Skip to Content

Digital Accessibility

Headshot Alt Text

Close up images of individuals present their own accessibility concerns, but it's easy to write alt text for headshots if you keep some basics in mind. 

Writing Alt Text for a Headshot

Headshots are a common type of image shared digitally by the university. Make sure you write alt text that describes what's happening for those who cannot see the headshots.

1. Say that it's a headshot.

Just by saying that the image is a headshot, you convey several things about the image and person in it: They are a professional, likely wearing business casual and almost certainly smiling. There is no need to explain any of these things in more detail for a headshot image.

2. Include the person's full name. 

Even if the name is mentioned nearby, you still need to communicate who is in the photo. 

3. If the person is doing something in the photo, describe it. 

If the subject of the head shot is holding something, doing something or sitting in front of a background that communicates visual information, include that in your alt text.

4. Don't over-describe the person.

Things can get subjective and inaccurate quickly if you're trying to describe a person's gender, ethnicity, race, clothing, hair, accessories, etc. Leave these descriptions out of your alt text for individual people unless it is truly communicating important information that cannot be accessed any other way for those who cannot see the photo. 

Is your image also a link?

Linked Image Instructions »

Example: Headshot Without Extra Object or Background

  • The staff biographical information for Andrea Williams, Director of Gamecock Gateway, including her headshot, phone number at 803-777-1000, email at, and Office at UofSC Campus Student Success Center in Thomas Cooper Library. Below her information is the statement "contact for support with UofSC services and opportunities."

    Bad Alt Text: Williams headshot

    Over-Explanatory Alt Text: Headshot of Andrea Williams from the shoulders up smiling in a business casual top and pearl necklace.

    Correct Alt Text: Headshot of Andrea Williams.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.