Permission and Release Form

WWU Permission and Release Form

A media release form is required for all subjects whose image, video, or voice will be used for marketing or promotional purposes, including print communications, video, web, and social media. 

Download the Media Release Form

It is the responsibility of the party creating the image to collect and retain releases. Departments should retain the forms for as long as the image is usable, plus two years. Refer to WWU's records retention schedule for more information.

When To Use Release Forms

Photo releases are typically required if the individual:

  • Is recognizable and the primary focus of the image. This includes all individuals who are the primary subject, including models, students, alumni, faculty and staff,
  • Is identifiable in a small group setting, such as a small group of students studying or congregating. In these cases, a release should be obtained from each subject,
  • Has been recruited to serve as a model,
  • Is a minor (under 18 years of age); a parental release is required.

Photo releases are typically not required if:

  • Photographed in large group shots in a public space or at public events with little expectation of privacy,
  • It is a large group setting, such as wide or scenic shots with no single subject,
  • The subject is not recognizable, such as silhouettes, posterior view or out of focus,
  • The image is not being taken or distributed by WWU. When news media is covering a story on campus or a production company is shooting content it plans to distribute, a WWU photo release is not required. However, they may have their own releases. WWU's policy on film and photography productions outlines protocols for filming on campus.

FERPA Considerations

Photo releases are especially important and necessary when photographing students and complying with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

Photos are not considered directory information at Western Washington University. Only directory information can be released publicly. Images taken by or on behalf of the university become university records. To comply with FERPA, WWU must have a signed written consent for all students easily identified in WWU-produced photos/video prior to making the content public. 

Notifying Participants

There are a number of actions hosts and photographers can take to notify groups of a planned media shoot. Prior to taking photos or video, we encourage hosts to announce to the group that photos or videos will be taken and that participation is optional. Hosts may also post signs at points of entry to the event or space indicating that photos or videos will be taken. They may also consider creating a ‘no media’ seating area that allows event attendees to opt out of the images.


For questions and consultation on photography and videography assistance and services, email Sean Patrick, Director of Visual Media Production at