Photography and videography are powerful and persuasive tools for communicating the Iowa brand. Use these guidelines to tell visually compelling stories and highlight the things that make Iowa unique.


Use imagery to reflect our personality and reinforce our key messages.

Demonstrate our brand attributes through imagery that conveys Iowa’s academics, people, culture, and sense of place without unrealistic filters or effects. Imagery is an excellent way to convey our key messaging themes by showing, not just saying, what makes Iowa distinct.


Education at Iowa goes beyond the classroom. Imagery should reflect both the traditional and unconventional opportunities Iowa creates and highlight our unique blend of art and science across disciplines.


Imagery should focus on what sets Iowa City apart: the small-town accessibility and big city amenities within a seamlessly integrated town and campus.


Collaboration and teamwork are at the core of what it means to be a Hawkeye. Imagery should show how we work closely together, connecting across disciplines to bring together diverse ideas, and develop lasting relationships.


The University of Iowa thrives because of its people. Our people create our brand personality and define our attributes. Both portrait-style and candid photography should authentically capture the efforts, talents, and actions that make Hawkeyes stand out.

Plan and select photography with creativity and clarity in mind.

Approach a common experience from an uncommon perspective. Consider unique angles, use of color, and visually dynamic subjects to draw in the viewer's interest. Convey your message quickly by using imagery with a clear focal point and a background that is free of clutter. Follow these tips for shooting and selecting photography to ensure it engages your audience and aligns with the brand strategy.

Get creative

Plan photography that illustrates concepts unique to the subject and Iowa.


Opt for candid moments

Candid shots give viewers an authentic look at life on campus by capturing real moments between individuals and their surroundings.

Nurses jumping into pool

Tell the story quickly and clearly

Images with a strong focal point draw a viewer’s eye and help them connect with the image.

Teacher engaging with students

Media resources

Aerial view of the Pentacrest at night


Approved users

Approved on-campus users can access the university’s library of professional photos and video footage for marketing and communication purposes.

Search Photoshelter
Photo release form samples

Photo release forms

Adult and minor consent forms

For planned or staged photo/video shoots involving student participants and/or volunteers, our policy and practice is to get their permission in the form of a signed release/consent form. Read additional photo release guidelines on the OSC website.

Download Release Forms
Sample professional head and should portraits

Professional portraits

Tips for head and shoulder portraits

Capture and display high-quality portraits of faculty and staff who are included on your unit contact and directory pages. Information about the Office of Strategic Communication’s walk-in photo studio is also provided. 

See Portrait Tips