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 names the subject and describes what's happening for those who cannot see the headshots.
- 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.
- Include the person's full name.
Even if the name is mentioned nearby, you still need to communicate who is in the photo.
- If the person is doing something in the photo, describe it.
If the subject of the headshot is holding something, performing an action or sitting in front of a background that communicates visual information, include that in your alt text.
- 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, 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.
Example of a Standard Headshot
Over-Explanatory Alt Text: Headshot of Marcos Vieyra from the shoulders up smiling in a suit and tie.
Better Alt Text: Headshot of Marcos Vieyra.