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Photo & Video Guide

Vibrant visuals bring the brand to life

Integrating photos and videos breathes life into the UW brand. In an increasingly fast-paced world, it can be challenging to capture audience attention. Visually-rich content has the ability to captivate – people stop scrolling, stay on the page and take time to engage. The creative cornerstone of the UW approach is using high-quality visuals that reinforce brand credibility and capture the Husky spirit.

Our brand best practices offer both broad and specific guidelines. When considering photos or visuals, look for options that are authentically human, brilliantly bold and dramatically beautiful. Reference our tips and tricks section for detailed guidance regarding composition, context, lighting and more. It’s a privilege being part of the UW community. Let’s share what the world looks like through a Husky lens.

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Our creative approach

Our creative approach exemplifies the Husky spirit: youthful, aspirational and optimistic, with a belief in perpetual possibility.

As a guide, Boundless photography is embodied by three elements:

Authentically human

We are an authentic brand made up of real people doing amazing things. We believe our stories will create a connection to this place and relay our efforts to create a world of good. Images should create a story in the mind of the viewer and allow the audience to see themselves reflected in the subjects world. Our people are actively pursuing their work, they are in motion, and their passion and action create energy. Show the UW through our people, we connect their viewpoint to the world through images that portray their perspectives. They have a sense of confidence, while being relaxed and enjoying life. They are authentic in every way, and should be represented as they would normally be — reach to capture natural moments, not forced or artificial. Consider interesting poses or a more photo-journalistic style. Above all, use images of people that create a personal connection with the viewer.

Images that are genuine, depicting real-life situations or occurrences allow for true perceptions of our community. Image manipulation, including heavy editing, can create a false perceptions. Here at the UW, we consider it an unethical practice to add or make changes to images to falsify diversity representation. It is important to show all aspects of our diverse community. Showing diversity and inclusivity through photography helps to reinforce the values of our institution.

Brilliantly bold

How do we show our bold spirit and boundless determination photographically? Composition is king. A unique perspective or point of view sets a bold tone. A strong sense of depth and distance creates a boundless feel — think expansive. We see the world differently here, so share that perspective. Eye-level is great, but it is okay to see things from above, below, inside, etc. to make the viewpoint more intriguing. Put the focus on people. Share unseen moments; show the audience a sneak peek into a moment of brilliance. Show that everyone can Be Boundless in his or her life. Bold is not busy; keep everything open, simple.

Dramatically beautiful

We live in a beautiful part of the world, and we are surrounded by amazing people doing remarkable things — Huskies have a lot to highlight. Capturing light is essential to creating dramatically beautiful images. Light should illuminate objects and people and buildings, and should start with a glow that emanates from the shadows. Illumination can come from many places: sun, candle, computer monitor, spotlight — but illumination starts from a source and works its way into the darkness, so images should have a strong sense of shadow and glow. Capturing the lighting of the golden hours, sunrise or sunset, brings more complexity to the color palette. Avoid both the overcast or flat lighting that occurs during those dark rainy days. And the harsh blown-out lighting that occurs during mid-day on our bright sunny days. Strive for a harmonious color palette among elements including the environment, attire and objects. And of course, using hints of purple or gold, continue to brand the images as the UW.

Best practices

Use the following guidelines to create consistent imagery that reinforces our brand promise.

Attributes that make our images memorable:

  • Prominently featuring people in a “real” moments
  • A strong sense of light
  • Interesting compositions
  • Strong use of negative space
  • A sense of place
  • The inclusion of something purple (when appropriate)
  • Show people at their best

Tips and tricks

  • Capture close-up and detailed images of your subject and their work. A group or sequence of images can supplement the main portrait and better tell your story. Examples include close-ups of someone’s face, their hands or an object from their office or research, etc.
  • Use strong textures, colors and contrast to highlight interesting details
  • When photographing buildings, use dramatic lighting and depth whenever possible to emphasize the classical beauty of the architecture on campus
  • For building/facility photos, keep as much blue sky in the photo as possible

What to avoid

  • Over exposed flash photography (use supplement light)
  • Unnatural or overly staged settings
  • Subjects wearing logo-wear from other universities
  • Situations where safety procedures are not being followed
  • Colors of rival universities

Technical guidelines

  • Take photos with high resolution — a resolution of 300 dpi (2700 x 3600 pixels)
  • Use one of the following formats: high resolution JPEG files (.jpg), TIFF (.tiff) files or RAW (.dng)
  • Shoot photos in color and use 24-bit or higher color depth
  • Do not crop the in-camera image too tight. Shoot so the photograph can be cropped later with a wide view or a tight focus


Video resources can be found on the Visual Asset Collection site in the video tools gallery, including stock video, b-roll and branded closing graphics.

Video should capture the results of our impacts, portraying authentic stories in beautiful and compelling ways. Our brand is visually represented through titles, lower thirds and consistent closing slides using the UW logos.

For more inspiration and ideas check out the Be Boundless playlist below or visit the UW You Tube channel.

Personal release

Download the University’s official personal release form. All subjects whose image, video or voice will be used for marketing or promotional purposes — including print communications, video, web or social media — should complete and sign a personal release.

Releases are the responsibility of the party creating the image, such as director, photographer or marketing staff. Releases should be retained for as long as the image is useable.

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