High-quality photography is critical to the success of the university’s branding image. All areas of the university should evaluate the images used in print and online to ensure they present a professional image of the university. CWU departments and programs are encouraged to use CWU staff photographers. An up-to-date photo library can be found at CWU's Flickr page, where high-resolution files are available for download. For specific image requests and other photography related questions, contact the Department of Public Affairs.

photography examples

When choosing photos to represent CWU, consider the following:
Learn. A commitment to quality instruction by top-notch professors.
Do. A commitment to hands-on teaching and research.
Live. A commitment to helping you gain the knowledge to succeed after graduation.

The Welcome personality:
Inclusive, Authentic, Warm, Engaged, Nurturing, Open, Community-minded, Focused.

Technical Guidelines

Photos should be high resolution, at least 300 dpi for use in print. Set your camera’s photo size (resolution) to its highest setting. Low-resolution photos are not usable for print publications, but may be acceptable for some web uses. Formats should be one of the following: high-resolution JPEG files (.jpg), TIFF (.tif) files, or RAW. Photos should be in color (RGB) and use 24-bit or higher color depth. Don’t edit or alter the photograph. Do not crop the in-camera image too tight. If using RAW include JPEG versions.

Copyright Guidelines

Do not use copyrighted photographs, video, or audio under any circumstance unless the copyright holder has granted written permission for the intended use. Do not download an image from a website or copy one from a publication without written permission of the copyright holder. If you don’t know who owns an image or where it came from, or if you have not been granted express permission to use an image, do not use it. Keep permissions on file and be able to produce a copy upon request.

Photograph Alterations

Photographs are usually perceived as accurate recordings of an event; therefore, extreme care should be taken when altering photographs. Alterations that affect the accuracy of the persons, places, or events depicted in the photo are unacceptable. Enhancing the technical quality of a photo and other simple touchups are acceptable as long as the content of the photo is accurately depicted.

Permission and Model Releases

As a public university, CWU uses images and video of public campus life, events, ceremonies, and other university activities to advance the mission of the institution. By visiting, registering at, or being employed by CWU and being present in a public setting, you authorize the use of and reproduction by the university any photographs or video taken at CWU, without compensation. All photo and video files are university property, solely and completely. CWU photographs and video, and those from freelancers, are considered copyrighted materials.

Whenever possible, CWU photographers identify themselves and seek verbal permission when taking photos. They inform subjects about the potential uses of the photo. In instances when an individual asks to not be photographed, CWU photographers comply with those wishes.

Written permission is required, however, for photos or videos of minors, or subjects who are primarily being featured in advertisements in which a person’s name, image and/or likeness are being used in a context that implies endorsement. CWU’s photo release form is available for download.

When photos are supplied by an outside individual or group, make sure written permission has been granted by the creator and the subjects, and that appropriate photo credits are published.


The design and concept guidelines for marketing and promotional materials also apply to video. Any video product intended for external audiences needs to be reviewed by the Department of Public Affairs to ensure proper use of CWU branding. Be mindful of what video and photo subjects are wearing, and of their actions or gestures. Avoid clothing that features other university logos, vulgar or offensive graphics or messages, and anything that could be considered inappropriate or unsafe.

The university logo must appear at the beginning and end of any university video. For video appearing on YouTube, include a legible link or URL at the end of the video that points viewers to a CWU website.