The SMPH Photo Library is live!

It’s here!

Media Solutions photographers shoot thousands of images each year for SMPH and the greater campus community. It has been our vision a long time to create a comprehensive, curated collection of event photographs, portraits, medical complex building images, and marketing photos that support the mission of the school. Authentic photography is critical to capturing the spirit and culture of the UW–Madison and SMPH brand, and we are excited to announce that the SMPH Photo Library is now live!

SMPH Photo Library

Image of laptop sitting on a desk with the SMPH Photo Library on screen and a camera in the background

Project background

A little over a year ago now, our photo server failed; this server housed a collection of photos taken by Media Solutions on behalf of Dean’s office units, WMAA, and other UW-Madison clients. Due to redundant backups, no images were lost but file retrieval became difficult. Additionally, after relying on other solutions for file sharing with Media Solutions clients (e.g., Box, Drive) that are not fit-for-purpose for the volume of files and number of users that Media Solutions works with, it became apparent that it was time to establish a modern digital asset management platform (DAM). DAMs enable client retrieval, manage photo sharing and permissions appropriately, capture metrics on use of assets, and as a forward-compatible solution for future SMPH web and digital infrastructure. For this reason, SMPH recently purchased a license to Photoshelter for Brands. This is the same platform used by the UW–Madison photo library.

Phase I

For the initial phase of the SMPH photo library, the objectives have been:

a) admin training to establish the platform structure and workflow,
b) transfer old photos that had been on the failed server,
c) establish initial sets of invited user groups.

These objectives have been met and phase 1 of the implementation is complete.

Please note that the vast majority of photos currently housed in the SMPH Photo Library are quite old. Most are pre-pandemic, and in many cases people shown in the images are no longer with SMPH (particularly students). While access to these old photos has been restored to the units that originally commissioned the photo shoots, we ask that use of these outdated images be very limited, particularly for any public-facing purposes and especially for any uses involving marketing and/or philanthropy. This is in alignment with steps taken by University Marketing for the campus photo library to address concerns regarding tokenism and instances where photographs are overused or misused for purposes outside the original context of the image (read more).

We anticipate new guidance soon from campus regarding permissions required for photos that show identifiable students. We are working with Office of Legal Affairs to incorporate updated permissions / consent release language into event and photo shoot workflows. In the meantime, if you have questions about use of old images, please refer to the recommendations below.

Guidelines for using older (taken in 2021 or earlier) SMPH Photo Library images:

  • Internal use (powerpoint presentations, reports, PDFs for internal audiences): OK
  • Web and social media (storytelling, news/events, factual information): Please avoid using images showing individually identifiable students unless you have confirmed that permissions are on file.
  • Marketing (philanthropic fundraising, recruitment marketing): Do not use images showing individually identifiable students unless you have confirmed that permissions to do so are on file.

Phase II

Phase 2 of the SMPH Photo Library initiative will involve populating the platform with images that can be made available to SMPH units for general purpose use, including incorporating consent processes into digital workflows so that permissions of photo subjects are documented directly by photo library administrators.

We are in the very beginning stages of populating the public photo library. Visit and bookmark the SMPH Photo Library at go.wisc.edu/smphphotos

SMPH Photo Library

Within the photo library software, there are curated “stock” images that can be viewed by the public. These images are available for download by anyone with a valid NetID.

  1. Click on the login link in the upper-right corner of the photo library webpage.
  2. Click on the “University login” or “Internal login” button.
  3. Enter your your NetID and password when prompted.

You will now be able to download images by clicking the download icon at the bottom of an individual image page. If you do not have a NetID, please email mediasolutions@media.med.wisc.edu to request specific image access.

We’re just beginning

We wish this resource to be the best it can be, and that’s going to take time. In addition to the public “stock” collection, the DAM will be used as a convenient tool for sharing non-stock, client-specific photo galleries.

Thank you for your patience while we expand the SMPH Stock Photos gallery. If you have suggestions of imagery that would be beneficial for this purpose, please email mediasolutions@med.wisc.edu.

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