NIU student Christine Nguyen peers down a spiral staircase.


Photography is an essential part of the print and digital media we use to share the NIU message. When choosing imagery, it's important to use photographs that reflect our brand personality: personalized, inviting and charged. Our photographers are experts in portraying the Huskie spirit in warm, dynamic images.


To inquire about the availability of a photographer, please email A photographer will respond within two business days. In your email, please indicate how the photo(s) will be used, as well as the ideal deadline for receiving a link to the image(s) in the photo gallery.

Image Libraries

Institutional Communications has a new image library from Canto. Campus partners can browse photographs and access images they need with the 'asset request' feature in Canto. An account administrator from Institutional Communications will approve the request within 2-3 business days.

We will continue to maintain the previous image library, however no new photos will be posted there. Photographs taken since fall of 2019 will only appear in the new image library from Canto.

Additional Information

All images taken by NIU photographers are copyrighted Board of Trustees of Northern Illinois University. As such, images taken for any client can be used by the University for other projects.

Portraits cannot be used for political purposes.

Best Practices Regarding University Photography and Personal Privacy

  • Generally speaking, it is permissible to capture university photographic images of people in public places performing public activities.
  • For staged photography set-ups in the residence halls, NIU photographers should obtain signed release forms from the subjects.
  • While shooting photographic images, NIU photographers will respect anyone's request not to be photographed. It is permissible to request that anyone not wishing to be photographed to move, within reason, to a location away from the area of photographic interest.
  • Upon request, NIU will remove any images from a university controlled social media site.
  • If a printed brochure contains objectionable images, future printings will include a replacement image, but NIU will not recall materials already printed and/or distributed.
  • Photoshop manipulation of images of people to create an artificial scene will not be permitted. Clean-up of images using photoshop is permitted, but altering the context of the photograph is not permitted.
  • To the extent possible, reasonable steps should be taken to notify people in advance that photographers will be present and working. This can be accomplished for most predictable public events utilizing signage and printing notices on the backs of tickets.

We offer free portraits to employees. If you're new to NIU or otherwise referred to us for a portrait, one of our experienced photographers will work with you to schedule a time and location for your session. We take environmental portraits, which means we'll photograph you in your usual work environment or a favorite campus location. For example, if you teach science, we might photograph you in a lab.

We want you to look and feel your best during your session. Please contact your photographer in advance if you have any questions or concerns. Since it can be difficult to coordinate a reshoot, we want to do everything possible to make your session a success. You can help by following these tips:

  • Wear professional attire that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
  • Dress casually if your line of work calls for it, or feel free to dress more formally.
  • Choose solid colors and avoid busy patterns, obvious brand names or other university names.

Your photos will be stored in Canto, NIU's online image library. Your photographer will send you a link to your photos, and you can indicate which image you prefer the university use when you're featured. Your photo may appear online or in print. For example, it may appear on your department website or on printed promotional materials for the university. You may use your portrait on personal websites; however, using it for political purposes is prohibited.

We also offer a drop-in photobooth at in-person career fairs, allowing employees to stop by for a traditional headshot-style photo. Information on upcoming photobooth events is posted online.

We're excited for you to be part of an NIU photoshoot. Dress in casual clothes. Wear an NIU shirt and bring a plain shirt, or wear a plain shirt and bring an NIU shirt. Your plain shirt should be white, gray, blue or black. It can be a button-down shirt or blouse, or a cotton T-shirt (short- or long-sleeved). Wear jeans, khakis, black pants or capris.

We use these photos for a variety of purposes, so it's best if your clothes are modest and not seasonal. Don't wear:

  • Shorts or tank tops.
  • Busy patterns.
  • Obvious brand names.
  • Other university names.

Additional tips:

  • Bring your backpack if you normally carry it to class.
  • Wear your hair or makeup the way you would when going to class.
  • Bring a brush or comb if you'd like.
  • Feel free to wear a zip-up jacket.

Upcoming Photobooth Events
No appointment required

Talent Release Forms

When photographers and videographers are capturing events in public places such as in classrooms or on campus, release forms are generally not required. Institutional Communications requires signed Talent Release Forms from subjects who appear in its productions.

  • Educational productions: When we stage portraits, group shots, or interviews for instructional promotional use subjects who appear in the media production and guest speakers who are taped must sign a release form.
  • Commercial productions: When an image, sound or video segment is recorded for use in a commercial prodcut, all subjects must sign a release form.
Back to top