Student Consent | Marketing Practices

In order to ethically use a student’s likeness in marketing photography, you must acquire their consent.

DOs & DON’Ts | if nothing else, follow these guidelines

  • DO give the student ample time to respond.
  • DO honor the student’s choice.
  • DO share the final product.

Prior Informed Consent

The student must provide consent to use their likeness for marketing purposes. To ensure consent is secured without coercion, the consent should be both prior and informed.


Consent is requested in advance of usage. The student should have a reasonable amount of time to consider the request and to respond.

NOTE | In this context, usage refers only to using an image for marketing purposes, such as in an advertisement. Usage does not refer to taking a photograph. That is, the photographer does not need to secure consent prior to photographing the subject. For more information, see Good & Bad Photography.


Informed consent is permission given with a clear understanding of the situation. Generally, this means the student is informed of how and where their likeness will be used. For example, that the student’s image will be used in an advertisement on Facebook.


Consent is permission to use a person’s image in marketing materials. Consent is typically established and documented when the student signs a media release. However, consent can be verbal, through email and so on.

CONNECTION | Releases are explored further in Media Releases.

Reusing Student Photography

Consent is typically secured prior to or at the time the photography is taken. However, consent can be acquired later.

This is important if you would like to use photography of a student which was not initially intended for marketing purposes. For example, if you took an excellent photograph of a student presenting their senior project. Observe the following four steps.

CONNECTION | For more examples of how and when to contact students about reusing photography, see Photography Updates.

  1. Contact the student.
  2. Include the image. Provide information and context about the photograph, such as date.
  3. Explain how and where the photo will be used.
    Include the purpose of the marketing materials, what it will promote, where it will appear, etc.
  4. Explain the students’ rights.
    Note that the student does not need to provide consent and that it is okay to refuse.
  5. Provide a timeline.
    Note that, after a reasonable amount of time, you will either use or not use the image if no response is received.



Our office took an excellent photo of you at [LOCATION/EVENT] on [DATE]. Please see the attached image.

Because we like this photo so much, we want to use it to promote an upcoming recruitment event in Hillsboro on [DATE]. The image will appear in an email and on flyers.

If you are uncomfortable with the use of your image, please feel free to decline. We can find another photo that works.

Let me know if you have any concerns.

If I do not hear from you in three weeks, I will assume you are okay with us using your image.

Thank you,

Follow Up

As a courtesy, provide a mock-up, clipping, or link to the advertisement.