Photography and Video

Guidance for where to find our photography, and tips for using videos and YouTube, including branded graphics and slides for download.

On this page:

Finding and Using Photos

Check out the Brand Photography Collections in UB's Photo Database. This is a great way to find current photos that align with the UB brand! You can search by keyword, location or year. Please make sure to make a note of the caption on the image to share in any publication or to add to a web pages as alt text (required for accessibility). 

It is important to note when a photo or video element was created so that visitors to our channels understand that we are following all of the safety guidelines fully. For instance, archival photos of students not wearing masks should include a date taken in the caption. 

Taking photos yourself?

  • Fill the frame. When in doubt, please use a horizonal angle. 
  • Don't cut off limbs when photographing people and look for elements behind your subjects that will be difficult to crop later. 
  • Take a test photo to check your lighting. Then take two or three photos quickly in a row to limit photos with eyes shut. 
  • Avoid posed photos when possible. 
  • It is important to follow current health and safety guidelines if taking photos now and in the future. 

Video elements and production

Video is a critical tool for communication across social media, websites, advertising and more. To ensure your message is clear, compelling and on brand, review these best practices and guidelines.  University Communications has created some video templates to get you started. 

If you are going to shoot video on a phone, please turn the device so that you are shooting in a horizontal manner.  YouTube videos require that orientation. If you are recording a presentation or speaker, request a copy of the remarks to help the future captioning process. 

Video Captioning Process

In an effort to comply with University’s web accessibility policy, which includes the requirement of video captioning, UBSSW plans to implement the following changes to video uploads:

  • All videos will be set to private and will not be publicly accessible until custom captions are provided by the unit requesting the video.
  • Custom captions must be 99.5% accurate (training or instruction can be provided to learn how to do this).
    • Background information which is used to communicate key contextual content that isn’t spoken such as who is speaking, music is playing, when something is inaudible, etc. is communicated through the use of square brackets.
    • Visual words displayed in the video, such as graphics or PowerPoint slide details, are communicated through quotation marks inside of square brackets.
    • Use of proper punctuation is necessary.
    • Captions should be verbatim.
    • Speaker must be identified with full name and/or title first time they are on screen. 

There are three ways to get videos captioned:

  • Obtain a caption file (e.g., .srt) from a service like, $1.25/minute (will contain time stamps). Please note that this company will only caption the spoken word and obvious sounds in the video (like applause, a dog barking, an airplane) but will not describe important visual element such as slide details. Those items will need to be added too. 
  • Get access to YouTube (YT), via a request to Steve Sturman, to go in and edit the auto-captions YT generates. 
    • YouTube auto captions will not suffice, as they are only 80% accurate (at best), with frequent misspellings (such as "you be" for "UB"), and won’t add details that need to be done manually, such as identifying music, speakers, or text that is seen on the screen, but not spoken.
  • Provide a custom captioned, time-stamped Word document. You can request a copy of the auto-generated captions from YouTube to edit those. 

Should you have any questions please contact Steve Sturman or Sarah Watson.

Music for Videos

Music is a great addition to videos to help increase interest and excitement. Please note that you must follow copyright guidelines and have permission to use any music included in a file. A recording of a live performance does not necessarily protect us from copyright flags. If your video is flagged it will be unpublished. 

Free music files are available from YouTube and from these vendors: 



Ask Steve Sturman (video) or Sarah Watson (photography) for assistance.

General Release Form (Photo, Video, Voice, etc. Consent)

If you are in need of photography, video, voice, etc. of people that will be featured in UBSSW's various platforms, please obtain consent for the use of individual's photo, video, voice, etc. We've created a form for this purpose.