Photographic Style

UT System photographs are:

  • Tastefully composed and free of clutter
  • Selective focus on subject to draw the eye in to the photo
  • Clean and out-of-focus or slightly out-of-focus backgrounds
  • Express the joy that comes with attending the University
  • UT-branded gear/clothing/buildings if at all possible, is preferred at all times and when appropriate
  • The diversity of the people of the University of Tennessee should be reflected in all respects
  • The mission-derived themes of educate, discover, connect should be expressed when appropriate
  • Photos taken on a cell phone should be avoided for official University communications

Editing of Photographs and Photographic Integrity

  • A photograph must never be changed from how it was originally shot aside from standard toning or cropping of the image, which improves its overall appearance.

  • Removal of items from a photograph via “clone stamp,” “healing brush” or any other photo editing software or tool that alters an image from its original state should be avoided. (Permissible exceptions are limited to removal of blemishes, etc. in an official headshot OR dust spots on the lens or sensor)

  • Use of special filters that alter the color or contrast of an image so that it looks radically different from the original should be avoided unless the photo is being used in a way that necessitates the altering of those attributes. (e.g. a stylized photo layout in the Alumnus magazine, layouts used in any other print / online publication, advertisements and promotional pieces where use of artistic license makes sense)

  • Do not use filters found in social media platforms/apps like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or similar social media platforms.

  • Photo illustrations allow more leeway in terms of editing, composition and posing than a journalistic-style photo. Photo illustrations should be obvious to the viewer and do not need much explanation. If, before publication, the question of a photo’s authenticity arises, efforts should be made to clarify that it is an illustration.

  • If in doubt ask the senior visuals producer.