Visual Images

Photographs and video used in CSU communications, print and electronic media should reflect the university's commitment to inclusivity, diversity, social mobility, leadership and above all, academic excellence. Here are some guidelines for photography and videography used in CSU print or digital media.​

  • Alw​ays obtain a photo release form w​hen conducting a photo or video shoot and maintain an archive of signed release forms.
  • Whenever possible, use actual images of CSU campuses and CSU people rather than stock photography. Never alter or manipulate a stock photo in a way that might call into question the university's commitment to inclusivity, diversity and equity.
  • Know your audience. Choose images that relate to the intended message of the related content. 
  • Know your medium. Vertical images are excellent for many printed applications; horizontal images are more easily adaptable for digital media like websites and social media posts.
  • Cropping can create emphasis of a subject or concept. When cropping, try not to crop at the end of a limb or head. For example, when cropping a portrait always show some neck and shoulders, not just the head. Be wary of cropping outside of standard shapes such as squares and rectangles. ​
  • Be cognizant of negative images that might be captured in the background, or of branded/imprinted apparel being worn by people in the frame especially if the imprint does not reflect the standards and values of the California State University. 

CSU Photo Release - Adult & Minor (Eng​lish)​ | CSU Photo Release (Spanish)