Image and photograph guidelines

Best practice guidelines for including photos in your content – what we won't publish, permissions and accessibility requirements.

Best practice guidelines

  • Users respond better to images and photographs that include people.
  • Photographs are clearer and more emotive if they focus as closely as possible on the key subject, such as a person's face or the plate of food. 
  • Remember that many people will be viewing photos on their mobiles, so a photo of a whole crowd won't be as visible as it would be on a desktop. 
  • Only use photos if they are specific to the content of the page – you wouldn't include a picture of a ballroom on a page about Government House.
  • Try to select and/or take images that reflect the diversity of the Victorian community, including across culture, faith, age, ability and gender.  

Photos we won't publish

We will not publish photos or images of:

  • a logo
  • people giving a speech
  • a screen

Getting permission to use photos

You should share this release form with photographers or content owners so they can get permission to publish photographs online.

Alternative text requirements for images

Alternative text is required to be added for most images and photographs published online. This is a description for vision-impaired users and is an important accessibility requirement. What you write depends on the context of the page and the typical users.

The only images that don't need this field to be filled out are:

  • Sensory images: if the image is intended to create a sensory experience – for example, an image of an artwork.
  • Decorative images: if the image is pure decoration, used for visual purposes only.

For these types of images, you can leave the alt text field blank. In the page's code there will be two double quotes, which tells the screen reader to skip it. 

Images for a multicultural audience

If you plan to create a translated page of written or video content, always think about the visual content as well.

Migrant and refugee communities may take offense if an Anglo-Celtic person is used alongside their language. It will also make communities feel like the content is not for them, making it less likely that people will identify with the content.

Reviewed 16 July 2021

Vic Gov digital guide

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