Photo Release Guidelines

Personally identifiable photographs of currently enrolled students is not considered Directory Information under FERPA and as such can’t be released without written consent from the student. 

When using photographs of individuals online or in your promotional materials, it is important to consider if a release/consent form from the subjects/models is required before the photograph is published or otherwise made publicly available.  

These general guidelines have developed by the Community Relations Office. If you have additional questions please email

When a Release is Typically Required

A release is generally required if students or others (except YVC faculty/staff) are:

  • The primary focus of a photograph taken in a non-public space, are recognizable, and have been recruited specifically to serve as subjects/models.
  • Minors (i.e., anyone under age 18).
  • Current students, identifiable, and in a location for a specific purpose other than being photographed. For example, if a group of current students is studying in a YVC library and you want to take a photograph of the group studying, a release/consent form should be obtained from each subject/model.

When a Release is Not Typically Required

A release is generally not required if students or others are:

  • Photographed in a public space or at a public event, such as an athletics event, lecture, or concert. These types of photographs are often considered “campus scene or campus life” photos.
  • Photographed in a non-public environment and the primary focus is not recognizable, such as when a silhouette, posterior/dorsal view, or out of focus shot is taken.
  • YVC faculty or staff.
  • Invited to attend a group activity/event in either a public or non-public space and chose to participate of their own free will.