• Print

Guidance for photographers

This page outlines what we expect of individuals taking photos on behalf of the University of Nottingham, and the policy and procedure you need to keep to for us to meet our legal and ethical requirements.

A ‘shoot’ is any instance when photographs are taken for use by the University, regardless of the setting. This includes visits, events, day to day teaching and any other occurrence.

Make sure you are familiar with all this guidance before you proceed. Breaching our policies, particularly when regarding child or sensitive photography, will be treated with the utmost seriousness.

 guidance for photographers


More information

Preparing for a photoshoot

Before you begin a photographic shoot, you need to follow these steps:

  • If you are an external photographer, please contact the photographic team to arrange a data processing agreement which must be signed.  
  • Ensure that all photography is booked through the photographic team, or if not then that the Image and Photographic Manager is notified that the shoot is taking place.
  • Request a photography brief and schedule at least a week in advance of the shoot from the organiser. If you're shooting buildings, make sure that the time of day is suitable in relation to where the sun will be, as well as other weather conditions for both portraits and building imagery.
  • Make sure you are completely familiar with the brief provided so that you know you're capturing all the required images and formats that have been requested, and in case you have any queries. 
  • Try and maximise the variety of images taken on the day, – we may use them for many years, so it's helpful to have a good range.
  • Try and take images in both landscape and portrait versions  – this is useful when the images need to be cropped.
  • Consider digital adverts when taking photography, and make sure the images will be suitable. The University uses Google Display Ads and they generally ask for the following sizes, so consider these when taking photographs:

250px by 250px

728px by 90px

300px by 250px

300px by 600px

120px by 600px

160px by 600px

970px by 90px ·        

  • Ensure you have the contact details of the staff member who organised the shoot and whoever will be present on the day in case of unforeseen issues. 
  • Make sure you know when the images are required by, as there may be urgent deadlines. 
  • Get familiar with the brand guidelines and the guidelines for assisting on a shoot.       
  • Make sure that, wherever possible, relevant Privacy Policy notices*  have been sent out in advance to individuals who will be the subject of shoots. They should be sent out in pre-event publicity wherever possible.
  • If possible, get a list of individuals who do not wish to be photographed in advance.   
  • Check to make sure none of the photography taking place will be of a sensitive nature (such as taking place on the University of Nottingham farm, involving undisclosed research, at the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre). If it is, refer to the guidelines for photography of a sensitive nature.    
  • Make sure that none of the subjects of photography will, or could be, children. If they might, make sure you refer to the guidelines and policy for child photography.

*Please be aware that seperate very young child, young child, teenager and guardian privacy policy notices must be given out to the relevant models. 


During the shoot

Upon arriving at a shoot, you need to perform some last-minute checks before taking any photos. You then need to consider some important points while the shoot takes place.

  • Remember to reflect our brand guidelines in all your photography. Consider the University's core brand statement of ‘a world beyond the ordinary’, and how you are capturing the exceptional University of Nottingham experience. Incorporate blue tones in your images wherever possible, and particularly in any hero images for covers or high-profile campaigns.
  • Within groups focus on, or 'hero', an individual or a small group within larger group shots to create a focal point.
  • Avoid images that look staged, as unnatural poses undermine the authenticity of our brand. 
  • Good light, lens and luminous textures help us convey real and believable images. Where additional artificial light is needed, it should complement the existing lighting to avoid over stylising.

  • We often need to use images with text over them. If this is the case, care should be taken to consider how typography could be used, allowing clear space or simple backgrounds.
  • When photographing certain subjects (such as sport) there may be a case for capturing the energy and movement through dynamic pans or careful motion blur. Care should be taken to ensure that the focal point of an image is sharp and clear. 


For open shoots

These are shoots where individuals have not been specifically organised to attend the shoot, or where the shoot takes place in an open or accessible area.

  • Check that Privacy Policy notices and photography disclaimers have been posted around the area. These should be highly visible, displayed numerous times and positioned to catch the eye. The staff member on the shoot should have these ready and have displayed them around the location, but you must check that this is the case. Please do not reduce the posters to A4 size as they will be too small to read on the walls. 

Photography Privacy Policy notice (A3, no bleed)

Photography Disclaimer (A3, no bleed)

Photography Disclaimer (pull-up banner)

  • Identify any subjects that do not wish to be photographed, or legally cannot be photographed, and ensure that you know who they are. Sometimes a small coloured sticker given to those individuals can be helpful.
  • Check that the conditions and subjects of the photography are as you expected, and that no material elements have changed. If they have, make sure that you can still keep to the guidance, and if not do not continue with the shoot. 
  • When photographing an individual or group that is the focus or feature of a photograph, you must ensure they have been given an individual privacy notice in advance. If possible get them to return the slip with personal information completed, completing the ‘for office use only’ section yourself.

For model shoots

These are shoots where all the participants are staff, students or professionally employed models who have been specifically organised to attend the shoot, and where they will be the only subjects of photographs.

  • Ensure that an individual Privacy Policy notice has been passed given to them in advance if possible.
  • Take headshots of the models and provide the assisting staff member with the corresponding head shot numbers for the model identification section of the privacy notices.
  • Ensure that all models have fully filled in the model identification section of the privacy notice before they leave. Make sure you complete the section of each form marked ‘for office use only’.

During the shoot, check against the brief to ensure everything is covered. 



