Photographic Standards

Our Philosophy

Photography and video are useful and engaging tools for communicating. Our choice of images should support our branding messages.

To connect with our audience, we must use engaging images that provoke a sense of curiosity in the viewer. In order to create that type of image, we must be flexible, though, certain principles are the bedrock of good and interesting photography. Two of those principles are quality lighting and appropriate composition to help distinguish a subject.


Whenever possible student life photographs should be unposed (candid), emotional and used to tell a story, which can create a sense of excitement.

If candid photos aren’t possible, photograph people (especially students) in environments that pertain to their areas of interest. This will reveal more interesting details about them, whether in a lab, library, classroom or a particularly interesting office. In a situation such as that, an engaging environmental portrait that connects the subject with his or her work, academics and/or lifestyle should be arranged. Images should feel relaxed, casual, and confident. If that isn’t possible, we can create a conceptual image that grabs the attention of the viewer.

What to avoid

  • Subjects wearing logos from other universities.
  • Situations where safety procedures are not being followed.
  • Subjects in front of signs.
  • Group photographs. However, if a group shot is unavoidable, select a location where it will be easier to pose the subjects. There should also be diversity.
  • Headshots. Using our campus as a backdrop is the preferred way to document a subject; however, we have a small studio to take a professional-looking headshot.
  • Branded products like Coke bottles or Starbucks. Also avoid non-branded items like bottles of water.
  • Low resolution/poor quality imagery. The resolution should be at least 300dpi for print images with a minimum length of six inches. While stock photography or clip art is an option, it is not the preferred method of getting an image.
  • Awkwardly cropped photos.
  • Avoid eye glasses that automatically dim in bright light. Please be aware that safety glasses are highly reflective and will leave a white stripe across the lens.

Dancer Heidee Alsford for ad photographed on September 9, 2015.

Here are things to be mindful of if we are shooting an assignment for you or your department.

  • If there is a key decision maker who will determine the suitability of the final product, please get them involved before the shoot.
  • For on-location shoots, we might need to visit in order to determine the best spot. The broadcast media director and the senior photographer/videographer will take a look at your request and determine the best way to proceed.
  • In order to get to get the best photograph or video possible here are some guidelines:
  • Location should be free of anything you do not want to appear in the photograph/video.
  • Avoid highly reflective objects in the background such as windows, mirrors, shiny wallpaper, monitors, etc.
  • Avoid setting-up in high traffic areas or noisy areas for video.
  • The number of participants in the photo will help determine the most suitable location.

Dr. Daniel Littlefield, Director the Seqouyah National Research Center, on October 15, 2015.Students play guitar and sing near the Old Student Union on September 16, 2015.

What to wear

  • Suggested attire during a photographic or video shoot.
  • Solids are best. If photographing more than one person, neutrals are better. Otherwise, subjects should wear the color that they look best in. Avoid white, unless it is worn as a garment under a jacket or sweater.
  • Avoid large patterns, logos, and writing, except for UA Little Rock gear, when it’s appropriate for a particular shoot. Never wear attire from other universities.
  • Sleeves that are 3/4-length or full-length work best for both men and women. Avoid sleeveless and short sleeved garments.
  • It is always safer to err on the side of more formal than what the subject considers to his or her normal attire. This depends on the individual, of course, and the context in which they are being photographed.

Setting up the shoot

Is there a favorite photograph on our website that represents your expectations for the project? We’re open to suggestions, but assignments will be photographed according to our interpretation of the best way to illustrate the subject.

The Shoot

Professional photo and video shoot sessions require sufficient time for the best images, so please remind subjects that they should have ample time available to participate in the shoot. The time required for a shoot will be determined by the complexity of the subject matter. A conceptual photo could take more than one hour to execute. Head shots usually require 15 minutes to complete. An on-location shoots requires one hour and often more.

Freshman systems engineer Micheal Vick, a graduate of eStem charter school working/playing in the robotics lab, one of his favorite places on the UA Little Rock campus.UA Little Rock doctoral student, Juan Munoz, wins audience favorite award in the Leap Motion 3D Jam Competition with his virtual reality app, Potel RVR. Photographed in the Emerging Analytics Center, Engineering and Information Technology Building on February 4, 2016.

After the Shoot

All assignments need to be edited and adjusted in Photoshop. Finished files will not be available immediately after an assignment. Head shots will only be slightly enhanced.

What you will receive and when

We will do our best to accommodate your needs within a reasonable time frame, but please allow at least five business days for the finished files to be delivered. This time frame can expand during periods of peak demand. If you do not receive a link to your files after five business days, contact the broadcast media director at

If you receive a digital copy of one of our photographs and/or videos, they should not be used in any manner that reflects negatively on the university. In addition, commercial uses are not permitted. We ask that you not distribute any electronic files to parties outside of UA Little Rock. For photo reproduction permissions contact the broadcast media director at

Any images used outside the university MUST be used with an appropriate credit: Photographer Name/UA Little Rock. Any images used inside the university may be used with the credit: Photographer Name/Office of Communications and Marketing.