Photography Guidelines

Images enhance the meaning of text and can help readers understand content. They should be carefully chosen to illustrate and support the College’s vision and mission. When incorporating photography or graphic images into your design, please keep in mind:

  • Stock photo services are not subject to fair use due to the exclusive rights they carry. Stock photo services require you to pay for a license.
  • Images released under Creative Commons (CC) licenses are generally safe to use. They are copyrighted, but the owner has granted broader rights to the public in advance. You do not need to seek permission because it is already granted. Two things to remember in using CC-licensed materials:
    1. Make sure to add a proper attribution notice – feel free to use the Open Attribution Builder for producing an attribution notice.
    2. There are six types of Creative Commons licenses and slightly different rules apply to each license. To learn more about the differences, see Open Washington: Learn OER.
  • Images in the public domain are also safe to use. A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright, which means it’s free for you to use without permission. You are not required to add an attribution notice, but it would be the polite thing to do.
  • Use only high-resolution photos in printed publications. Image resolution is the amount of detail an image contains. Photography that is low-resolution (less than 300 dots per inch at 100% size) should not be used for print media as the poor reproduction quality will degrade our brand integrity. Low-res photos are suitable for website use only. Do not change the resolution from images that are originally 72 dpi to 300 dpi. Image details cannot be enhanced in this way. A high-res image can be adjusted to a lower dpi but image detail will be lost.

Photo Releases

A signed release or other written permission must be obtained from every student who is identifiable in a photo intended for publication. Oral permission is not sufficient. Any persons taking photographs for use in print or online material that feature students must first receive a signed photography waiver from said students. Students under 18 require parental approval. You can fill out our image release form online. Photos or videos taken by Institutional Advancement for the purpose of a news item do not require these releases.


Photo Library

A library of photos is available on the BC OneDrive by permission only. Please email to request access.

Sample Photos

Combined images of BC student union courtyard, students in front of fountain, and science students

Last Updated April 17, 2020