Photography style

Campaign photography

Our campaign style for students depicts real University of Hertfordshire students looking confidently at the camera.

Each student is set against a colourful graduated background. The colour is an integral part of the imagery as the bright brand colour gradients accentuate the energy in the ‘Powering Potential’ message.

The crops of the imagery are key to the style. By always cropping from the waist up you ensure the image has a stronger focus and creates a personal connection with the student. The crops also suggest a boldness from the students - they are not afraid to show their personality.

The images should always use real students and it is important to consider diversity in your imagery selections, reflecting our diverse and colourful community.

When choosing your imagery, always ask yourself – does it fit with our proposition: Powering Potential?

Style must haves

  • One or two real students looking directly at the camera whenever possible
  • Students must always look comfortable in their personality, positive and engaged
  • Images should always be cropped to the top third of the body

Briefing your photographer

  • Wherever possible use a green screen or plain white background to allow for the images to be cut out and the colour to be applied easily to the background
  • Make sure the students are wearing bright or light colours where possible, although avoid heavily patterned clothing to avoid clashing with the background or graphics
  • Ensure that you photograph at least two thirds of the student to allow for a variety of crops

Alignment to brand personality

  • Approachable
  • Energising
  • Confident

Usage

  • Advertising campaigns
  • Top level pages on the website
  • Front covers (prospectuses and magazines)
  • Key imagery spreads on inside pages of prospectuses
  • Out of home brand and advertising campaigns
  • Hero images on homepage of website
  • Email headers

Know your audience

It is important when talking to different student audiences to try and appeal to them directly. We have four main types of student audience (undergraduate, postgraduate, current students and alumni) for which we create collateral. So when designing or commissioning your imagery, make sure you know exactly who you are trying to engage.

The differences are in the age and style of the people, and the background colours used. This creates a consistent look and feel across the brand, yet allows us to tailor communications to different student groups:

  • Undergraduate imagery always uses a Bright background from the undergraduate recruitment palette
  • Postgraduate imagery always uses our Grey Blue paired with an accent from our postgraduate recruitment palette, and generally features older students
  • Current student campaigns use a Bright background from the student and staff palette
  • Alumni imagery should use the 'Gold' (Light to Dark Yellow) gradient from the Alumni palette.

See our Colour page for more information.

Constructing campaign photography

Our campaign photography should be constructed with the below in mind:

Step 1: Source image using above guidance

Step 2: Cut out your imagery

Step 3: Add background colour and shadow

Things to avoid

Do not use backgrounds other than those within the audience colour pallete

Do not use a similar colour background to the students' clothes

Do not use images of students who look negative

Do not use images where students are not looking at the camera

Do not cut the subject out poorly. You want it to appear as if they are standing in front of a naturally lit backdrop

Do not use colours for the background that are not approved in the campaigns colour palette

Our students and staff

Our leading photographic style depicts real University of Hertfordshire students and staff hard at work and play in recognisable, modern and open environments.

Although the subject is looking at the camera, the image should still have an authentic, realistic feel to it. These images must feel true to life and not staged – as if you have just popped into their classroom or workspace to see what they are doing that day. These background environments should give context to the subjects’ interests, course or role at the University, and have the dual purpose of showcasing our beautiful campus and facilities.

The images should always use real students and colleagues and it is important to consider diversity in your imagery selections, reflecting our diverse and colourful community.

a good example of a member of the herts community looking straight at the camera in a well lit university location
a good example of a member of the herts community looking straight at the camera in a well lit university location
a good example of a member of the herts community looking straight at the camera in a well lit university location
a good example of a member of the herts community looking straight at the camera in a well lit university location

Style must haves

  • The crops of the imagery are key to the style. By always cropping from at least the waist up you ensure the image has a stronger focus and creates a personal connection with the student. The crops also suggest a boldness from the students - they are not afraid to show their personality.
  • Eye contact is equally important – this helps to create an emotional connection between the subject and audience, and reinforces that strength of personality and confidence in conviction of our people.
  • When choosing your imagery, always ask yourself - does it fit with our proposition: Powering Potential?