After the shoot

  • Pass all returned privacy notices to the staff member on the shoot. These should be scanned by them and attached to the photoshoot images, and the original privacy notices destroyed. The forms should be password protected, and the Image and Photographic Manager should always know the password.
  • Only photographs featuring individuals with the relevant privacy notice served and the model identification section filled in should be stored and reused by the University.
  • Any photographs featuring individuals who you believe were not served a privacy notice should be destroyed immediately. 
  • Send all images as high-resolution jpegs. Please keep original RAW or TIFF files for five years, before deleting them. If these need to be deleted for other reasons, please provide them to the Image and Photographic Manager before destroying them.
  • Images should be sent to the Image and Photographic Manager via One Drive, WeTransfer or a hard drive if the images are too large. The hard drive will be returned to you. If you are sending them to the staff member who commissioned the shoot, please advise them that all images are subject to final approval by the photographic team. The Image and Photographic Manager should be sent copies of all images from photoshoots.
  • Do not transfer files via Drop Box, Google Drive or any other cloud solution that has not been explicitly approved by the University of Nottingham. 
  • Please send the images promptly and by the deadline specified in the brief.
  • Unless out of focus or blurry, please provide all images taken on the shoot.
  • If you're an external photographer, forward the shoot invoice to the University of Nottingham lead after the shoot. Payment will be made within 30 days once the payment has been submitted.

Photography involving children

Any photoshoots that involve taking photos of children are subject to specific and strict policies. This is due to additional concerns around the protection of children's data, but also safeguarding standards and requirements.

Never take photographs of children if you were not expecting to be photographing children before arriving.

The guidelines for all subjects remain in place for children, but with the following changes or exceptions: 

  • Privacy notices must be served before taking a photo, and the personal details section must be completed and returned before this happens. Children cannot be served this notice alone – you must service it to their parent or guardian, and have them complete the personal details section.
  • Check with the parent or guardian to ensure there are no other legal barriers to taking photographs of a child. Never challenge this, or question it, simply accept the parent or guardian's guidance as absolute.
  • If you cannot identify a child's parent or guardian, you must not take photos of that child. Always ask beforehand at open shoots. Teachers cannot act as parent or guardian in this instance. We cannot accept the authority of an individual not the parent or guardian (extended family, friends, etc).
  • Schools might have their own procedures around getting consent from parents for photographs being taken – we cannot rely on this, and must serve our own privacy notices as well.
  • You should serve an age-appropriate privacy notice to the child as well as to their parent or guardian. Choose from the following categories to see which notice you should serve:

Under 5s should be served the Very Young Children Privacy notice

6-12 year olds should be served the Young Children Privacy notice

13-17 year olds should be service the Teenager Privacy notice

Photography disclaimer for Parents/Guardians

Those 18 or over can be served the standard Privacy Policy notice

  • All photographs of children should be kept exclusively by the Image and Photographic Manager, and local copies should not be kept by the commissioning member of staff. Photographers can still keep the original RAW or TIFF files for five years as normal.

Organising school visits

Before photographs are taken as part of a school visit (with students from schools coming to the University, or University photographers going to a school or college), you should follow these procedures:

  • Ensure that our privacy notice is provided to the school well in advance to be sent home to parents. Parents must complete the personal details slip and return the notice or slip to the school who must pass it on to us. If we do not have these details in advance, we cannot take photos of a child.
  • At the shoot, identify the children who you have permission for, and provide other children with a coloured sticker to indicate you cannot photograph them.
  • Make sure you still serve the age-appropriate privacy notice to the children themselves before you take any photographs.

Photography of a sensitive nature 

There are some types of photography which are subject to additional restrictions. This includes:

    • the University of Nottingham farm
    • photography involving undisclosed research
    • the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre

When you are taking photography involving any of these things, please keep to the following policy:

  • A member of management of the area should always be present on the photoshoot. 
  • A recce of the location should be carried out beforehand, to ensure that the subjects are not photographed for too long on the day of the shoot.
  • For security reasons, some photography must avoid identification of personnel or animals. Photographers and staff must seek advice from the subject area prior to the shoot.
  • The welfare of the individual and animals' data is paramount.
  • Digital images must not be stored on computers or digital cameras, but on hard drives or the University Image Bank. Hard drives must be encrypted and stored in a safe place.

There are some further restrictions around photography at the University of Nottingham farm:

  • Photography within the farm facilities must be authorised by the research license holder and/or the appropriate farm manager. This includes photographs taken on any device, including phones, tablets or similar equipment.
  • For privacy reasons, photography and videography are not permitted by visitors on the University farm. If visitors require imagery, then brand photography can be provided by the farm manager Nigel Armstrong.
  • Photography depicting laboratory animals (where printing is contracted out) must be produced by John E Wright and Co Ltd. A specific confidentiality agreement now exists between the University and this company. Please contact the in-house photographer Lisa Gilligan-Lee for more details.
  • Failing to comply with this policy could result in exclusion from Biomedical Support Unit facilities.

Extra advice for photographers

  • Make sure you have a data sharing agreement in place with the University. If you don't, then we won't be able to accept the photography you take.
  • Submit a quote for the job to the staff member requesting the shoot, and make sure you've been supplied with a purchase order before the shoot takes place.
  • A parking permit should have been provided before the shoot. However, please feel free to request a permit from your University contact.



External Relations

University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Rooms C2-C10)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
contact us: Make a enquiry