Skillful use of visual elements – photography and video
– will lift your content to an entirely new and engaging
level, one that words can’t achieve alone. Using good visual
content is important. Even if you're not a photographer, there are
many sources of good images for every budget. Just remember to
check usage policies.
Typically, professional photography/videography is the most
expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Photographers/videographers bill at hourly and day rates, but if
you plan well you can get quite a few locations or settings
photographed in a half day.
Photography from Faculty
Faculty members can be rich sources of images, both
photographic and graphic. Check with faculty, especially when
you're working on stories that relate to their academic discipline,
to see if they have access to field photos, microscopic or
scientific images, computer models, or other shots.
For professional portraits, University
Communications recommends using a freelance
photographer. Quality is important in headshots and a bad one
won't go unnoticed. Contact UB University Communications for more
information - or visit any commercial photography studio and
get a well-lit, quality portrait.
University Communications provides extensive collections of
compelling, high quality photographs and video. You are welcome to
use these in your UBCMS website.
Everyone has a camera these days. If budgets don’t permit
hiring a professional, you can use amateur photographers,
especially for social events, meetings, lectures and situations
that have a limited shelf-life. Use the tips and tools on this page
to create compelling images (see sidebar tips).
Written consent is REQUIRED if the subject matter contains minors or if it contains patients in any health care situation.
Otherwise, permission is NOT NEEDED to use images of UB students or employees, or the public on UB's campuses, unless the subject specifically requests their image not be used.
If you are producing videos, please be sensitive to copyright regulations, including any music that is used.
YouTube is aggressively policing its videos and suspect videos will be blocked. Be sure to follow YouTube's copyright guidelines when uploading new content (more details).
SECTION 508 - ACCESSIBILITY
Federal law requires all significant elements of a website to be fully accessible, including images and videos. Images just require 'alt tags', but videos require captioning and audio descriptions, as well as an accessible player. > Read more about accessible videos
Royalty-Free & Rights-Free Photography
Photography from the Web
A photo found on the internet is not necessarily free to use.
Most photography found anywhere has some type of copyright
restriction. If you use a photo without the required permission,
you will be guilty of copyright infringement.
While there are hundreds of photo sites on the web that offer
"free" photos, it's important to check each photo you find to
understand its copyright requirement. Even if it's from a
Often, free photography requires attribution or a link back to
the photo source. Additionally, most free photography is not usable
on items you'll be selling. Please check carefully.
Nevertheless, there are many sources of royalty-free and
rights-free photography including Public Domain photos.
What is public domain?
Works in the public domain are those whose copyrights have
expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable.
Read more about Usage Rights:
What is public domain?
Here's a list of some of the more commonly listed.There are many
online galleries that offer free images for public use,
Infographics are a great way to convey complex information in an
easy-to-digest visual form. And you don't need to be a graphic
designer to create one. Here are a few tools to get you
Image Creation / Manipulation Tools
There are many web-based and mobile applications that make
changing and adjusting images easy. You don't need to be an expert
in Photoshop to use these tools to size photos; add text, colors,
or backgrounds; or to quickly make your image social
Image manipulation, Screen Shots
Add Text to Images
Photo Collage Makers
Colors, Backgrounds & Patterns
Tips from visual communications experts
Tips for making the most of your photography
Captions = Content. If possible, caption photos.
It’s an opportunity to add content to your site. People read
captions after the photos and headlines, and sometimes even before
they read the text.
Crop out blank space. If you took a photo and most of
it’s of the wall behind the person, crop it out. Cropping an
image is a powerful way to draw attention to what’s important
in the photo. Take the time to really evaluate the content of the
image and what it’s saying before adding it to your site.
When photographing an event for a slideshow, take
pictures of people hugging, smiling and laughing, rather than
people just holding drinks staring at the camera, which can get
tedious after you see three in a row like that. Consider taking
some shots from unusual angles or of interesting details, like feet
dancing on the floor, a detail of class rings or a view from the
second floor shooting down on a crowd. You are looking to capture
emotions in images, so visitors can see the personality of the
event. Taking a variety of subject matter also will help if you
decide to create a slideshow of the event, so it’s
not 10 photos of people in the same pose.
Less is more. The smaller the image, the less complex the
visual information should be, and vice versa. An image of 10
people doesn’t translate well to a small size and should only
be run at a larger size. If you don’t have that kind of
space, it’s better to leave the image out.
All heads should be the same size. When cropping photos for
faculty headshots, be sure all the heads take up roughly the same
amount of space in the frame.
The wonders of Photoshop. If you have access to photo-editing
software, take the time to improve the photos if you shoot them
yourself. Lighten dark areas, increase color saturation, crop to
eliminate extraneous content. Even professionals
“tweak” their photos so they look the best they can