Briefing your photographer

  • When capturing a student or colleague in their environment, make sure they look and feel relaxed. They must look engaged and positive
  • Each individual’s personality should shine through – if they are outgoing and confident, then a more candid pose is relevant. If they are more serious and quieter, then they should not be forced to be made to feel uncomfortable with poses that don’t feel natural to them
  • A shallow depth of field should always be employed to keep the focus on the subjects
  • Make sure people in shot are not over styled, and are not wearing heavily branded or patterned items that will fight with University of Hertfordshire brand.
  • Remove any distractions from the shot, including water bottles, disposable cups and out of place furniture
  • When shooting in labs and workshops, ensure health and safety guidance is adhered to, including the use of gloves, visors and hair ties as required
  • Ensure all participants have signed a model release form so their image can be used across University of Hertfordshire channels

Alignment to brand personality

  • Approachable
  • Energising
  • Confident

Usage

  • In-page images
  • Advertising campaigns as secondary images
  • Posters, leaflets or flyers
  • Case studies
  • Internal events
  • Key imagery spreads on inside pages of prospectuses
  • Hero images on website standard pages
  • Social media event posts
  • Out of home brand and advertising campaigns

Dos and dont's

an example of what not to do when photographing life at herts

Do not use close crops with little background as this will mean adding the wave will be difficult

an example of what not to do when photographing life at herts

Do not use coloured backgrounds as the staff images with get confused with the student style

an example of what not to do when photographing life at herts

Do not use images of people who look negative

an example of what not to do when photographing life at herts

Do not take or use flat images with little perspective or depth of field

an example of what not to do when photographing life at herts

Do not use contrived scenes, always use natural reportage style

Life at Herts

We recognise that it is not possible for every image to be treated as a hero image – there is a need for other types of supporting imagery to be used to showcase teaching, events, research, accommodation, represent testimonials and illustrate information. These types of images can all be used – just not for high level brand communications.

These must feel true to life and not staged. Reportage style, representing real life at Herts.

an example of a good photo showcasing daily life at herts
an example of a good photo showcasing daily life at herts
an example of a good photo showcasing daily life at herts
an example of a good photo showcasing daily life at herts

Briefing your photographer

  • When capturing life and work at the university, use a reportage style, always making sure the images feel true to life and not contrived
  • Make sure the students or people in shot are not wearing heavily branded items that will fight with University of Hertfordshire brand
  • Ensure all participants have signed a model release form so their image can be used in University of Hertfordshire collateral
  • A shallow depth of field should always be employed to keep the focus on the subjects
  • Make sure people in shot are not over styled, and are not wearing heavily branded or patterned items that will fight with University of Hertfordshire brand
  • Remove any distractions from the shot, including water bottles, disposable cups and out of place furniture
  • When shooting in labs and workshops, ensure health and safety guidance is adhered to, including the use of gloves, visors and hair ties as required
  • Ensure all participants have signed a model release form so their image can be used across University of Hertfordshire channels

Alignment to brand personality

  • Approachable
  • Energising
  • Confident

Usage

  • Inside printed pages (such as course pages in a prospectus)
  • Inpage images
  • Back pages of leaflets or flyers
  • Internal events
  • Website (but not main headers)
  • Social media events posts

Know your audience

Your target audiences should always be reflected in your image choices. For example, when talking about facilities to student audiences, your images should include students at work in the spaces, but promoting facilities for hire, images might show how our spaces are adaptable for business needs.

Related Guidance

Get in touch

If you have any questions please contact a member of the team:

ContactEmail
Studio team, Marketing and Communications studio@herts.ac.uk
Jak Kimsey, Studio Manager (he/him)j.kimsey1@herts.ac.uk
Marketing and Communications Business Supportmarketinguh@herts.ac.uk