared with you must be able to be destroyed upon request. This also applies if you share assets externally.
If you have a digital asset that you would like to be considered for storage on Asset Bank please contact the Image Library team.
Please ensure digital assets are provided in high resolution, at a standard portrait/landscape format. Digital assets containing models will only be considered for upload if the associated Model consent form / Model (minors) consent form is provided. Consent forms also need to include a image description or correlating image name so that these can be matched.
If you have any further questions related to Asset Bank, please contact the Image Library team on SID.
If you have ‘upload’ permission please read our guidelines on uploading images to Asset Bank below.
Uploading images to Asset Bank
If you have upload permissions and wish to add your assets (subject to approval), please follow these guidelines:
- Do not upload every digital asset supplied by the photographer/filmmaker. There will be many very similar photos/clips in each set and you should choose the best one.
- Mandatory information: The title, description, keywords, photographer and folder fields are required to be able to save or submit the asset. Please include enough (and specific) information to make the asset easy to find, but no more than a few words for the title and two or three lines for the description.
- When adding information, it is suggested that uploaders answer the questions of who is in the photograph, what is happening, where and when?
- If the photographer is unknown, please type ‘Unknown’ into the text box.
- Assets can be placed into more than one folder if you see fit.
- If you use the bulk upload facility, please make sure that all information added is appropriate for all the images in that upload.
- Meaningful keywords: Complete the title, description and keywords as meaningfully as possible so that your photos are found in searches. Only keywords from the predefined list can be used. For annual events please add the year, either to the title/description or in the keywords if it is an option, e.g. Summer Graduation 2020.
- Data classification: There are four categories of classification – Public, Internal, Restricted and Confidential.
- Please choose ‘Public’ if you are happy for your images to be seen by the public, e.g. in print such as prospectuses or posters, on social media or the website, etc.
- Select ‘Internal’ if you are happy for your assets to be shared with staff and students at the University, but not with the public.
- ‘Restricted’ should be chosen if you upload an asset that you would like to share only with a restricted group of people, e.g. within a college.
- Choose ‘Confidential’ for assets containing personal data that should not be shared, e.g. consent forms.
- Indicate an expiry date. Our consent forms expire after five years, so please set the expiry date to five years from when the image/footage was created if there are identifiable individuals. For all other assets, e.g. images of buildings, there is no need to add an expiry date. On expiry, images will not appear in a search but will remain on Asset Bank, effectively archived.
- Click ‘Submit for approval’ and your image will be accepted or rejected (with a reason) by one of the administrators.
- Scan and store the model consent form with the image or film footage. In accordance with applicable data protection legislation, images or footage in which the subject(s) is easily identifiable cannot be stored or used without proof of consent. Consent forms are uploaded separately and selected as the ‘asset type’ on the upload screen. Once uploaded, these will be linked to their corresponding images/videos and moved to a folder that only administrators are able to see. Please ensure that descriptions of models on the bottom of consent forms are clear and detailed to enable them to be easily matched to their asset.
If you have any further questions related to Asset Bank, please contact the Image Library team on SID.
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 or film for a specific piece of print or for a web campaign we strongly recommend that you ask the Studio to work with the photographer/filmmaker and provide art direction for the shoot. Please contact the Multimedia Design Studio to discuss.
It’s important that you give the photographer/filmmaker 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?
- Format – landscape or portrait? For example, our web banners must be landscape and have an uncluttered area for text. Ask for the photo/video 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 – High resolution .jpg or .mp4 files.
- Deadline for deliverables: set a realistic deadline for receipt of the images. If the images are for immediate release to the press make appropriate arrangements with the photographer/filmmaker.
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.
This guidance is intended to cover the use of images, and any other materials sourced from the internet, that are typically used in sample lectures or other forms of taster teaching sessions. This includes but is not limited to presentations at Open Days, OHVDs, agent training etc.
Ordinarily, we can make use of certain statutory exemptions in a teaching environment when using third party owned copyright, for example, to illustrate a teaching point.
However, since the use of third party owned images for Open Day taster teaching sessions is in part a commercial activity, we cannot necessarily rely on those same statutory exemptions. Instead, to minimise risk of copyright infringement, there are online sources of images that should be used in the first instance.
Where to find images
Many of the image websites listed below provide access to images with Creative Commons (CC) licences. When using CC-licensed content you must ensure that you correctly attribute this content to its creator and otherwise meet the terms of the licence under which the image is offered. You can find out more about CC licences here.
Creative Commons Image Search
A quick way to search a number of image databases (e.g. Flickr, Google and Wikimedia Commons). Images will have different CC licences attached. It’s possible to limit your search to CC images licensed for commercial uses, by selecting the relevant tick box situated below the search box.
