Brand Guidelines - Photography

We want to capture images of people thriving at UM. Personally, professionally and academically, let’s find images that show people growing, flourishing and prospering and use them to tell our story.

UM has an extensive photo archive. A selection of photos is available for download from the UM Flickr account

To request a photo, email UM photographer Todd Goodrich at or call 406-243-4825. You also may contact Todd to schedule a University-related photo shoot.

General tips for taking interesting photos:

  • Don’t shoot everything from eye-level, and try changing your perspective. Example: kneel down or stand on a chair to shoot your subject.
  • Photos often are more interesting when subjects aren’t centered. Read up on photography’s “rule of thirds.”
  • Candid photos have more visual appeal than a staged or a posed shot.
  • All images should be in focus with appropriate color and lighting. We want to portray quality experiences with quality photography.
  • Animated interaction between subjects is more interesting.

Things to avoid:

  • Subjects wearing logo-wear from other universities or graphic clothing that may be offensive to others.
  • Shots where people are consuming alcohol or drugs.
  • Exposed body parts.
  • Situations where safety procedures are not being followed.
  • Potentially offensive personal items that can be viewed in the background.

Examples of good images: A class being held outdoors on a sunny day; faculty and students conducting research using some of our state-of-the-art equipment; people giving back to the UM and Missoula community through service; crowds of fans supporting UM athletics teams; artistic and theatrical events around campus.

Examples of bad images: Someone holding a plaque, check, award, etc., and smiling at the camera (grip and grin); standard classroom shots of a lecture; images of old or outdated infrastructure and technology; unhappy people.

Portraits: Try to capture photos of people in natural light. Spend time with the subject to capture their personality, not just their smile.

Research shots: All safety procedures must be followed in laboratory or research photos. Lab coats, gloves, goggles, etc. must be worn properly. Work with researchers to identify the most dynamic part of their research and capture images that set their work apart from that of others.

Recreation shots: Students enjoying sports and recreation around campus are excellent examples of how people personally thrive at UM. However, if anyone’s recreation causes damage to UM property, do not include that in your shots and alert the Office of Public Safety.

Residence hall shots: When photographing someone in their living space, be sure that all personal hygiene and contraceptive items are out of the shot. We don’t want to cause embarrassment or distract from the goal of the image.

Events: Find detailed angles or a point of view most people won’t have of the event. Avoid large shots of people milling around a room. Make sure speakers and important people are in focus.