Photography and Video
UT Southwestern is a world-renowned organization. The quality of our photography and videos should reflect that stature.
Whether you’re trying to find the perfect photo to use from our internal archive system, or shooting your own photos or video, the Office of Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs can help you get started or connect you with one of our approved vendors.
Photo and Video Forms
Internal and external video communications produced by UT Southwestern adhere to ADA guidelines, which require all videos to be closed captioned. Once your video is complete, please submit a request using this link:
Caption Submission Request
Sophistication as a brand requires a commitment to authenticity. Medical exams aren’t fun. Patients aren’t smiling round the clock. Surgeons are rarely models. The courage to show life as it is (albeit artfully) should be a hallmark of our imagery.
Feature Photos/Patient Stories
Make it a point to imply both intellect and heart. When selecting multiple images, try to choose contrasting focal lengths. A closeup on a patient or doctor paired with a wide shot of an impressive architectural space is a great visual contrast – one that suggests both leadership and compassion.
Imagery should try to capture a sense of motion and progress. Consider choosing imagery where foreground, midground, and background are represented. Stylistically, shooting through foreground elements offers a dynamic and appealing look. As a brand, we prefer an observational image, where the subjects are not looking at the camera or smiling artificially. Be sure to include diversity in gender and ethnicity.
As a medical center, we use a lot of medical illustrations. As much care should go into selecting them as goes into selecting photography and video. A good rule is to focus on illustrations that are distinctive, and use only one or two bright colors.
The one time it’s OK to have someone smiling at the camera is a doctor profile portrait, or a group medical team. Try to aim for warm smiles, but avoid all-out laughter.
The Human Element
Generally, it’s preferable to include a human element in photos, even if the primary objective is to promote a building or a piece of equipment. People are drawn to people.
Photographing Faculty and Staff
Here are some suggestions to consider when planning/taking photos or videos of faculty and staff:
Moments to Capture
Observational real moments of interaction between staff and patients will be most effective. All images should evoke a feeling of optimism. Include diversity in gender, age, and ethnicity. And avoid unflattering angles and harshly lit situations.
Either feature the background by choosing wider framing, or soften it entirely by blurring with longer lenses, wider apertures, and tighter framing.
When photographing staff, authenticity is the goal. Try to break them out of the need to pose and catch them observationally, doing what they do as naturally as possible. When you need a smiling-face shot, have an assistant stand a little off camera so the subjects can smile near camera, but not directly into it.
Find angles that reveal a mix of foreground, midground, and background shots. Try shooting action shots from lower angles.
When possible, backlighting subjects and action adds sophistication and visual interest.
Don’t be afraid to try color treatments on your photographs to bring them into the brand palette. Even black and white (especially with textures, or with photos of the grounds) can add some sophistication.