Portrait Photography Information & Scheduling

Before Booking an Appointment: Make sure you have authorization from your department/group/PI to charge the portrait fee to a UMBC chartstring. We cannot accept any other forms of payment. We’ll need the chartstring and/or the contact information for billing.

Thanks for your interest in the portrait services provided by Research Graphics, a Core Facility of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at UMBC.

If you are the coordinator of a department/group who needs portraits, please forward the information below to anyone who has approval to take a portrait (a $7 charge per person to an authorized chartstring) then send us a list of names of anyone you’ve authorized as well as the chartstring number you’d like us to bill. The CNMS shared services office will complete billing at the end of each month. Please alert us if grant funding is expiring soon if using a grant chartstring with a deadline.

If you have a group that would like to meet on one day or at a specific location, please reach out via email researchgraphics@umbc.edu with a few different times that your entire group can meet. Include how many people are expected in the group and if you’d like to also have individual portraits made on the same day, as this takes some extra planning. As we are a small facility, we may be limited on what days we can offer services. UMBC keeps a list of recommended Freelance Photographers to help supplement coverage: https://styleguide.umbc.edu/freelance-photography/

Important details:

If you should need to cancel or cannot make the appointment, please email researchgraphics@umbc.edu.

If you are feeling unwell at all, showing signs of, or have had recent contact with anyone with Covid-19 or other communicable diseases, please cancel and reschedule.

Before arriving, please sign the UMBC Photographic, Video, and Audio Consent and Release Form (you’ll need to sign into your UMBC account):

Consent & Release Form

This information will be used to create a folder for sharing images after the appointment. If you cannot fill out a digital copy, you may read over, print, sign, and bring a copy with you. If you are under 18 years of age, you’ll need a parent or guardian to also sign.

Cost & Billing:

Research Graphics charges $7 per person for portraits and because we are a Core Facility we can only accept an authorized chartstring as payment. Please email us or have the person who’s requesting/paying for the session email us with the appropriate chartstring before booking an appointment. The fee includes the resulting edited digital files which will be shared via Google Drive with the individual in the photos as well as with the contact who supplied the chartstring (as proof of services).

Appointment Info and Location:

Currently, most portraits are taken outdoors with scheduling being dependent on weather (please email us if you need to book an indoor location). Sessions usually take 5-15 minutes per person and turnaround time on finished edits are usually a few days but can be up to 2 weeks during peak times. If there is a deadline or specifications for finished files, please let us know in writing and we’ll try our best to accommodate.

The link to a Google appointment page below has 15-minute time slots available. Please sign up for only one time slot. You’ll need to know the name of the department/group that is supplying the chartstring for payment.

Appointment Calendar

Should the weather change (is too windy/rainy/cold/hot) an email will be sent to the address provided with a cancellation notice and a prompt to reschedule. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

If you need to cancel or cannot make the appointment, please email researchgraphics@umbc.edu.

If you are feeling unwell, showing signs of, or have had recent contact with anyone with Covid-19 or other communicable diseases, cancel and reschedule.

We’ll meet outside on the UMBC main campus, near the library pond picnic tables closest to the breezeway of the Biology Building & Schwartz Hall unless otherwise indicated via email or if there is an issue with weather (you’ll receive an email). Please click the arrow below for maps and directions:

1000 Hilltop Cir, Catonsville, MD 21228

Visitor Parking and Campus Maps

Tips for the session:

  • Wear something in which you feel comfortable and confident in! Check with your department or program to see if there’s a dress code or something they recommend or recommend against. Usually just something you’d normally wear to work, if not slightly “dressier” is perfect. Many of these images, other than being on department websites, sometimes get used if you are chosen for an award, grant, or are being recognized in some way.
  • That being said, these are generally just images of your face, shoulders and maybe arms, so feel free to wear comfortable shoes, we’ll be moving around just a little bit during the session.
  • It may sound odd, but generally solid black clothing doesn’t photograph well and can show flecks of dust or fuzz that is difficult to remove in post processing, especially black knitted sweaters. If you do wear something that is black or very dark blue (navy), please bring a lint roller with you or make sure to check before walking over to the session.
  • Avoid clothing with predominant logos, text, branding, corporate or sports affiliated apparel, copyrighted artwork, or other Universities/Colleges (wearing UMBC gear is the exception to this and often encouraged if approved by your department).
  • You might want to bring things you may need to reapply makeup (especially if you have been wearing a mask or other PPE) or items to restyle your hair if it is windy. A small mirror can be helpful or using your cellphone’s camera during the session.
  • The biggest tip for the day is to please try to avoid negative self-talk before and during the portrait session. Many people understandably dislike having their portrait made but find it helpful to think about things they enjoy or something else they’re looking forward to. Many of these images are meant for public facing websites, so to help with facial expression and body language try to imagine greeting a dear friend or saying hello to a peer/colleague. If we can help ease your nervousness in any way, please don’t hesitate to let me know. We strive to make this a painless and positive experience.

Please feel free to send us any questions: researchgraphics@umbc.edu