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Aerial view of campus centered around Education Building

SUNY Cortland offers a searchable photo database with images from professional photographers and faculty and staff members. Subjects range from student life to campus beauty, academics, athletics and much more. The database is open to the public, so everyone has the ability to view, download and share the photos.

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact the Marketing Office.

Photo database  Keyword list

Photo database directions


SUNY Cortland's photo database (opens in new window) houses all photography from 2014 to present.

When viewing the entire gallery, photos will appear in order of most to least recently added.


Use the Search text box in the upper right part of your screen below the page header or visit the search page (opens in new window) to enter simple text or keywords for example Old Main, Façade, Spring, 2018, Kirk Van ZandbergenYou can also search one word or phrase at a time, for example, Fashion Show.

Please keep in mind all keywords must be separated by commas with a space.

All searching is completed by using the enter key on your keyboard.

Search results will appear in order of relevance.

Keyword list

View the full list of keywords (opens in new window).

All keywords on the Keyword page are linked to the database; you also can search other words or phrases that are not listed, as in other events, to see if there are corresponding photos.

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 icon on the bottom right of your screen. A pop-up window will appear, here you will then select which file type you would like from the drop-down options. Original file will download the uncompressed .TIFF file, the highest resolution of that image. If the highest resolution isn't needed, select one of the JPEG options.

You do not need to log in to download images.

Screenshot of the PhotoShelter download prompt, with the "Log In" button crossed out.


To search by keyword use the Search icon on the top right of your mobile device.

Searching is completed by using the enter key on your keyboard.

Photography/video requests

The Marketing Office creates photography and videos for campus clients in specific instances when doing so helps communicate the university’s mission. We partner with university constituents to enhance, strengthen, promote and protect the institutional institutional brand.

Photography and video requests will be evaluated based on their potential to communicate key campus messages.

On one hand, we are always looking for good ideas to help promote the university. On the other hand, staff resources are limited so this is a selective process.
Submit a photography request

If accepted, there is no charge for SUNY Cortland photo/video services. If your request is denied, we can recommend freelance photographers available for hire.

Requests should be submitted at least two weeks in advance. When that is not possible, please still complete this form and then call 607-753-5447.


Please consider the following when requesting our services:

  • Why is photography needed and how will it be used strategically?
  • Is the photo newsworthy to the news media?
  • How can the subject be photographed to yield the strongest impact? For example, a photograph of a professor working on a research project has greater potential for use than a photo of the professor being recognized at an awards ceremony.
  • Is there potential to amplify the photo through additional use, such as social media, news releases, web, magazine, newspaper, interior display, etc.?
  • How does the photo project support SUNY Cortland’s strategic goals and initiatives?
  • How will the photography align with the university’s brand guidelines?

The Marketing Office does not support the following requests:

  • Photos for a department's personal use in memory albums or scrapbooks.
  • Requests for which a majority of photos will not be used in a publication and/or media placement.
  • Photos intended as gifts or mementos.
  • Photos for student organizations.

In these cases, we encourage you to book an approved freelance photographer. Please contact the freelancer directly for availability and pricing.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS/drone) flight activity approval

Please complete the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS/drone) flight activity approval form to request permission to operate a small UAS on SUNY Cortland property.

Please send questions to and visit SUNY Cortland's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drone) Policy for more information.

Face of SUNY Cortland

Become a Face of SUNY Cortland

Sign up to be a student model

SUNY Cortland's Marketing Office is seeking graduate and undergraduate students to participate in upcoming photo and video shoots. The imagery will be used on the university's website, in print publications and other marketing initiatives to help promote SUNY Cortland to current and future students.

Student models will be needed in a wide range of situations, such as:

  • Working in the classroom/working with professors
  • Sharing moments with friends in the dining and residence halls
  • Walking through campus
  • Participating in clubs and organizations
  • Taking part in internships and civic engagement activities

Embrace your Red Dragon pride and sign up to be a Face of SUNY Cortland. The experience is sure to be one you'll never forget!

If you have already filled out the form from a previous academic semester, you do not need to complete it again. Your information is still in our database.

Faculty and staff headshots

 Call the Communications Office at 607-753-2232 to arrange headshots.

Release agreement

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.

Release Agreement (PDF)

Style guidelines

To help build the SUNY Cortland brand, high-quality photography is essential. Whether the subject is the environment, still life or a person, the quality and lighting reflect the tone of our brand.

Usage guidelines

  • Images downloaded from the photo database do not need to include photographer credit.
  • Photos may be resized or cropped as needed, as long as proportions remain intact. Do not stretch or distort images.
  • Use full-color photos.
  • Avoid applying filters or effects to photos, including on social media.


Use portrait photography to capture the spirit — the people — of SUNY Cortland. Aim to show subjects in authentic settings with natural expressions. When possible, use natural light. 


From indoor facilities to natural landscapes, use environmental photography to share the full SUNY Cortland student experience. When possible, include human interaction. 


Incorporate detail shots to help viewers experience SUNY Cortland from a close-up perspective. Use a shallow depth of field to create a focal point. 


Color duotones are an effective way to add color and create a neutral backdrop for text and graphics. They should be used sparingly.