Photography Tips

Photographs are a powerful tool to help tell the University at Buffalo School of Management’s story. 

By properly framing, lighting and composing your photos, you can capture our exciting events and accomplishments, interesting alumni and talented students, and share their stories with your audience. Readers are more likely to read and engage with content that features great photos, and journalists are more likely to cover news with a high-quality image.

On this page:

Picture Perfect

Whether you’re snapping a few shots at a competition, telling the story of an experiential learning trip abroad or hiring a freelancer to cover an event, follow these guidelines to ensure your photos are high quality, dynamic and follow UB and School of Management brand standards.

Rule of Thirds

If you divide the frame into thirds vertically and horizontally, place the focal point along one of the lines for the most visually interesting composition.

Variety

Capture many options for framing and focus to tell a full story and build our photo library. Take wide, medium and close-up shots. Use selective focus (zero in on one part of the image) and full focus. Capture candid, natural moments, as well as posed pictures.

Lighting

Use bright, natural light or subtle in-studio lighting. Make sure your subjects aren’t squinting into the sun or standing in shadow.

Setting

Establish the setting for your audience. Pose subjects in front of an distinctive background, rather than a blank wall. Highlight iconic, authentic locations in your photos.

For more UB photo guidelines, particularly for professional photographers, visit the UB Brand website.

6 Quick Tips

  1. First and foremost, make sure your photo is in focus.
  2. Set your camera or smartphone to the highest resolution possible. Photos should be at least 300 dpi to ensure they can be used in print and online.
  3. Take multiple photos and several poses. A picture that looks nice on a small phone screen may not look good when it’s downloaded, so it pays to have options.
  4. Help your subjects look their best. Ask them to fix their tie, button or unbutton their jacket, and smooth wrinkles on their shirt.
  5. Before taking the photo, ask subjects to remove name tags and set down food or drink (unless it’s integral to the story; ex. a portrait of a craft brewer).
  6. Encourage subjects to relax. If they are stiff or uncomfortable, that will come across in photos.

Examples: Do this, not that

Do this: Capture the winners' excitement, personalities and/or company/business idea, if applicable.

Competition Winners

Avoid the cliché “big check” photo, and instead take photos that showcase the winners and their personalities or the company/idea for which they won, if applicable. If you must use a big check, capture it in an interesting way.

Do this: If you need a "big check" photo, capture it in a different, engaging way. This is just one example of many poses you could try.

Not that: Avoid the overused "big check" photo when possible.

Do this: Arrange subjects in an interesting way using furniture, stairs or something else to create mulitple levels.

Group Photos

A group arranged in a straight line, with their hands at their sides or crossed in front, isn’t very interesting. Vary your subjects’ poses and place them on different levels using stairs or furniture. Be sure everyone can be seen and the group is close enough together so the picture doesn’t feel awkward.

Not that: Avoid arranging subjects in a straight line, especially in front of a blank wall.

Events and Candids

Take engaging, authentic images that capture the action from a variety of angles and depths. Photos must be in focus, and the subject should be clear. “Candids” can be staged, but avoid clichés like the “grip and grin,” below.

Do this: Capture engaging photos that show the event from interesting angles and a variety of depths.

Do this: Take candids that feel in the moment and capture the spirit of the event.

Not that: The "grip and grin" photo is overdone; try to avoid it whenever possible.

Not that: Photos showing the back of people's heads, without a clear subject, are not strong visuals. Make sure the subject is clear.