Photos: What You Need to Know

Table of Contents:

Photo Releases

If you plan on using any photos taken during your event, you will need to have signed Photo Release Forms. A photo release is required for all individuals in the photos. It is the responsibility of the event-based staff to have these forms completed and on file for all mediums used prior to production of (video, photo, etc.) and available as needed/need to be kept as long as the images are being used, for proper documentation.

The best time to collect photo releases is prior to or at the start of the event when you’re collecting the civil rights data from participants.

Remember, the Extension Communications and Marketing Team,, is always available for questions.

General Copyright Info

  • If an employee takes photos within the scope of their work, then Extension owns the photos and no license agreement/assignment of copyright by the photographer is necessary.
  • When practical, Extension will credit individual photographers (Photo Courtesy University of Maine Cooperative Extension // Firstname Lastname).
  • Photos taken on an employee’s personal time, outside of work, not in the scope of employment, are owned by the employee.
  • Photos taken by UMaine Extension volunteers are owned by the volunteer.
  • The University should not use such photos in any way without the written permission of the photographer.
  • To use such photos, staff have two options:
    1. the photographer needs to sign off on a Copyright License Agreement (PDF), or
    2. the photographer needs to sign off on an Assignment of Copyright (PDF)

Copyright License Agreement

  • Photographer retains ownership but allows UMaine Extension the right to use said photos.
  • Requires compensation of some sort to the photographer (to be determined by Extension administration).
  • The Dean of UMaine Extension will sign the Copyright License Agreement on behalf of the University.

Assignment of Copyright

  • Ownership of photos is transferred to UMaine Extension.
  • Requires a check request for one dollar ($1.00) — the owner of the photos needs to be made a vendor in Market Place. The chart field to charge the expense will be Dept. 5400983, fund 12, project, 5600011
  • The Dean of UMaine Extension will sign the Assignment of Copyright on behalf of the University.

Send all signed Agreements to Tracey Ferwerda at who will in turn will obtain the Dean’s signature on the Agreement.

FAQ: Photos

Q. Can we use photos that our volunteers give us?

A. Photos taken by UMaine Extension volunteers are owned by the volunteer. To use the photos, the University needs written permission from the photographer.

Q. Can we set the “Assignment of Copyright” up so that it covers a 12-month (or longer period) to have it as part of the re-enrollment process for volunteers?

A. Yes, you could create an Assignment of Copyright form that covers future photos taken by the volunteer during a certain period of time, if the Assignment of Copyright form contained the dates and language to indicate what rights were being assigned. We recommend not exceeding a 12-month period.

Q. Do we need to get permission to use photos from our partners when they supply us photos, or do we as partners and the grant funder own the copyright to said photos and as such can forego permission?

A. Yes, we need to get permission to use photos from our partners.

Q. If we have permission to use a photo, and later on the person decides they don’t want the University to use the photo any longer, do we need to remove it from our print and online resources?

A. Legally, no we don’t have to remove any photos that a volunteer originally signed off on. However, to maintain good relations with the volunteer, you may want to remove as many of them as is practical. It’s almost impossible to completely remove photos from social media; you can remove them from your website, but if they’ve been shared by others, they’ll still be available online on others’ pages.