Log on to photos.ucsc.edu to find images of people and programs at UC Santa Cruz.
- Capture attention
- Tell a story
- Illicit an emotional response
A few best practices:
Think about your audience before you select an image. What interests them? Try to identify the story you are trying to tell through an image before you shoot it.
- Reject photos that are fuzzy or poorly composed. It’s better to do without than to publish poor quality ones.
- Bring out the drama. Long hallways, big windows, interesting expressions.
- Close up shots of even ordinary items can look very dramatic and sculptural.
- When shooting outside, shoot in the early morning or late afternoon. Your shadows will be more interesting and there is greater potential for dramatic light.
- One large photo is much more effective than several small ones.
- If you must use multiple photos on a page, try to select photos with similar colors.
- If you use multiple or small images, be wary of the “spotted” look—images with lots of tiny things in them.
- Be playful when appropriate.
People and Portraits
It’s hard to get good portraits. After all, most of us don’t look like movie stars. Here are some tips:
- When you use images of people, strive to reflect our diverse community in terms of ethnicity, age, and physical ability.
- Think cover shot, not passport photo.
- Shoot in soft light, without a flash—harsh light exaggerates skin flaws.
- Move around people to find attractive angles.
- Shoot lots of frames. Open mouths, closed eyes, funny expressions are hard to avoid. Be prepared to spend time editing.
- Keep shooting until your subject relaxes.
Capturing a sense of campus life and a sense of place is a tall order. Our location and surroundings tell a powerful story. Try to give your subjects a sense of place by looking for iconic or signature locations or elements (Bay in background, redwood trees, key piece of architecture).