From all types of content used in school marketing, photos are the easiest to produce and distribute. For Admissions offices, great campus photography can save the school time and money, because you don't need years of experience to capture beautiful photos, and the audience loves consuming visual content.
Now, with Spring already in place, it is a great opportunity to plan your next photo shooting and capture a fresh look of the places, facilities, or traditions and experiences from your campus. Make sure you include on your list of objectives all of the following:
- Campus architecture: Take pictures of the buildings and structures on campus, including the library, residence halls, classrooms, and administrative buildings. Try to capture the unique features of the campus, such as old or modern architecture, stained glass windows, or picturesque landscaping.
- Campus life: Take photos of students participating in campus activities, such as clubs, sports teams, and cultural events. Try to capture the energy and enthusiasm of the students and highlight the variety of activities available on campus.
- Natural surroundings: Take photos of the campus grounds, including any gardens, parks, or outdoor spaces. This can show the natural beauty of the campus and highlight any outdoor activities or events that take place on campus.
- Academic resources: Take photos of the academic resources available on campus, such as the library, computer labs, and study spaces. This can show potential students the resources available to help them succeed academically.
- Campus facilities: Take photos of the facilities available on campus, such as the gym, cafeteria, and student center. This can give potential students a sense of the amenities available on campus.
- Campus traditions: Take photos of any unique campus traditions, such as homecoming events, graduation ceremonies, or cultural celebrations. This can show potential students the sense of community and belonging they can expect to experience on campus.
Plan your photoshoot over a few days, or weeks. At the very least, on one day when there are a variety of events on. Shoot some day-to-day activity, a sporting event, a lunch sitting, an awards or valedictory night. If your college runs a conferencing facility, time the photoshoot to fall on a day there is a conference booking. Ensure your library portrays all of the flavors of life at your college. Remember to consider the lighting, angles, and composition of your photos to make them visually appealing and capture the essence of the campus.
You will want to use your photos in your virtual tours, to give prospective students a more immersive experience, on social media, to reach a wider audience or in your marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers, advertisements, promotional materials. Using campus photos can help you showcase your campus and can be an effective way to attract new or interested students to your institution. We put together a list of the things to keep in mind when you want to use campus photos in your advantage:
- Use high-quality photos: Make sure the photos you use are of high quality and showcase your campus in the best possible way. Avoid using blurry or low-resolution images.
- Obtain permission: Ensure that you have permission from the school and any individuals depicted in the photos before using them for marketing purposes.
- Respect privacy: Do not use photos that show identifiable individuals without their consent or in situations that may be embarrassing or inappropriate.
- Avoid stereotypes: Avoid using photos that perpetuate stereotypes or clichés about college life, such as students partying or being lazy.
- Emphasize student life: Use photos that showcase the student experience outside of the classroom, such as extracurricular activities, social events, and volunteer opportunities.
- Be truthful: Do not use photos that misrepresent the campus or student experience. Avoid using overly staged or edited photos that are not representative of reality.
- Stay current: Use current photos that accurately represent the current state of the campus and student life. Avoid using outdated or irrelevant images that do not reflect the current reality of the campus.
- Show diversity: Use photos that represent the diverse student body on campus, including different ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.
Overall, make sure your imagery lines up with your core values. The photos you use speak volumes to potential students and parents. It can be the first impression they get of you and, depending on what that message is, be the deciding factor of whether to contact you or not.