GSE student reading to young students in a classroom.

Photographs are a powerful tool to help tell the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education's unique story.

Capturing a Moment

By properly framing, lighting and composing your photos, you can capture our exciting events and accomplishments, interesting alumni and talented students, and share their stories with your audience. Readers are more likely to read and engage with content that features great photos, and journalists are more likely to cover news with a high-quality image.

Whether you’re snapping a few shots in a classroom, telling the story of a student teaching learning experience or hiring a freelancer to cover an event, follow these guidelines to ensure your photos are high quality, dynamic and follow UB brand standards.

Rule of Thirds

If you divide the frame into thirds vertically and horizontally, place the focal point along one of the lines for the most visually interesting composition.


Capture many options for framing and focus to tell a full story and build our photo library. Take wide, medium and close-up shots. Use selective focus (zero in on one part of the image) and full focus. Capture candid, natural moments, as well as posed pictures.


Use bright, natural light or subtle in-studio lighting. Make sure your subjects aren’t squinting into the sun or standing in shadow.


Establish the setting for your audience. Pose subjects in front of an distinctive background, rather than a blank wall. Highlight iconic, authentic locations in your photos.

7 Easy Tips

  1. Always make sure your photo is in focus.
  2. Set your camera or smartphone to the highest resolution possible. Photos should be at least 300 dpi to ensure they can be used in print and online.
  3. Take multiple photos and several poses. A picture that looks nice on a small phone screen may not look good when it’s downloaded, so it pays to have options.
  4. Help your subjects look their best. Ask them to fix their tie, button or unbutton their jacket, and smooth wrinkles on their shirt.
  5. Before taking the photo, ask subjects to remove name tags and set down food or drink (unless it’s integral to the story; ex. a portrait of a craft brewer).
  6. Encourage subjects to relax. If they are stiff or uncomfortable, that will come across in photos.
  7. Pay attention to your surroundings. Try to exclude unnecessary background items such as garbage cans or other objects that may bring the quality of your photograph down.