Copyright and stock images

Here in the Division of Marketing and Communications, our Visual Media team is capturing the vibrant campus with new photography every week. Our archive of photography is available for use on the website, using a web-based tool you can search for images and request them from

When you cannot find an applicable image to accompany content on your website, stock photography is a popular option. Should you go this route, please keep in mind that stock photography is rarely “free.”

Use trusted sources, licensed images

When obtaining stock photography or illustrations, it is important to know the source of the image. “Trusted” sources are those for which you have a license agreement, such as Adobe Stock Photos. If you are unsure of the license needed to use an image on a website, it is best to avoid using the image.
Important: if you encounter stock photography on your website that predates your involvement with the content, do NOT assume it is licensed. Instead, reach out to UMaine Digital Communications to discuss options.

Using “creative commons” licensed images

Some stock photography or illustrations are made available through creative commons license agreements. These typically allow for use of an image provided there is proper attribution to the owner of the image. It is usually best to avoid these arrangements as well, for there could be unintentional license violations should the image appear on a web page without the required attribution accompanying it.

What about images of our faculty in the news?

Our faculty are recognized worldwide as experts in many fields, and thus photographs of themselves, their research, and other newsworthy activities appear in media regionally and worldwide. The images that are published should be considered as owned by the publisher, and not the subject of the story. Unless you have a written agreement with the publisher to use the image on a campus website, please connect with our own Visual Media team for an appropriate alternative.