Here is how we capture our spirit


Images are a powerful visual asset for helping us tell the rich, full story that is distinctly UB. To focus the selection process, our image library is organized into the seven categories below.


The setting. Wherever that may be. North Campus. South Campus. Downtown Campus. Buffalo. Western New York. In the classroom. In the field. On the field. Abroad.

Buffalo cityscape as viewed from the waterfront.

Location-based imagery helps establish our setting for audiences who are new to UB and reinforces it for those who are familiar.

Campus imagery needs to convey an appropriate level of energy and movement, and should be authentic to the on-campus experience.

Images of UB should frame the university as an integral and central part of the city, and give an appropriate impression of our hometown.

The landscape outside our walls is a unique feature of the UB experience. Capturing our location alongside Lake Erie helps tell a compelling and distinguishing story.

When showcasing our facilities, it’s important to capture the new and the old alike.


The people. Everyone who makes it happen. Students. Faculty. Staff. Alumni. Community. 


Images of people should feel candid, natural and in the moment, never posed or generic. The subject should not typically be looking directly at the camera. Representing people in their natural, everyday environments is important.

Depictions of students in a classroom or working environment should feel intimate and authentic. Natural light should be used whenever possible. Single students should never seem lonely, and groups should always seem collaborative. Capturing a sense of curiosity, interest or discovery is a great way to accomplish this.

Outside the classroom, it’s important to show people in an energized setting, whether that’s on campus, in the city, in nature or abroad.

UB is a diverse place, comprising people of all faiths, ethnicities, orientations and abilities, and that diversity is one of our biggest pride points. Be mindful of capturing the breadth of who we are when you document our community.


The Buffalo way. Hands-on. Collaborative. Intense. Engaged. Smart. Enthusiastic.

Frozen samples.

How we do things here at UB is as important as what we do. Capturing our process is integral to building an authentic image library and attracting new and talented students, faculty and staff.

Ideally, “how” images are a combination of who and what, meaning that a person and an object are always present.

The framing can be tighter and more detailed than usual. Action should be implied if not obvious, and any additional context like the environment or other objects for conveying scale are helpful. As always, lighting should be natural.


The subjects. What we’re innovating. What we’re studying. What we’re improving. Everything we use to move the world forward. 


Object-based imagery should play a large role in our communications, serving as a window into our areas of study and the tools of our trades.

Interesting and unexpected perspectives should be implemented to make the images dynamic. Keeping the camera parallel with or perpendicular to the ground from a variety of vantage points will help maintain some consistency throughout the library.

Framing can vary from macro to wide-angle and everything in between—whatever helps to showcase the object in the best way.

Cultural Hallmarks.

Things from the past and present that make UB unique. Our quirks. Our traditions. Our most treasured characteristics.

UB Bronze Buffalo.

The Cultural Hallmarks category comprises both historical and modern image assets.

While we have a wonderful and expansive archive of historical photos and footage, they’re not appropriate for heavy use in most communications. However, they can prove extremely useful when talking about UB’s history, heritage and traditions, as well as when communicating with alumni.

Alternatively, more modern images like our iconic buffalo statue, our architecture and special spots on our campuses are ideal for wide use in our collateral. Images like these are very important in distinguishing UB from other universities and developing a close relationship with all our audiences.

Environmental Portraits.

The profiles. The difference-makers. Featured in a more editorial scenario. 

Media Studies student.

Portraiture is, in many cases, a necessity in telling compelling stories and recounting personal journeys. When these images are shot in a certain manner, they can also showcase the importance of our collaborative process.

The setting for a portrait should be appropriate for the subject’s major, program or area of interest. If open windows are available, shoot near those. Contextual elements such as tools, machinery or accessories that relate to the topic are helpful in building a realistic image, even if they are in the background or out of focus.

Clothing should be casual and appropriate for the setting. The subject’s normal day-to-day wear should be fine. Most importantly, subjects should feel comfortable. Patterned clothing and non-UB logos should typically be avoided.

Patterns and Details.

An extension and abstraction of the What and Where categories. Images that showcase the beauty in the details. 

CFA Atrium.

Abstract images serve an important role within our communications. They’re a great tool for establishing a mood and allowing room to breathe. They’re also incredibly useful when an image that matches specifically to copy isn’t available.

Architecture, nature, landmarks and objects are all suitable subjects for these close-up shots. Sometimes, even people can be used to create a pattern (though they should not be the predominant focus of this category).

The key is to get as close as possible without entirely losing the context of the subject. Always try to crop an image to leave a hint of what the object actually is.