Hiring a Freelancer


University employees may hire creative services providers on a freelance basis. A few things to keep in mind:

University financials: Vendors who have not previously worked with the University will need to be set up and approved as new suppliers to receive payment. Work with the Office of Finance & Treasury and build in time for this process.

Cost and scope of work: Freelancers' rates vary widely in how they charge for their services; some charge by the hour and some by the project scope. Identify the scope of work, discuss the deadline and ask for an estimate at the outset of the project. 

Copyright and usage rights: We recommend using one of the University’s standard contracts (login required) — such as the University's Works Made for Hire Agreement (.pdf), Services Agreement or License Agreement — to clarify ownership and allowed uses of the work. You can also work with Communications and Procurement on having the artist sign a master agreement that covers all of their work for the University; contact Ushma Patel for more information.

Below, you'll find some additional tips related to specific service areas.


Keep in mind:

  • The University requires signed release forms for photography of any person younger than 18 who is clearly recognizable; a parent or legal guardian must sign the child/ward release form (.pdf).
  • Please remind freelance photographers to consider the subjects' safety (particularly in labs and in construction) and privacy (particularly in dorms) when taking photos.

Video Production

Keep in mind:

  • Access to campus by outside videographers is limited. News and commercial entities who want to visit campus to take photographs must contact our media relations team.
  • The University requires signed release forms for video of any person younger than 18 who is clearly recognizable; a parent or legal guardian must sign the child/ward release form (.pdf).
  • Princeton students, faculty and staff members should be asked to sign an appearance release form to be interviewed in a video produced by the University or if they are presenting copyrighted material. They do not need to sign the release to be filmed participating in campus activities. Also, any person 18 or older who speaks in a video and who is not a current student or faculty or staff member at Princeton must sign the recording release form (.pdf).

Web Design

Keep in mind:

  • All university websites are required to align with the WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard. Be sure this is stipulated in your contracts, and that your freelancer is familiar with the website requirements and review process.
  • Projects inevitably cost less and are easier to maintain when built on OIT-supported systems, no matter who does the design. We highly recommend implementing new designs on a templated backend whenever possible.