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Photo and Multimedia Release Guidelines

All photographers and videographers taking photographs or video on Caltech property or of Institute events must obtain appropriate signed release forms from any student, faculty member, staff member, or member of the public who is visibly recognizable in the photograph. Crowd scenes where no single person is the dominant feature are exempt.

These rules govern photographs and multimedia content intended for use in any Caltech publication of a marketing or a public relations nature, such as newsletters, brochures, viewbooks, magazines, promotional items, or other such material. Releases also must be obtained for content used on the web. These rules are not in effect when photographs are taken of news events.

The following form has been approved by Caltech's Office of the General Counsel:

Photo/multimedia release form

These guidelines apply to photography/videography originating by Caltech's Office of Strategic Communications as well as faculty, staff, students, and third-party photographer/videographers hired to do work for the Institute. It is the role of the unit organizing photography/videography to ensure that these guidelines are being followed.

Standard photo and/or video shoots:

  • Caltech's official photography/videography release form must be signed. If the subject is a minor, a parent or legal guardian must sign.
  • It is the responsibility of the Caltech department that captured the photo/video or hired a professional to do so, to maintain a file of signed Caltech photography/videography release forms.

Public event or crowd photography/videography (i.e. commencement, athletic events):

  • Group and crowd shots, where individuals are not easily identifiable, do not require specific permission from individuals appearing in the image you are planning to use.
  • Out of courtesy, where possible, notice should be provided to the event participants or crowd. This can be done by:
    • Including a footnote on event materials (invitations, programs, etc.) with the following language: "Caltech will be taking photos/video at this event for use in advertising and other promotional materials, whether in print, electronic, or other media."
    • And/or by posting signs at the entrance of the event stating: "Photography/videography in process. Photos may be used for print, electronic, or other media."