Supporting photos

Female student holding a tray of pancakes

The action has been stopped to create a nice connection with the camera for this editorial photo.

An x-ray of a bullfrog

An x-ray of a bullfrog is used to highlight a complex story that would be hard to tell through a people photo.

A female staff profile photo

A well-taken headshot showing greenery in the background.

There is a broad range of communications and marketing material that is produced for UVic. While epic and experiential photos combine to tell the Edge story, it's the supporting photos that are the workhorses.

With such a variety of contributing sources we know strict adherence to a rigid set of guidelines is not feasible. Instead, we aim for overall coherence, and have provided these top-level guidelines, and examples, to help inform great photography for this style.

Wherever possible, include subtle reference to UVic colours in image details, such as a yellow backpack or a blue umbrella.

There are three types of supporting photos.


These are documentary photos for all UVic stories and activities that don't necessarily capture one of the three key messages. All the basic rules of high quality photography apply: high resolution, interesting framing, well-lit subjects, etc. Just like the experiential photos, these should adhere to some of the same rules regarding authenticity, spontaneity, immersion and a point-of-view that makes the photo as interesting as possible—plus less looking at the camera.


The role of artifact photos is to provide a way of illustrating a story that may be better told by showing the "inputs" or "outputs" rather than the action or people involved. Many of the stories we want to communicate can be difficult to bring to life—they're abstract or complex ideas that are hard to visualize. The role of artifacts is to create visual cues that add interest and ground our messaging in concrete terms. These can also be used as a more effective substitute for generic pictures of people (e.g. a researcher or student in a lab coat) in a non-descript environment. Artifacts can use colour to create a tone-on-tone look or simply close-cut against a white background.


Photos of people, and especially headshots, are used frequently and should have a consistent look where possible.

The ubiquitous portrait can come from anywhere, from smart phones to old college photos. If possible, provide some suggestions for the photographers taking the pictures. Emphasize that high resolution, lighting and composition are important ingredients for each portrait. If appropriate, photos should include elements that illustrate their work or if it is simply a portrait then use UVic's natural environment as a background.

Some tips for headshots

  • clear, sharp and in focus
  • as natural looking as possible with a nice, relaxed expression
  • uniform lighting with no shadows, glare or flash reflections
  • if you're wearing dark clothes, take the photo against a lighter background
  • if you're wearing light clothes, use a darker background
  • try to center the head in the top half of the photo and allow for a comfortable amount of background space around the head as photos can be cropped as needed