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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.
    • Avoid harsh shadows, extreme contrast and overly stylized effects (e.g. Instagram filters).
    • Consider the background and environment of subject. If it isn’t relevant to your message, crop it out.
  • Subjects
    • Photograph the university community using students, faculty and staff to represent our environment and community accurately and appropriately.
    • Show interaction between students, faculty and staff whenever possible.
    • Highlight unique experiential learning opportunities.
    • Consider diversity in culture, ethnicity and gender when choosing subjects.
    • Avoid distracting logos and branding on clothing or objects.
    • 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 white space for copy.
    • Don’t stand still―try photographing your subject from a variety of angles and perspectives.
    • 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
    • Horizontal images are required for news releases and social media.
    • Web banners, which are horizontal and very wide and narrow, require a lot of empty space around subject(s).
    • Photography used in print is often a mix of horizontal and vertical, but in all cases, requires high-resolution images. Cellphone cameras may not be suitable for print applications.
    • Ensure your photos can be used with a variety of mediums by photographing horizontally and vertically and leaving extra white space.
    • Use available light when taking photos indoors (e.g. a window or other light source) and ensure it is behind the camera where possible.
  • 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.