Profile Photo Guidelines

Statement and Purpose

Table of Contents

SPU allows individuals to select their own profile photo or professional head-shot to represent themselves in most campus systems. This policy describes the guidelines for selecting an image that is appropriate for the academic and professional environment at SPU.  All images must also adhere to general guidelines and standards of conduct described in the the /wiki/spaces/HR/pages/35784103 and Student Handbooks.

Entities Affected By This Policy

All University faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Reason for Policy

Many University systems allow for users to provide an avatar, image or photo to represent themselves in that environment as a means of personalizing the interaction they have with others in that environment. SPU populates many systems with the SPU ID card photos into systems for the purpose of identification. Sometimes however, those pictures don't do a good job of representing the individual based on: the system in question, how the user is interacting with others, or simply the age of their ID card photo. See the policy listed below for guidelines on selecting a good image for a campus system. Note that some systems may have broader or narrower requirements for user-images, so be sure to check those system's policies for further guidance.

Policy Version: 1.0

Responsible Office: Computer and Information Systems
Responsible Executive:
AVP for Information Technology / CIO

Effective Date: May 8, 2017
Last Updated:  May 8, 2017

Photo Guidelines

For SPU systems where profile image selection is possible, you may select an image that represents you well in the context of the system in question. The image must be able to serve as identification.  Here are the general guidelines:


  • The image cannot include any other persons
  • The image should be recent, taken in the last 12 months
  • The user's face should be easily recognizable and identifiable in the image without alteration:
    • Your head must face the camera directly with full face in view
    • Use good lighting, neither washed out nor obscure
    • Do not use filters on the image or distort it
  • The image should be clear and in-focus.


    • University employees should wear appropriate attire for a professional environment, similarly, Students should wear appropriate attire for an academic learning environment.
    • Do not wear sunglasses or other accessories that mask the face
    • Simple background & foreground, no other objects
    • You cannot wear a hat or head covering, unless:
      • the hat or head covering in your photo is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously in public
      • the hat or head covering in your photo is used daily for medical purposes
      • your face must still remain visible and your hat or head covering cannot obscure or cast shadows on your face
    • You cannot wear headphones or wireless hands-free devices.

Photo Changes

  • The ability to change your photo is done using the "GET" app. You will need to have the new photo on the device that you use to open the GET app. This should be installed on a personal phone/tablet. You will need to log into the GET app. Once signed in, on the main page, in the lower right corner of the app you will see the "Setting" icon. tap on it and a new page will open. On the new page just below your current photo you will see a link to "upload photo". Follow the prompts to complete this process. Once the photo has been review for content it will replace the current photo.  

Inappropriate Images

The University reserves the right to remove any image in campus systems. General standards of conduct and guidelines professional behavior as described in the /wiki/spaces/HR/pages/35784103 and Student Handbooks apply to profile photos. If a profile photo is deemed inappropriate or offensive, the office of Human Resources (for employees) or Student Life (for students) will work with the the individual to remove the image and replace it with an appropriate one and determine if corrective action is required.  

If you have found an image that you think is inappropriate please contact the appropriate office and/or the user directly so it can be updated to one that is more appropriate to for the SPU campus community.

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