a person setting up a camera

The University of Alaska Anchorage practices storytelling through photography. Every image selected represents who UAA is as a university. Choose images that prominently feature students, staff and faculty engaged with their work, our campus and each other. Highlight the amazing stories of UAA in a way that’s inviting to viewers — Give them an insider perspective, and show off the surroundings that make UAA unique.

UAA photographs should reflect our brand personality — remarkable, forward looking, networked. Take advantage of the lush, natural environment right outside our doors and the bright, engaged students in our classrooms. Show off our beautiful campus and the people and community who bring it to life. Some things to keep in mind when taking photos for publications and university social media channels:

  • Limit photos in which subjects are wearing prominent logo clothing, particularly that of rival universities.
  • Avoid photos that appear dated — by clothing and hairstyles, dated equipment or employees who are no longer with the university.
  • Exercise caution before using a photo that shows students, faculty or staff drinking alcohol or engaging in activities restricted by age, etc. Never show photos of subjects smoking or underaged students drinking alcohol.
  • Never manipulate a photo to the point where it is no longer accurate (e.g., “flopping” a photo so that a building once on the west side of a street is now on the east). 
  • Do not use generative AI to add people to photographs who are not real. The faces in our photos should be recognizable as real members of the UAA community. 
  • If it’s difficult to show your subjects’ work in a way that’s distinctive — such as if they spend most of their time working at a computer — take photos that depict the results of their work and its impact or implementation.
  • Photos of great work in progress are usually more exciting than photos of people receiving awards after the fact. Whenever possible, try to make time to take photos of the kinds of the activities that earn recognition as they are happening so we have the photos when it comes time to celebrate the work. 

When you need original photos, we recommend the use of a professional photographer whenever possible, and make sure they’re familiar with the UAA’s photo branding style.


Your personal phone can be a good way to capture an event or special moment that would be otherwise lost when no other option is available. The downside is that smartphone images are rarely good enough quality for large or high-quality printed reproduction and should be relegated to online/web use.

Photo Bank

Need to supplement your publication with stock photos of the university? University Advancement maintains a constantly growing photo bank that features photos of campus life, buildings and university leaders. Explore different categories, make note of the images you want, fill out and send the request form and we will send you high resolution copies of the images you want. It’s also a great place to browse and get ideas for your own similar, high-quality images. 

Ask a Photographer

Need some more tips about taking quality shots to help tell your story? Contact University Advancement photographer James Evans or (907) 786-6430.

Photo (Media) Releases

If you plan to take photos of students, faculty, staff or campus visitors for use within publications or on a website, they should sign a media release form. The general rule is if you are taking a picture of a single person or a small group and they are the main focus of your shot, a release form should be used. When taking photos of a large gathering like UAA’s Commencement Ceremony, a media release is not necessary.

The Advancement office has approved media release forms for both groups and individuals.