This site offers fully searchable access to images that have been uploaded by users, mostly for use on Wikipedia. Most of the content is available under some sort of Creative Commons licence and licensing information is clearly provided at the bottom of each image's individual page. Take care with images that are public domain in the USA, as it doesn’t automatically follow that they have the same copyright status in the UK.
This section of Flickr offers images that are available under a CC licence and also explains the different types of CC licences. Use the search box in the top right of the screen and then limit your search by licence type. When your search results are displayed, select from the drop-down menu in the top left of the screen. Instead of ‘Any license’ select, e.g. ‘Commercial use allowed’.
Be wary of using the ‘No known copyright restrictions’ option, as images may be in the public domain in the USA, but not in the UK or other jurisdictions.
British Library on Flickr
The British Library’s collections on Flickr Commons offer access to millions of public domain images. Browse their themed albums for inspiration and reuse.
Not all images on Google Images are CC-licensed, but it is possible to limit your search results to only images available under a CC licence. To do so, run your search in the standard Google Image search bar and then on the results page, click on search tools just below the search box. A further drop-down menu will then appear with ‘Usage Rights’ as one of the options. From there, select ‘Labeled for reuse’ or ‘Labeled for reuse with modification’ to find images with CC licences that allow for commercial use.
High quality photos, illustrations, and vector graphics. Free for non-commercial and commercial use (although don’t use any of the sponsored images from Shutterstock). Also I would draw your attention to the following extract from the Pixabay licence:
“Please be aware that while all Content on Pixabay is free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes, items in the Content, such as identifiable people, logos, brands, audio samples etc. may be subject to additional copyrights, property rights, privacy rights, trademarks etc. and may require the consent of a third party or the license of these rights - particularly for commercial applications.”
Contemporary collection of photos, all of which can be used for free, for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. As with Pixabay, while photos can be downloaded for free, photos with brands, trademarks, and people’s faces in them have the additional aspect of trademark, copyright and privacy infringement to consider and may require further permissions.
Europeana is an online collection of content from European libraries, archives, museums and other institutions. When building your search you can filter it in various ways. From the drop-down menu which asks ‘Can I use this?’, select ‘Yes’ to find materials that are either public domain or carry a CC licence that allows for commercial use.
Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Library
The Folger Shakespeare Library has licensed all of its images in the Digital Image Library under a CC BY-SA licence. This allows you to use their content without additional permission, provided that you follow the terms of that licence, including that you cite the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and you license anything you create using the content under the same or equivalent licence.
If any images (not issued with a CC licence) or screenshots are being included in presentations for the purposes of criticism and review or quotation, it may be possible to rely upon Section 30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Please note there is a set of criteria that your use will need to meet, including but not limited to fair dealing, sufficient acknowledgment and using material already made available to the public. If you are in any doubt as to whether this exception applies to your particular use, and you cannot find alternative licensed material, the safest course of action is to seek direct permission from the copyright owner. More information on this exception can be found here.
If you have a specific copyright query or may need specific guidance on applying a copyright exemption, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whose responsibility is it to ensure we have the correct GDPR compliant permissions?
The person doing the processing needs to be able to evidence the consent if required, meaning if we are storing or using an asset we need to ensure we have the correct permissions.
Do we need to delete images/footage of students on our social media channels pre-GDPR?
No, but you would need to take them down if asked and seek consent if you intend to reuse the assets.
Do we need permissions if several people are photographed/filmed?
Yes and you need to ensure each of the models sign the consent form.
Is there any difference between digital and printed use of images?
Not legally, but it is harder to action removal requests once something is printed so you need to make sure to get what you need up front.
Group/Launch events – do we need everyone to complete a model consent form? If there are Crowd Release notices visible or when tickets were booked it could state photographs/footage would be taken for the website, would that suffice?
If the event is public then the Crowd Release notice would be enough. If the photograph/footage focusses on individuals then the model consent form would be required for each person.
If a partner sends images of an event, for example, do we have to obtain separate GDPR consent from people pictured or can we use the images we have been given by the partner?
We would need to get some confirmation that they had signage in place and that participants were informed that the images were going to be shared with us as a third party. However we can only store on Asset Bank images with matched consent forms.
Do we need students to fill in model consent forms for Instagram takeovers?
There should be some sort of contract in place with the student, even something very informal, to ensure that they have been made aware of their rights and responsibilities. There would need to be consent for images of other people as well. However we can only store on Asset Bank images with matched consent forms.
How long can images/footage be used/stored for?
This depends on what the consent form specifies. Older forms say we will use the assets for up to 5 years, which means after 5 years they must be taken down. The new consent form, however, has no time limit so theoretically we can use the assets for however long we wish.
What do we do with news images? For example, images a person has given us of themselves to accompany a web/magazine story, that will not be used for other promotion. Is email permission sufficient, or do they need to fill in the GDPR form, and where should this and the photo be stored?
Them providing the image for use can be treated as active consent, however we can only store on Asset Bank images with matched consent forms.