We want to reveal a university that is grounded in its hundred year traditions while reaching for and creating a better future for the world. Our photographs should tell a human story that always features the people of UBC as the central character.
Key Considerations for Brand Photography
Does the photograph inspire, ignite curiosity or encourage sharing?
Look for an unexpected angle or viewpoint.
Capture activities or settings unique to UBC.
Have a strong focus that draws the viewer in.
Capture a natural, authentic moment that is never staged or posed.
Think strategically. Here’s what we think works best.
- Before taking a photograph or hiring a photographer, think about who your audience will be.
- Create a strategy that will communicate your idea most effectively and engage your chosen audience.
- Contact Paul Joseph, UBC’s official photographer, to ensure your important photography is on-brand and telling the story you need to convey.
- Research existing photos (news or stock) that may have a similar subject matter and might provide you with new ideas.
- If you are capturing a photograph for your social media or an event for your department, be sure to think about what it is you feel will best tell your story. Is it a person? A building? Or an event? Once you have an idea, start thinking about lighting, angles, and composition.
- Focus on the actions of people and try to capture them in their element.
- Frame your photos so they have a sense of space and openness if you are including the environment for context.
- Don’t be afraid to try a variety of shots using different lenses or focal lengths.
- Consider your layout and keeping some dead space in the photography for copy.
- Go through all of your images and narrow down your final selection(s).
- Edit your final pick(s) as necessary. A simple colour correction and cropping can dramatically change the original capture.
- Seek others’ opinion on which images you’ve captured that best tell your story. If accessible, get feedback from professional photographers, designers, and art directors.
- Learn from your mistakes. Take a look at the images you feel didn’t quite work and why. This will help you avoid making the same mistakes and/or try something different which will help you improve your photography.
Our photo library is an invaluable resource with hundreds of on-brand photographs available for non-commercial use on our Flickr site.
Consent and Planning Documents
Taking pictures of people? This consent to use of image form needs to be completed by all involved before the image can be published. More information about the process can be found in the FAQs.
Opportunities to gain new insights and communication skills, whether you are a new or seasoned communicator, are always available to you at UBC.
Lynda.com courses are free for UBC faculty & staff. Sign up for free access here.
The course explores compositional elements that guide a viewer's eye, including the rule of thirds; leading lines, patterns, and curves; and depth of field. You will learn how to work with the natural light, and how to create simple lighting. Finally, you will gain tips on how to capture the essence or emotion of a subject or scene.
Brand Photography — A Conversation with Matt Warburton