This information is for University staff and students who are producing and publishing images intended for use on the University of St Andrews website, social media channels, or other online sources.

Technical image file specifications

For information on technical image file standards, please refer to the image standards web page.

Content quality

To assure quality, photographs should be taken by professionals with appropriate equipment.

To abide by brand identity, photographs must be relevant to St Andrews. This includes some of the following subjects:

  • the town of St Andrews
  • University buildings
  • the student community
  • work related to the University.

For further information on requesting photographic work, please see Print and Design.

Image quality

Images need to be in focus, well‐lit for the subject matter, and professionally processed, including for colour correction.

Images that are grainy, obviously digitally manipulated, or have been processed incorrectly will not be displayed or will be replaced with a suitable image by the digital communications team.

Examples of photography

Students sitting outside

Students on the beach

Medical lecture

Student reading a book

Staff photography

Photography used for staff directories and profiles should be current and of high quality.

You can supply your own photograph or request for it to be taken by a University photographer. Requests can be sent to

Your photo must be:

  • a photo of yourself, with head and shoulders taking up the majority of the image, looking directly into the camera
  • clear and in focus
  • in clear contrast to the background
  • in colour
  • not have ‘red eye’
  • not be an avatar
  • at least 1080 pixels wide and 1080 pixels tall.

Staff photography is optional. Profile photography is public facing and will be discoverable through search engines such as Google.

Examples of good profile photography

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Image copyright

The University of St Andrews, or a specific School or department, must own the copyright of images used or have an agreement with the photographer that allows use of the images on their site.

Images from books, works of art, footage and stills from websites are generally not copyright-free. Everything must be checked or the University may be fined for breach of copyright. It may be possible to buy copyright, but if the content is of a famous person or owned by a news group, it will probably be a long and costly process.

Avoid showing any clear product names or labels in any photographs.


In order to display images on your site, you must have permission from the people who are photographed. Verbal or written permission given by the subject at the time of photography is fine, unless the subject requires a signed release form. Release forms are available from Print and Design (


There are guidelines about using images of persons under the age of 18 years – full parental or guardian permission must be obtained. If you are filming children, be aware of guidance about chaperones. Publicly displaying the name of a child on the University website must also have permission from a parent or guardian.

For more information, it is best to contact the local council of the area in which photography occurs as they produce guidelines.