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Using Photography

About Virginia Tech Photography

Our photography shows members of the Virginia Tech community in their element. When crafting communications, we look to create a balance between the various photo styles in our toolkit, so that the result is vibrant and captivating. Dive deeper into uses for photography in branded materials.

How to Upload Photos to the University's Photo Library

Photo Library (Resource Space)

  • Before uploading photos to the Photo Library, files should be renamed according to our file naming convention.
    Example: 20220325_TestPhoto_MZ_001.jpg
  • Users may choose to embed metadata prior to photo upload using their approved program or software of choice. Programs that offer this capability include Adobe Bridge, Photo Mechanic, Adobe Lightroom, etc.
    • Note: Please work with your IT department to confirm if you have access and approval to use these products. We are not permitted to use free software without IT and Procurement approval due to software “terms and conditions” that Virginia Tech cannot agree to as a state entity. If you do not have access to software that allows for metadata embedding prior to upload, the Photo Library allows for manual entry of metadata such as caption information, keyword tags, photo credit line, etc. These steps will be reviewed next.
  • When your files have been renamed and you are ready to upload, please log in to the system and click on the “contributions” tab at the top of the home screen.
Screenshot of the university photo library homepage
  • Clicking on “contributions” will take you to the Upload Resources page. If you have already embedded your metadata, you can skip most of the fields on this page. If you are manually entering your metadata, please complete the following fields.
Screenshot of a photo upload page
  • Resource type = Photo (we do not upload video to Resource Space)
  • Location = Enter the general location shown in the photos (ex: Blacksburg, VA; Roanoke, VA; Alexandria, VA)
  • Caption = Please see Metadata Guidelines document for detailed caption recommendations.
    Ex: “January 18, 2022 – Photos of students going to and coming from class on the first day of the spring semester at Virginia Tech. (Photo by Christina Franusich/Virginia Tech)”
  • Image Size = You can skip this field. This imports from your file.
  • Keywords – Photo Style = not required, but you are welcome to select the category that best suits the photos being uploaded. These are categories of photography identified when the new Virginia Tech brand launched in 2017.
Screenshot number 2 of a photo upload page
  • Expiration date = you can skip this field
  • Release = Please check the “Release Available” checkbox when releases are signed and on file. You are welcome to enter in the Notes section the point of contact for these releases.
  • Website =
  • People = you can skip this field if you have tagged the individuals in the Keywords or Named Person(s) fields.
  • Style = This is a required field. Please select either “Brand” or “Event”. “Event” is for event documentation, i.e. University Awards, Ut Prosim Weekend, Alumni Tailgate, etc. “Brand” is for storytelling imagery that highlights university priorities.
  • Type = this field can be skipped.
Screenshot number 3 of a photo upload page
  • Categories = This field can be skipped.
  • Source = Select digital photo.
  • Upload options
    “Do not import embedded EXIF/IPTC/XMP metadata for this upload”—any data embedded into your files will automatically be imported when you upload. Only check this box if you want to purposefully remove or ignore your embedded metadata. If you manually added metadata by typing into these fields, you can also ignore this option.
  • Add to Collection = You can create a new collection (similar to a folder) when you upload. This is your preference as collections are private to you until you share them with other users.
  • Collection Name = If you choose to create a collection, please name it here.

When all fields have been addressed, click “Next” to begin your upload. This will take you to a new page.

Screenshot number 4 of a photo upload page
  • Drag and drop your renamed files into this window.
  • Once you’ve added all of your files, click “Start Upload.”
  • Note - you must leave this window open until your upload is complete. Closing this window or navigating to another site will cancel your upload. The thumbnail previews will disappear from this window as they are completed. When your upload is complete, the window will be empty, and your photos will now be searchable in the system.

Download options and metadata for completed files

Screenshot number 5 of a photo upload page

Once uploaded, the system creates derivatives for different uses:

  • Original JPG file = the original uploaded file size.
  • VTNews-Web = a download option configured for use on the web, typically 1280p on the longest side of the image.
  • Screen = smallest file option, 850p on the longest side of the image.
  • Preview = a simple screen preview.

This is an example of how metadata will appear once your file is uploaded. This information is accessible below each image.

Screenshot number 6 of a photo upload page

Image Releases

Image releases are required for all minors and for any materials used outside of editorial storytelling, i.e., advertising, promotional and marketing materials. Photos with signed releases are indicated as such in the metadata field of the image(s). All photos with releases can also be found through an advanced search in the Photo Library.

Ensuring Compliance in Photography

Photography should be done in a manner that does not run afoul of privacy, safety, and research-subject compliance.

  • For OSHA compliance guidance (for facilities, worksites, etc.), contact Meghan Marsh (
  • For research compliance guidance (for depicting animals, laboratory settings, etc.), contact Lindsey Haugh (
  • For use of drones to obtain photography, refer to the Drone Policy.