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Using images at Leiden University

Images are an increasingly important part of communication, but how do you choose suitable ones for the website and where can you find them? This page offers tips on finding the right image and what to watch out for.

University image database

Finding the right image

Select an image that relates to the subject of the webpage and fits the university’s identity. Diversity, inclusion and openness are important to us, so be aware of diverse representation and choose photos where people aren’t standing with their backs to the camera, for example. 

If you need a photo, always begin by looking in the university image database. This contains high-quality images and is accessible to all of our staff. Use your ULCN account to log in.

If you are unable to find anything suitable there, you will find royalty-free images on the following websites: Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash. Once you’ve selected a good photo, always check before publication that it really is royalty free. This isn’t always the case. And be aware that even for royalty-free images you often have to credit the creator. To be on the safe side, cite the source under each article.

Check the copyright permissions

You will see the conditions for use for each individual photo in the database. It could be that you have to credit the photographer or that the photo can only be used on the university communication channels.

Internet images are also subject to restrictions, so you can’t just use any image you find online. Make sure that the rights have been purchased from the image’s creator or choose a royalty-free one.

And don’t forget to cite the source. This is not just because of copyright but also so that your colleagues can see where the image comes from and whether they too can use it for publications.

Avoid fines

Do not use the CMS for the university website as an image database. Images are sometimes bought for one-off publication or an understanding has been reached that the photo has been taken for a specific purpose. This means that the image cannot be reused. To prevent copyright claims and breaches of trust, you are strongly advised not to reuse images from the CMS.

Always check the copyright before reusing images or photos from old articles. Ask the communication team that produced the article about the copyright if this is not clearly stated under the article.

Taking photos or hiring a photographer

You can also choose to take your own photos or hire a photographer for your publication, for instance, if you need photos for a reportage about an event. Feel free to email the picture editor(s) at your faculty or the central communication department for advice or the contact details of freelance photographers.

If you want to take photos or have photos taken at public events or in public spaces, make sure you have permission to do so and that the images comply with privacy and GDPR guidelines.

Mail the picture editors at the central communication department

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