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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Photography guidelines

All photography used in the university’s marketing materials follows a similar style to achieve brand consistency. Our subjects, environment and the look and feel of the photos define our style.

Note: all subjects who appear in a photograph or video are required to sign a release form.

Need additional photography advice? Contact us.

  • Style
    • Portray scenes in the most natural way possible, mimicking how they would be experienced in person.
    • Take photos in open, bright environments when possible to convey a warm, welcoming feel.

    Two women speak in an open, bright environment with flattering sunlight.

    • Avoid harsh shadows, extreme contrast and overly stylized effects (e.g. Instagram filters).


    • Capture as much of the background/environment of your subject as necessary to communicate the full story.

    A student stands in the Hive. The photo shows enough of the environment to communicate the story.

    • When capturing photos, always try to record a video testimonial. View our testimonial guide for tips and information on how to capture the best content.
  • Subjects
    • Photograph the university community using students, faculty and staff to represent our environment and community accurately and appropriately.
    • Capture a mix of posed photos, as well as candid moments and interactions
    • Show interaction between students, faculty and staff whenever possible.

    Students and Ontario Tech president Steven Murphy captured in a candid moment.

    • Highlight unique experiential learning opportunities.
    • Consider diversity in culture, ethnicity and gender when choosing subjects.

    Two students in Ridgebacks clothing smile for the camera.

    • Whenever possible, have subjects wear Ontario Tech branded clothing - at least one or two if shooting a group.
    • Avoid distracting logos and branding on clothing or objects.
    • Aim for some amount of lighter-coloured clothing for a single-subject or group photoshoot – darker clothing doesn’t appear as positively.

    Student wears bright coloured clothing.

    • Consider your audience and the potential long-term use of the photos (e.g. undergraduate or prospective students prefer younger looking subjects, graduate students connect with older looking students, subjects who make eye contact with the camera are preferred for Advancement materials, etc.)
  • Tips
    • Let your subject breathe and leave some extra negative space for copy.

    Woman framed to the right with plenty of negative space.

    • Don’t stand still―try photographing your subject from a variety of angles and perspectives.
    • Take a mix of wide, medium, and close-up photos, to more thoroughly tell your story.

    Wide shot showing subjects in environment.   Medium shot showing more detail of subjects.

    • Take plenty of photos, especially when someone is speaking as you may catch them in an unflattering pose. Consider where your photos could be used and photograph accordingly.
    • Where possible, shoot images both horizontal and vertical.

    Vertical orientation image of big bike ride.   Horizontal orientation image of big bike ride.

    • Horizontal images are required for most uses, while vertical images are best for social media. If multiple platforms are being used and only one shot can be taken, shoot horizontal. The image can be cropped for vertical use if needed.
    • Web banners, which are horizontal and very wide and narrow, require a lot of empty space around the subject(s).
    • Photography used in print is often a mix of horizontal and vertical, but in all cases, requires high-resolution images. Select the highest resolution and quality that your device can output for photo and video capturing.
    • Use available light when taking photos indoors (e.g. a window or other light source) and avoid shooting in the direction of the light source. Keep the source behind or to the side of the camera.

    Window light coming in from the side.

    Light coming from the left side

    • Don’t be afraid to use depth and shoot “through” objects to really make your subject stand out.

    Steven Murphy, photographed through a series of bikes.   Student's face, photographed through some lab equipment.

  • Stock photography
    • If you require stock photography, purchase images from a reputable service (ShutterstockThinkstock).
    • Avoid using Creative Commons, a knowledge and image-sharing database, or images marked for editorial use only.
    • Do not use photos found on Google Images.