Beautiful photography can bring faith to life! If you plan to find photos online, be very careful that you follow all copyright laws. Photography and videography are works of art that are protected under U.S. copyright law. The copyright holder is the person who created the work or the individual/organization that commissioned the work to be created through contract or employment. Here is a link to our photo usage guidelines.
If you are trying to take photos on your own, keep in mind that one of the most important aspects of good photography is lighting. Be sure that there is plenty of soft natural light or soft artificial light to bring out the colors in your image. Follow these additional tips:
- Keep your camera as steady as possible when taking the photo
- Show people, not just buildings
- People should be interacting, prayerful, or happy
- There should be action – something is happening
- Good photos communicate a story
- Keep photos simple. Close-ups have more impact than wide shots
- Frame up your shot so the most important action is in the middle
- Capture symbols to communicate our faith such as Holy water, a crucifix, liturgical symbols, and stained glass windows
Free stock photography resources:
- Flickr Commons
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Burst by Shopify
- Life of Pix
- New Old Stock
- Wikimedia Commons
Paid stock photography resources:
- Adobe Stock Photo
- Catholic Stock
- Christian Pics
Sharing photos and videos of people is important, especially of your own parishioners, students, etc. People like seeing photos of themselves and of others they know.
Per Diocesan Safe Environment guidelines, in order to use any photo or video of a clearly identifiable minor, a media release form (available in English and Spanish) must be on file with the parish, school, or Diocesan office. If you do not have a release for a minor, his/her face must be blurred to use the photo/video or the photo/video should not be used at all.
For minors, if they have on a clearly readable nametag or ID tag, their last name must be blurred out.
Whenever possible, when posting about minors on social media, use only their first name and the first initial of their last name.
For photos of adults – whenever possible, let adults who are being photographed know that photos are being taken and what they will be used for. Signed release forms are not required for adults, but if an adult does not want their photo taken and/or shared, their wishes must be followed.
If you are at an event, let staff/ministry leader know you are taking photos. They can make an announcement at the event to make everyone aware that photos will be taken. If the event has minors, check with the staff/ministry leader about signed release forms.