C&M has the following resources available to help support your program/office's photography needs. 

If you have any questions, please contact comms@gc.cuny.edu.

Photography Resources

  • A Photo Authorization and Release Form must be completed if programs/offices plan to use a person's image in promotional or educational materials, including posting to a website. The form should be completed and submitted prior to your planned photoshoot. C&M will retain a digital copy of the signed release.
  • If an event is photographed or filmed, post several of the Notice of Filming and Photography Consent and Release signs at the entrance and other visible areas.  

C&M has compiled photographs in an Image Gallery, which are available to be used by the CUNY Graduate Center community for official Graduate Center work. When using the photographs, please review the photo details and include any applicable copyright and credit details. 

The GC does not have a staff photographer, but C&M can provide a high-quality automatic camera for use by programs/offices pending approval of a camera request (you must log in with your GC credentials to access the form).

  • Upon approval, the camera must be picked up and returned at the C&M offices in Room 8302. A sign out form must be completed at the C&M office as well. 
  • A camera bag with the camera, lens, extra battery, memory card, and SD reader will be provided. Programs/offices are responsible for all the equipment.
  • The camera must stay within the Graduate Center building and be returned the following business day.
  • Programs/offices are responsible for copying photos to their own computers before returning the camera.

If programs/offices would like to hire a photographer, C&M can provide a list of recommended photographers. Please email comms@gc.cuny.edu to request the list.

Tips for Photographing Yourself With a Smartphone

Our community often needs to take their own photo with a smartphone for various purposes:

• For professional use when submitting your photo for media, conferences, events, and other
• If the Graduate Center is featuring a news story about you on the website and its social media platforms
• For your profile on The Graduate Center’s website, or your personal research website
• For your LinkedIn bio

The following tips will provide help in getting the best shot possible: 

Prop the phone on a stack of books as steady as possible. Keep the composition wide in horizontal mode to give our editors space to scale up the photo; ensure that there is ample space above your head. Position your phone camera so that your face, shoulders, and part of your upper body are in view.

Always shoot photos horizontally even for the web and social media.

  1. Don’t sit too far away from your phone and don’t sit too close! Aim for the medium shot by positioning the phone camera approximately 25–30 inches from you. Prop the phone on a stack of books or something stable—the photo will appear less shaky.

    Always aim for the medium shot.
    Explanation of the medium shot
  2. Avoid looking down at the camera, which will make your chin and neck look disproportionate to your face. Look directly into the camera at eye level, ensuring the photo captures your face, neck, shoulders, and part of your chest.

    Eye contact is one of the most important elements of a great headshot.
  3. Use your phone camera timer for hands-free photography. The phone camera timer is found in the native camera app, located at the top of the screen. You can choose from a 3-second timer or 10-second timer.

Face your camera towards a neutral background clear of any clutter, and avoid dark backgrounds or rooms with objects or furniture that cast too many shadows. Alternatively, you can frame yourself in front of artwork that isn’t too busy.

You headshot should be easy to see and notice even when it’s small.

Photos in your research environment are welcome, but please follow these guidelines.

Use plenty of room lighting or ample sunshine to shoot your photo. Make sure you are evenly lit.

Your headshot should be easy to see and notice even when it’s small.

  1. Situate yourself near a window, so that the light falls on you indirectly and isn’t too harsh. Set your phone nearby, so the light falls on your face evenly. Avoid shooting with a window directly behind you. Try to shoot at various points during the day to establish the best natural light.
  2. If you don’t have sufficient natural light, you may need to manufacture lighting. An easy way to do so is to gather two table lamps and place them on either side of your phone to brighten both sides of your face. If the lighting is a little harsh, you can attach a sheet of white paper with scotch tape to the lamps to diffuse and soften the glow. Just make sure they’re well attached and far away from any heat sources!
  3. Cameras pick up and distribute light according to what they see in the background. Avoid wearing extremely bright colors that could disrupt the lighting you’ve set up and all-white that can wash you out. Fine pinstripes or herringbone patterns often don’t show up well.