UWA Staff


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Further information

The following guidelines will help you to organise your own photo shoot.

  1. Benefits of a photo shoot
  2. Brainstorm concepts
  3. Set a date and time
  4. Find the right talent
  5. Safety
  6. Talent release form
  7. Contact a professional photographer
  8. Create the schedule
  9. Attend your photo shoot
  10. The finished product

Benefits of a photo shoot

Taking your own photos is usually far better than simply buying stock images online.

Your images are your property and are unique; stock images are circulated internationally and you may be using a photo that another university is using too.

Once you have purchased your image from the photographer it is yours to use however many times you wish. It is also better to use our own staff and students as talent, and the UWA surrounds as a backdrop, for added authenticity.

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Brainstorm concepts

Carefully consider what you want the image(s) to communicate and how you can best achieve this. The simplest ideas are usually the most effective.

Stock photography websites such as iStockphoto and Getty Images are a good place to look for new ideas and inspiration. If you see an image you like, print it off and give it to the photographer when you brief them.

The more information you provide the photographer with about your idea, the more likely you are to get the photo(s) you want. You can also source images from other university publications, magazines and newspapers, and you can show images that do not match your concept to the photographer as well – so he/she knows what to avoid.

If you are planning an extensive photo shoot, write down the list of images you would like and be as specific as you can be. Will you need props? Write these down too.

Also consider things like the time of day and how this affects lighting. Also prepare for wet weather: can a portion of your shots be taken inside if it rains?

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Set a date and time

Finding a day and time that will suit your talent and the photographer may be tricky so we recommend you set one date (or date-range if the shoot is longer than a day), but have another in mind that you can change to if your first choice conflicts with too many other agendas.

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Find the right talent

We encourage you to involve UWA students, graduates and staff wherever possible in photo shoots as we feel this gives authenticity to our photography and to the end product.

Be prepared for people to ask if you will reimburse them for their time. There is currently no ruling or University policy on this; however, many sections and faculties have found it easier to recruit talent if there is an incentive so we recommend that you budget for it.

On the other hand, some areas of the University give participants money or gift vouchers, whereas others ask students and staff to volunteer and offer to write a reference in return for time given.

The people you select to be in your photos will represent UWA to the wider public, so it is vital that they are briefed on presentation. It is the responsibility of the UWA staff member liaising with the talent to clearly communicate the following dress requirements prior to the shoot.

Students are encouraged to wear what they would usually wear to class and not ‘dress up’. We ask that they come equipped with the usual uni gear such as bags, pens, laptop and books. Please ask that they:

  • dress in a neat, professional style; jeans are ok, so long as they’re not ripped
  • have tidy hair and suitable makeup (if used)
  • not wear clothing with strong patterns such as spots and stripes or dominant logos on it
  • wear closed-toe shoes in laboratories (please see Safety section below).

Out of respect for diverse cultural practices, we ask that females dress modestly so that the images can be used across publications internationally. Skirts, shorts and dresses should be approximately mid-thigh length or longer, and we recommend women bring an item of clothing to cover the shoulders (or cleavage) so images can be used internationally.

It is always a good idea to ask your talent to bring a spare change of clothes.

This summarises what UWA students should consider wearing when participating in a University photo shoot.

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Where photos are taken of students in University laboratories or posing near or with University equipment, normal safety policies must be adhered to.

If closed-toe shoes, safety glasses, lab coats and / or hard hats are normally worn in those labs or when people use that equipment, they should be worn during the photo shoot.

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Talent release form

Anyone who participates in a UWA photo shoot must sign a UWA talent release form.

You may choose between a talent release form for an individual or a group.


Once the photo shoot is completed, it is the responsibility of staff managing the shoot to ensure talent release forms are filed digitally on TRIM and submitted to Records Management Services.

The faculty/school/department name is to be printed on page one of the form, and the UWA staff member’s name on page two. All completed talent release forms are to be scanned and saved as a PDF using the following file name format:

  • Individual talent release: Talent Release Form – Name of Talent. For example Talent Release Form – Charlie Brown
  • Group talent release: Group Talent Release Form – First Initial. Surname of everyone in group. For example Group Talent Release Form - C. Brown, N. Singh, G. Williams, F. Baines

Scans are to be emailed to the relevant Faculty marketing team or the marketing contact for your area. Original copies of the signed talent release forms are to be put in chronological order (with the most recent at the top) and sent via internal mail to Records Management Services for archiving.

If you have further questions regarding talent release forms and the processing procedure contact Brand and Marketing.

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Contact a professional photographer

Speak with a professional photographer for advice, quotes and to discuss your photography needs.

Meet with the photographer to brief them on what you require. The photographer can help develop your ideas and make suggestions about the best way forward.

Offer to take the photographer to see some possible locations and to take some test shots. The location you select will have an important bearing on how effective the image is, and scouting out a location before the day will save you time.

Make sure you consider an indoor option if you are holding an outdoor shoot as the weather can be unpredictable.

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Create the schedule

Before the photo shoot, ensure that you have a well-planned schedule from which to work.

You should include some time (around 10 minutes) at the start of each shoot for the photographer to get to know the talent and to plan the shot. Extra time may be needed if the photo is a group-shot and the staff or students need to get to know each other.

The length of time needed to take each shot will vary depending on the dynamics. For example, a portrait ‘hero’ shot may take 30-40 minutes to achieve, whereas a shot of a building might be completed in 10 minutes. Your photographer will be able to give you an idea of the time needed for each shot the first time you build a schedule.

Include a 45 minute lunch break and 15 minute morning and afternoon tea breaks.

Give the photographer a schedule ahead of time and ensure that all areas have been discussed. UWA is a large campus, so if you are planning many outdoor shots don’t forget to allow travel time.

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Attend your photo shoot

It is essential that you attend the photo shoot to ensure it runs smoothly, to help make the talent feel comfortable and to provide direction, if necessary, to help achieve your desired result.

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The finished product

You will receive your final images on a disc shortly after the shoot. Please ask the photographer if they are happy for you to use them indefinitely (some photographers may ask you to pay for an extended licence) and also if they would like to have the images credited to them each time they are published.

Most photographers do not require to be credited unless the image is used in a news story, but they do appreciate the courtesy of being asked.

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