A picture is worth a thousand words, and that is particularly true at UCLA. We use photography to convey our sense of optimism and confidence to the viewer. Things are always looking up at UCLA. And light and sunshine play a huge role in the university’s photography. Plentiful sunshine, natural washouts and sun flares are welcome. It is essential that natural light is present in all photography.
To help you with your print projects, we have set up a UCLA Image Library for your use. The image collection was created for communications and development professionals across campus. Images are for official use only in UCLA publications, websites, videos and presentations. Only registered users may download images.
Once you’ve registered, you may download any images that you wish. Remember, though, that most images are licensed for specific uses. Be sure to check the “Rights/Usage” information for each image.
The beauty of this campus surprises and delights newcomers who expect such a huge place to be, well, huge, not inviting. When taking photos of campus (and Los Angeles as well), keep as much sky present in the photo as possible to express the expansive and open nature of UCLA. When shooting indoors, make sure the subject is well-lit, but avoid using a heavy flash.Nighttime imagery should be kept to a minimum. However, lights (city lights, street lights, etc.) should play a key role, when necessary: there must always be that sense of energy and light that distinguishes UCLA. Photos should be taken from below, looking slightly up, whenever possible. This conveys a feeling of confidence and suggests expansiveness and looking beyond the horizon. Photos may also be taken from directly below to create dramatic cropped shots of campus and Los Angeles, but this method should be used sparingly.
If the main subject of a photograph is a person or multiple people, there should be a photojournalistic feel to the photo. In other words, think candid moment: natural smiles, real interactions and movements. Avoid overly staged photography, whenever possible. Keep in mind that the style of photography will change, depending on the audience. Undergraduate photography should take on a more youthful and vibrant style. It should feel aspirational, boundless and open to anything.
Graduate Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni
When using photography for professional or institutional audiences, make sure that the approach is aesthetically appropriate for the subject matter. This style should take on a more sophisticated and staged portraiture approach. It can feel bold, visionary, possibly even a little heroic, but it should be executed with a level of refinement so as not to appear overly in-your-face. The sun and natural light should feel present at all times, but not as direct as in the undergraduate photography.
Because our entire brand is based on optimism and limitless opportunity, incorporate images of the sky whenever appropriate. These images will also convey the weather, light and location that are characteristic of UCLA. Use the sky as a canvas to communicate your message.
Things To Avoid
- Use the sky as a canvas to communicate your message; buildings should be minimized.
- Do not crop an image so severely that the subject and the emotion of the photograph are compromised.
- Do not use colorizing or other dramatic filters.
- Do not use flash photography to supplement natural light.
- Do not stage portraits in a studio. Capture your subject in his or her natural surroundings.
- Avoid overly staged photography, whenever possible.