photography marquee



The Arizona Photography brand is simple, bright and authentic — reflecting the brilliance of our location and people in a unique style.

When used effectively, photography is a powerful tool for elevating the Arizona brand. It can also be one of the most challenging to execute. These guidelines clarify Arizona brand photography standards to help you plan and carry out photoshoots that fully express the University's core values, brand attributes and personality.

Above all else, we should aim for every photo to be:

  • Differentiating 
  • Compelling and emotive
  • Purposeful

Questions to ask before taking a photograph: 

  • What is the purpose of the photo?
  • How will the image be used?
  • What message is it communicating? 

To access a gallery of University of Arizona photography, go to the Digital Asset Library (log in with NetID) and click the "University Photos" tile.

Photography should not only tell a story but also evoke emotion and curiosity. Portraits of subjects should be more than just a generic close up of a smiling face; they should be more raw and candid. Use dramatic lighting as much as possible, as well as natural lighting from the beautiful Arizona surroundings. Shoot subjects in action to again help visualize that story and keep the viewer wanting to know more.

Photo Tiers

We aim for consistent brand photography in everything we do in order to help the University differentiate itself in a very crowded market. However, not all photos are created equal, both in quality and intended use.

With that in mind, the University organizes its photography collection into three tiers. For marketers in the colleges, schools and units, it may be helpful to organize your own photos into these tiers, too. 

Tier 1

These signature images are the best visualization of the brand and key messages, to be used in highest priority, strategic print and digital pieces. These photos are the best of the best that elevate and differentiate the University. It would be difficult to impossible for another university to replicate Tier 1 images.

  • Highest visibility branding and marketing
  • Shot and edited by a professional photographer
  • Thoughtfully planned out, art directed photoshoot 
  • Clear strategic purpose
  • Controlled university-wide use


ad campaign, web home page, view book cover, billboard, scenes that tie directly to brand positioning

Tier 2

These images are high quality, professional shots that successfully execute the simplicity photo style, but are not quite as strategic and differentiating as Tier 1 images (typically due to less control over the shoot, or perhaps the subject matter is not as unique). They are still compelling and useful in communicating our key messages and the life and stories of the university.

  • Mid-level visibility branding and marketing
  • Shot by a professional photographer
  • Some advance preparation
  • Clear message/story
  • More common university-wide use


stewardship report, website feature story, interior publication spread, marquee events, standard portraits, editorial

Tier 3

Images at this level capture noteworthy moments, but are not particularly differentiating or compelling. They are casual snapshots that can be produced by essentially anyone who knows how to use a camera. Use in marketing materials should be very limited. 

  • Lowest visibility communications, for internal audiences
  • Likely not shot by a professional photographer
  • Little to no advance planning or control of the shoot
  • More about documentation than telling a story
  • Aim for basic photographic standards (see tip sheet)

Legal Considerations


  • All models and video participants need to sign a release form (Spanish version), granting ownership of the footage to the University of Arizona for use in any current and/or future productions 
  • Understand copyright regulations for all purchased content, such as photography, B-roll, music, etc.
  • Location permits may be necessary


  • The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is available for information regarding the use or development of accessible audio/video materials: or 520.621.3268
  • DRC will contact instructors whose students have requested captioned course materials
  • DRC can also recommend captioning and audio descriptive services
  • For more detailed information and questions about accessible media please click here

Contact Marketing & Brand Management

We are excited to partner with you to advance the Arizona brand, purpose and values.