Photo Guidelines

If you are new to VCU or have a significant change in your appearance, you must have an updated picture on file. The following information describes how we take your picture in our office, and what requirements are needed for you to submit one online.

In-Person Photos

When you schedule an appointment to receive your card in person, we will take your picture in our office. The process is simple and only takes a minute. Please come to your appointment photo ready. You should be dressed in clothes you wear normally and your hair should be styled prior to your arrival.

You will stand in front of a grey backdrop and are provided with a moment to adjust your appearance. We will ask you to smile before counting down to take your picture.

Submitting a Photo Online

When you submit your application online, you will receive instructions on how to upload a photo. Please read this information to make your submission process easier by choosing the right photo.


  • Have a recent photo (within 6 months)
  • Have normal contrast and lighting
  • Have your head and chin facing forward
  • Have your face and eyes clearly visible
  • Have a solid background that is grey, tan, or a similar color
  • Have on clothes you wear normally


  • Have on a hat, scarf, costume, or sunglasses
  • Have other people in your photo or make funny faces
  • Have red eye/glare in your eyes or glasses
  • Have a shadow behind you or in your eyes
  • Have patterns, creases/corners, or wildlife behind you
  • Use white, black, or fluorescent background

Not a solid background. Bad lighting.

No background creases. No side profiles. No gestures. No earbuds. No hats.

Not a solid background. Hair is blocking the face. Shadow cast over the face.

Head Coverings

If your government-issued photo ID includes a picture of you in your head covering, you may also wear it in your Campus Card photo.