The Office of Communications & Marketing has some basic in-house resources for photography, but we do not have a full-time photographer on staff. If professional photos are needed for your project or event, we can put you in touch with one of our recommended photographers. As with videos, you should have a clear vision for how the photos will be used in your communications plan before investing in professional photography.
Our office also maintains a central photobank of high-resolution, approved Union imagery for use in publications and online. We will provide you with images upon request and will accept high-quality, high-resolution, Union-related images for inclusion in the photobank. We would also be happy to meet with any student, faculty or staff member interested in taking photos for Union or for our office's various projects.
Quality photography is crucial to our messaging and brand, especially since Union’s campus imagery is one of our most valued and unique visual assets. Please take care when selecting images for any communications, whether external or internal.
Consider these guidelines:
- Make sure photography is current. Be aware of changes in style or campus environments that may make the image look dated.
- Ensure that you use an accurate and engaging caption whenever appropriate.
- Use original Union photography for shots of our campus, students and faculty (i.e., do not use stock photography). If you have trouble finding images, contact the Office of Communications & Marketing, which maintains an online photobank of approved, high-resolution Union College imagery. Please allow at least 48 hours to respond to photo requests.
- Be mindful to represent the diversity across our campus. Look at your photo selections in aggregate to see if they are representative of our campus community. If in doubt, ask the Senior Director of Campus Diversity or a member of the Office of Communications & Marketing to review your selections.
- When choosing student images, consider the propriety of clothing worn. Avoid students with strongly branded clothing, non-Union collegiate wear or inappropriate/revealing clothing.
- While posed photography such as family photos or photos of alumni classes may be appropriate for specific projects, it should be used sparingly. Likewise, photography that appears “staged” should be avoided. Our goal is to use interesting, compelling imagery which reflects Union’s dynamic environment and engages the audience.
Taking Union College Photography
Since photography is such a strong, ever-changing visual asset for Union, it is important that our photographs are taken with a consistent style. When taking photos for use in official college marketing materials or on the Union website, please adhere to the following guidelines.
- While close-up portraits are beautiful and engaging, our brand does not rely solely on these types of images. When shooting an event or subject, ensure that wider shots are taken as well. It is also advisable to shoot both horizontally and vertically whenever possible to allow for greater flexibility in using the image.
- Ensure that students look engaged and happy. Shots of students who appear bored, tired or disengaged cannot be leveraged in any of our materials.
- Students and faculty should be dressed neatly and appropriately.
- Strive to take campus photos filled with students, faculty and/or visitors. Empty campus spaces, while beautiful, do not convey the warmth and personality that are Union.
- Use head on angles and straight shots. Do not angle the camera or use fish eye lenses, as these limit the versatility of the photo, and in most cases, are not consistent with the look of our brand.
- Consider the lighting of the shot and use it to your advantage. We want our photography to convey warmth and a human element.
- Keep the people or activity in the shot as the subject, not the architecture. We strive to show the activity and vibrance of our campus, with the beautiful physical environment as the context or background.