Photography and images

Photography and images

Examples of suitable photosWell composed and considered photography can add enormous impact to a publication or website. The use of authentic and original images can help tell an important story about student, academic or campus life. It is preferred that all images are created by professional photographers wherever possible. The use of stock library images in University publications or on University websites is not supported or encouraged.

Examples of the type of professional images that are acceptable: simple, well composed, and colour adjusted.

Using Cumulus

Group Marketing maintains a small library of photographs taken on the Macquarie University campus since 2001. These range from images that epitomise the campus - such as the lake, sculptures and buildings - to general photos of university life, including staff and students.

Photos from the library are available free of charge to the Macquarie University community for use in promoting the University, its teaching and research.

The library can be accessed online at Instructions on how to use the library can also be downloaded or you can get help via the Cumulus Wiki.

These guidelines were produced by Group Marketing to help you commission and/or select the best possible images for your publication. We recommend you refer to these guidelines as you initiate, produce and/or publish images. You are responsible for ensuring the images used in your publication adhere to copyright laws and meet any other relevant legal and University requirements.

Note that the following is general information and should not be considered legally binding.

Use of images

The following terms and conditions apply to all images, whether they are specifically commissioned or sourced from the University's photo library.

  • The author (ie. the photographer) generally retains copyright over images unless an explicit agreement otherwise has been reached.
  • The copyright of images taken by University staff in the course of their employment is owned by the University.
  • Images are to be used for legitimate University publications only.
  • External/third party use of images requires an explicit agreement with the copyright owner and may attract an additional fee.
  • Images must always be credited to the author unless an agreement has been made not to credit. Artworks and sculptures that appear within photos must also be credited.
  • Images must not be given away, distributed or sold for commercial use. Under this term, an 'image' is defined, without limitation, as all digital images and any related textual information (including captions and credits). Consent is required for photos including recognisable people. A form is available from the designer in Group Marketing.

Crediting images

Images must always be credited to the author (ie. the photographer) unless agreement has been made not to credit the photographer. Any artworks or sculptures that appear within photos must also be credited to the artist. Permission may also need to be obtained from the artist or University Art Gallery to publish images including artworks.

Suggested formats:

  • where copyright in the image is held by Macquarie University:
    Photo: Copyright (year of image creation) Macquarie University / by (name of photographer)
  • where copyright in the image is held by the photographer:
    Photo: Copyright (year of image creation) (name of photographer)

Unauthorised use

Any use of images other than those agreed upon with the photographer constitutes unauthorised use - that is, an infringement of copyright. This entitles the copyright holder (ie the photographer or the University) to exercise their rights under copyright law, including prohibiting further use and claiming monetary damages.

It is important to note that:

  • using images as a trademark or service mark, or incorporating images into logos, etc, also constitutes a copyright infringement.
  • using images to infringe upon any copyright, trade name, trade mark or service mark of any person/entity is illegal.
  • it is unlawful to use an image that defames or violates a person's rights to privacy and publicity.
  • it is unlawful to use an image contrary to the intended use - including producing and/or promoting pornography.

Sensitive subjects

It is important to ensure that appropriate permission/release forms are obtained for the capture of images and that the release details are as specific as possible to ensure they are not misused or contravene the wishes of the subject. Particular care should be taken when choosing images used to illustrate subjects which could be considered sensitive.

Where the image is of a person, permission and advice must be sought from the person concerned.

It is recommended to avoid images which could be reasonably interpreted as exposing a person to ridicule, disparaging a person or product, or associating them with an issue with which they have no personal affiliation. Harassment, discrimination and defamation are illegal and can occur in one-off situations.

Sensitive images could include (but are not limited to) issues regarding:

  • violence or abuse (physical, psychological)
  • the misuse of alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances
  • sex, sexual preference or gender (pornography, sexual violence, misogyny, homophobia, pregnancy)
  • disabilities (physical, intellectual, mental illness, learning disabilities)
  • chronic illness or disease (including HIV AIDS, cancer, mental illness)
  • race or religious affiliations (racial stereotyping, profiling)
  • representation of Indigenous people and cultural artefacts.

If in a particular context such images seem warranted, clients must first seek written permission from the Manager, Equity and Diversity. Copies of the proposed images and written permission may be required.


Before reproducing photographs in your publication, you must get written permission from everyone who is identifiable in the image.
Photography consent form (PDF, 58K)

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