SUNY Cortland has various requirements related to photography style, permission and use.

Campus Photos

Viewing Campus Photos

The College maintains a database of photos for campus use. Use the Search text box below the page header to enter a simple text search, or visit the search page for an advanced search.

Using Keywords and Tags

For a more accurate search, if you know the date the image was taken, use the Date Range field.

Keyword Searching

To manually search for images, to go the Keywords field and type in a combination of tags, example: Old Main, Façade, Spring, 2018, Kirk Van Zandbergen. View the full list of keywords.

Drop-down Searching

Searching from drop-down fields provided gives you the opportunity to pick your tags from a list and make your combination. You can select multiple drop-downs in one search.

Note: Not all keywords are provided in the drop-downs.


You can combine manually entered tags with drop-down selections.

Fields to Ignore

Type. This search will not return any results, as it is not used.

Downloading an Image

Once you have found the image you want, select it from the search results. This will show a larger version of the photo as well as details and keywords. Use the Download link on the bottom right of your screen, then select which file type you would like from the drop-down. Original file will download the uncompressed .TIFF file- highest resolution of that image, if highest resolution isn't needed, select one of the JPEG options.

If you have any other questions or need further assistance please contact Renee Novelli.

Photo Style

Effective communication requires showing our audience our story rather than simply telling them about it. It’s difficult to hear “momentum.” People need to see it and feel it.

To help build the SUNY Cortland brand, high quality photography is essential. This photography should be used on main imagery within any medium. Whether the subject is the environment, still life or a person, the quality and lighting reflect the quality and tone of our brand.

The primary use of photography should be in full color and should convey the vibrancy and energy necessary to support the momentum concept in all its iterations.

Photography can be used to capture the human element involved in the subject while freezing the specific moment to convey movement and energy. Blurred edges can be effectively used to show speed and can be incorporated into related images.

These photos are examples of images that show momentum and brand attributes.

Viewbook cover photo, with a horizontal blur added to demonstrate momentum

A Cortland student interacts with a school-age student in the Children's Museum

A man playing softball with young childrenStudents moving to class, again, blur helps reinforce momentum

A man inspecting a bike in the Community Bike Program

A staff member in his office, viewed from above using an optical radial blur A dance instructor views his dance class

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When possible, subjects should be pushed to a corner or edge of an image to include background context and deliver a more interesting slice-of-the-moment feel.

Student, faculty or staff profile shots should include as much “freeze frame” capture of motion as possible. Every effort should be made to avoid the traditional “smile for the camera” shot.

Alumni should be represented in context and, while not looking directly into the camera,  should be aware that they are being photographed.

While still trying to maintain the same compositional qualities, campus life related images can be literal as well as symbolic.

Release Forms

SUNY Cortland requires that faculty, staff, alumni and visitors to campus who participate in photo shoots, videos and audio productions sign a release form. Parents/guardians of participants ages 17 and under also must sign the release form.

Photo Release Form (PDF)

Interim Drone Policy

The use of drones for hobby or recreational purposes on SUNY Cortland property is currently not permitted.

The operation of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone, is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As a state institution, SUNY Cortland is developing a policy to govern the operation by any person of a drone from, or above, the College's campuses or properties.

Until that policy is finalized and adopted, no recreational drones are allowed over any and all property owned, rented, leased or controlled by SUNY Cortland, the Cortland College Foundation and the Auxiliary Services Corporation.

This policy is established to ensure compliance with ALL applicable laws, reduce safety risks and preserve the security and privacy of members of all members of the SUNY Cortland community.

In the event that the use of a drone on SUNY Cortland property is necessary to fulfill an academic, research, or commercial purpose, the interested party(s) must contact Director of Communications Frederic Pierce ( Interested parties will be required to complete a “UAS Request for Permission Form”

Any violations of law (trespassing, illegal surveillance, reckless endangerment) or violations of College policies may result in criminal and/or disciplinary action. Students of the SUNY Cortland community who violate this policy will be subject to the Code of Student Conduct. Drone operators will be held responsible for all injuries or damage caused by a drone flying in violation of this interim policy.