How do I request a photo shoot?
How long before a shoot do I need to submit a request form?
We require a request in hand a minimum of 10 business days before a shoot.
Do you accept every request you receive?
This is a more complicated answer than you might expect. We attempt to assign some sort of photographer to 90% of the requests we receive. However, who we assign is determined by our assignment acceptance policy. We strongly encourage you to read this before (or at least after) making your request. The short story is that there are many more requests than there are available staff photographers. That means we've had to prioritize what we do, and do not, assign to our staffers.
If your request is not assigned to a staff photographer, it will most likely be added to our student photography queue where one of our student photographers can accept it (pending availability). Other options include a loaner camera so that you or someone on your staff can take pictures, or our list of professional freelance photographers. Keep in mind that these freelancers are not controlled by Photo Services. We vet their portfolios, but their rates are set independently.
Okay, I've submitted my request, what happens next?
If your request is added to our student photography queue, you will be notified of this by Mike Ekern. If a student is available, you will be contacted by that student when he or she picks up your ticket. If a student is not available, it is up to you to contact Mike Ekern to discuss alternatives like a loaner camera or a freelance photographer.
What's the difference between a staff photographer and a student?
However, not all requests require this level of skill. Our student photographers have varying degrees of experience, but we train them to be thorough and professional. Most of the time they'll make acceptable images from the requests we offer them. Most students do not have much experience with artificial light. So in those cases where we assign them to take studio portraits, one of our staff photographers will adjust the lighting.
What will this cost me?
Surprisingly little. There is a $5 chargeback per assignment no matter if that assignment goes to a staff photographer or a student. If your shoot requires a second photographer, an additional $5 fee will apply. We will also charge any travel expenses back to your budget. This is usually mileage and parking.
You can see our full list of fees and charges here.
When will my photos be ready? What happens to my photos after the shoot?
There are several delivery options for your images. Some of these delivery options carry small charges. No matter how we deliver your images, we will also keep master copies in our permanent archive. Photos of a sensitive or extremely exclusive nature will be stored in a restricted area accessible only by authorized personnel.
If your request was assigned to a student photographer your images will always be delivered on a CD free of charge. You should keep this CD in a safe place as we consider it the master copy of your images. There is a $7 chargeback for a replacement CD.
What about image credit?
Any images used outside the university MUST be used with an appropriate credit: Photographer Name/University of St. Thomas
Any images used inside the university may be used with the credit: Photographer Name/University Relations. This is not a requirement.
Who owns the images from the shoot I requested?
Are there any restrictions on how I can use UST images?
We also review requests by students to use our images on a case by case basis. Please refer any student requests to us.
For images used within the university we ask that you not mix photos from different university divisions. As an example, you should not use a photo of an Opus College of Business student in an ad for the School of Law. However, using that student in a general university ad would be acceptable.
We also ask that you use special caution when using photos of children or other vulnerable people.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Director of Photography Mike Ekern.
I found a great photo on the UST Web site. It's okay if I just grab it, right?
Only if you like having our buddy Guido come over to break your thumbs. Screen grabs and right clicks are not the proper way to obtain an image and in some cases could get you in real trouble. As just one example, some images shot for St. Thomas Magazine have been authorized for use only on that publication's site. So instead of grabbing an image from a site you don't own, why not get in touch with us. Not only will we tell you if you're authorized to use the image in question, but we can get it to you in the proper format. And in those cases where you're not allowed to use an image, we'll help you find suitable alternatives.
Oh, and if you're thinking of grabbing an image and using it on a non-UST site, you could get in even more trouble as you'll be violating the university's copyright. And no, the way you're using it is probably not fair use.
Long story short: If you see an image on a UST Web site you'd like to use get in touch. We're generally pretty nice guys and Guido would much rather sit on our couch and watch reruns of "Who's the Boss" than come out and break your thumbs.