Photo and video

Photo and video

headerphotovideoPhotography and images

Well 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 photo and video library

In the past few years Macquarie’s visual identity has become instantly recognisable thanks to the depth and diversity of images gathered by Macquarie’s photographic team.

More than 40,000 images are hosted in our Cumulus image and video library. Available images range from iconic campus shots – such as the lake, sculpture park and buildings – to photos of our researchers and other expert staff in action, as well as the social activities, students and other events that make up university life.

These images, along with videos, are available free of charge to the Macquarie community for use in promoting the University, its teaching and research, and are accessible through Cumulus, our image and video library.

Cumulus can be accessed online at To help meet growing demand, it was recently upgraded to become a more seamless and intuitive user experience.  Version 2.0 offers better search, order and download functions, but there are a few changes to the way it’s used, so we have developed a handy ‘How to’ guide to help get you started. It can be downloaded here.

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 - Adult
Photography consent form - Child

Video and YouTube

Posting to YouTube

All video's used on the web should be hosted on YouTube, and embedded into Squiz CMS.

There are two official Macquarie YouTube channels:

  1. Macquarie University
  2. The Macquarie Community - this is an internal channel and not publicly available however used to embed videos.

Macquarie University

Focused on brand building and student recruitment.

Content on this page should:

  • have an external target audience
  • be relevant to the Marketing Plan
  • be short and concise
  • have a well written title, description, tags and MQ URL (see writing for YouTube guidelines).

If you would like to upload a video to one of Macquarie University's YouTube channels, please contact

The Macquarie Community

Designed for internal hosting of video content.

Content on this page should:

  • have a small audience in mind
  • be predominantly relevant to internal audiences (staff/students)
  • be used for video storage of faculty/subject specific events in the playlists provided.

To upload content to this page please contact your faculty web coordinator who can list the video in the relevant faculty playlist.

Please ensure you have followed the following writing for YouTube guidelines when uploading videos.

Writing for YouTube guidelines

If you want to upload a YouTube video then you need to write a title, a description and some tags to go with it.

Here are some writing tips:


  • These should be short and catchy, like an attention-grabbing email subject line.
  • Think about what people would actually type into the search bar to find this video. If you use branding terms or industry jargon, rather than plain English, then people won’t even find or watch the video.
  • Make the title relatable to your target viewers
  • Be descriptive enough to convey the story – and yet short enough to fit within 60 characters. In other words: try to keep the title within seven words or so.

A good trick to use is to place your most important keywords right up the front, then use a colon, and then add the rest of the title that helps explain what the video is about. An example of this would be: Growing tomatoes: try these gardening tips

It’s clear, tells you what the video is about, and uses keywords people would search for.


The description field can appear in three different ways. In search results only the first 25-30 characters show, and on the video page it shows the first three lines (about 22 words) and then a show more link that, when clicked, reveals the rest of the copy.

For example, the following is the entire description for one of our videos:

At Macquarie you will have a university experience like no other. You won't just learn from textbooks, you'll learn from internationally respected researchers, unique industry collaborations and programs that give you the real world experience that employers look for.

Whereas this is what’s seen above the fold:

At Macquarie you will have a university experience like no other. You won't just learn from textbooks, you'll learn from internationally respected researchers, unique industry collaborations and programs

And this is what shows in search results:

At Macquarie you will have a university experience like no other. You won't just …

A good description makes sure that the first 25-30 characters contain the keywords people would search for and also succinctly explains what the video is about.

At the end of the day, the best advice is to write in a conversational tone and to use common sense. Stop and think: would this description really make someone want to watch this video? If not, then all the key messages and branding in the world won’t help you.

Another key tip is to link to your site within the description – this can obviously help drive visitors to your site.


Tags can help your video rank higher in YouTube’s search listing. Most tags are one word, but you can also have multiple word tags – such as “community engagement” – provided you enclose them in quotation marks.

  • YouTube recommends writing 12 tags or more. Also, mirror the title of the video, using the same word order in tags.
  • Don’t just add tags to drive traffic – instead, the tags need to genuinely reflect the content.


As a publicly-funded organisation, Macquarie is required to make all its online content – including content that we link to on YouTube – accessible. We not only have a moral obligation to make our content accessible, but also a legal one. Furthermore, the more accessible our content is, the more people can actually view it. Find out more information on transcriptions.

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