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The following are some pointers to keep in mind when choosing photography to best portray UC San Diego.


Include people whenever possible, even when the focus is a building or other inanimate object. This shows that our students, faculty and alumni are always at our core.


Try to show the creative process as well as the result. Showing people making or doing things helps you connect with your audience.


Avoid overly staged, stocklike photography. Stock images can look artificial and often lack impact.


Always use high-resolution images. Low-resolution images make a project look unprofessional


Nothing says UC San Diego like sunshine. Try to use natural lighting whenever possible. Studio lighting can look staged and may not connect with your audience.

Know whom you’re talking to

Always consider your audience. Determine what they may relate to best when selecting an image. We’d use different imagery to convey a message to a student than we would to alumni, faculty or the public.

Consider Impact

Shots that are meaningful to you and your colleagues may not resonate with your viewers. Always consider how to create interest and generate curiosity

Directional Angles

For us, angles do more than draw the eye; they symbolize our forward trajectory and upward momentum.

photography examples of directional angles

Intentional Harmony

Detail is at the core of our photography. We capture harmony between subject/foreground and landscape/background to create polished, yet candid, compositions.

photography examples of intnetional harmony

Heroic Scale

Using this standout photographic style, we present ourselves as a campus full of people who go against the grain and forge their own path.

photography examples of heroic scale


This captivating aesthetic gives a subliminal nod to the brilliance of our campus and its environment, and the bright futures it promises.

photography examples of backlighting

Highlighting Form

We are anything but uninspired. To showcase our campus in the best light, we capture unique architectural perspectives, emphasizing angles, symmetry, creative use of scale and nonlinear structure.

photography examples of highlighting form

Need photography? Download photos from our media gallery. For special photo requests, please contact University Communications.