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Choosing locations

Our single-site campus is a vibrant space, full of interesting buildings and people. The University Instagram feed is a fantastic source of inspiration for the best locations.

A relevant setting

Make sure you’re using a location and setting which is appropriate to the context of the photos – check your understanding of this if you are not close to the story you are trying to tell. If you are photographing students or staff, try to choose locations that are authentic to their life at the University. It is important to be both true to the story you are trying to tell and balance this with an appealing aesthetic, so the photos show off the University well.

Get to know the space

Do your research into the spaces available. Speak to the technician, academic or manager of the facility you’re visiting and agree the best place to shoot for the subject. Ensure the space will be available and book it well in advance. Where possible, ask the photographer to visit the location (ideally with you) before the day of the shoot, so they understand the space, light and constraints they’re working with. If outdoors or indoors with lots of natural light from windows, there may be a more suitable time of day to visit this location, based on where the sun will be at that time. Try to plan this into your schedule.

Different locations and settings

Try to photograph your subject in more than one location, or at least more than one setting. Photographing in more than one location is probably most important for case studies, where you may want to emphasise different aspects of the student’s experience in different publications or at different times. This can:

  • Give you flexibility – sometimes what works best at publication isn’t what you expected, especially if your image is presented alongside others. Shooting different coloured backgrounds (eg light, medium, dark) could help you.
  • Show off the University’s facilities and campus.
  • Capture different aspects of the person’s experience.
  • Maximise the cost-effectiveness of your shoot, both for yourself (so you don’t have to shoot again later) and for the University (so images can be used by others).