• Use high-quality, professional photographs in University communications.
  • Engage professional photographers through UCM or your campus communicator.
  • Look for existing images in the UCM Photo Archive.
  • Ask your campus communicator about photo archives for your administrative or academic unit.
  • Choose pictures of people engaged with their environment.
  • Maintain a balance of age, gender, and ethnicity in photos.

Choosing Photos

Ideally, photographs used in official University communications should be high-quality images: well lit, nicely composed, properly focused, and reflective of Ohio University’s brand personality. With proper planning, you can ensure that your communications live up to this standard.

Pictures of People

Readers and viewers respond to images of people because those faces give life to what they are reading about or looking at. The right photos of people in your project can make a big difference in its impact.

Choose images that show people who are involved with their surroundings, shot candid style rather than being staged. For example, if you are selecting a photograph for a newsletter article about an awards ceremony, choose a shot of someone reacting to receiving an award, rather than a “grip-and-grin” posed photograph taken after the event.

Portraits don’t have to be studio head shots—in fact, it’s better if you don’t go that route. Instead, get candid pictures of the subject engaged in authentic, hands-on activity with others (students with faculty or vice versa) in a classroom environment. If you want a picture of just your subject or of a group, ask for an environmental portrait that illustrates something about the person or group’s accomplishments.

Do your best to maintain a balance of age, gender, and ethnicity in photo subjects.

Photo Releases

In general, photographs of Ohio University students and employees taken on University property may be used in official publications without obtaining media releases. However, whenever in doubt, it is safest to ask for releases from all photo subjects.

NEVER use photographs of children under the age of 18 who participate in University-sponsored activities without obtaining a photograph release from their parents/guardians.

A standard photograph release is accessible here with your OHIO ID.

Pictures of the Campus

Ohio University is justly famous for the beauty of its campus. We encourage you to include photos that showcase the campus in your communications. UCM has many campus beauty shots in its archives, showcasing architecture and landscapes in dynamic and artistic compositions that lend flair to any project.

Hallmark Bricks

From the bricks of Cutler Hall to the bricks that form the pathways and roadways of one of the most beautiful college campuses in America, photography of bricks brings a sense of history and permanence to our communications. When used consistently and with subtlety, they serve as a recognizable hallmark of Ohio University. UCM has numerous images of bricks in its archives.


Using Photos

Photographs used in print should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Photographs on websites are usually only 72 dpi, so as a rule you can’t “grab” an image from a website and have it reproduce properly in print.


Obtaining Photos

University Communications and Marketing has professional photographers on staff who can shoot pictures for all kinds of projects. You can request photography services here. Because there are multiple demands on their time, it’s important to put in your request as early as possible.

UCM also maintains an extensive photo archive of people, events, campus buildings, and general images. Anyone can browse the selection here. Members of the public can buy select images. Employees with OHIO IDs can receive permission to download photos for free for use in publications. To receive permission, submit a photo request here. 

Your campus communicator also may have a photographer available, as well as a photo archive specific to your academic or administrative unit.


Photographs taken by University photographers are property of Ohio University and may not be reprinted without the express permission of the University. Requests for reprints of photographs should be directed to University Communications and Marketing.

Photograph Sales

Sales of photographs and prints are somewhat limited by various laws, restrictions, and licensing requirements. For example, the NCAA forbids the sale of photographs of student athletes. To be safe, if you are considering a fundraiser involving the sale of photographs, contact University Communications and Marketing and the Office of Legal Affairs.