Best Practices for Inclusive and Diverse Photography in Higher Education

This valuable article on best practices for using photography to accurately include those underrepresented on university campuses can be applied to other design projects.

By Trevor Jones, UPAA member, Cydney Scott, Boston University, Susan McSpadden, Johnson County Community College, Amanda Pitts, Grand Valley State University

Note: This article was first published by the University Photographers' Association of America, an international organization of college and university photographers dedicated to the application and practice of photography as it relates to higher education.

From the Spring 2021 edition of the UCDA publication, Designer. Used with permission.


Introduction

The visual representation of inclusion and diversity on college campuses is an essential part of telling the story of a university. Prospective students, parents and supporters, current students, faculty and staff look at university websites, social media, both digital and printed marketing and other publications to learn about a university beyond the statistics.

Images viewed as inauthentic, images that lack diversity, or images used out of context can broadcast that underrepresented populations are not valued by an institution. Such a perception is not acceptable when colleges are competing for accomplished students and higher enrollment.

The purpose of this paper is to state best practices for using photography to accurately include those underrepresented on campus. The authors are members of the University Photographers’ Association of America and are the ones who capture and create these images. The UPAA is an international organization of over three hundred photographers dedicated to the application and practice of photography in higher education. The organization is committed to photographic excellence through continuing education and networking with their professional colleagues.

Read the article online here

Download a pdf here