Compelling images provide wonderful opportunities to engage the viewer and represent VIMS’ mission and programs. Listed below are some suggestions to ensure your pictures have their intended impact.

Best Practices
Frontal Views

Frontal views are more engaging than derrières, so get in front of your subject and zoom to the face.

Time of Day

Dawn and dusk typically offer the best light for photos.

Avoid Bright Backgrounds


High contrast between bright backgrounds and dark foregrounds can negatively impact a photo.

Avoid Hats, Sunglasses, and Non-VIMS Clothing


When taking photos of VIMS students, faculty, and staff for public-facing purposes, please ensure they are wearing VIMS-branded clothing. Avoid sunglasses and hats if possible.

Avoid Clutter - Crop!


Focus on your subjects by cropping out clutter.

Zoom in!


Zoom in to your subject—whether animal, vegetable, or mineral!

Additional Rules of Thumb
  • Photo Subject Permission: When capturing images, please receive permission from the depicted individual(s) and obtain their name (and age, when appropriate).
    • When using images on a website or social-media account, or in printed materials, make sure to identify the photographer in the caption (e.g., "Photo by C. Katella/VIMS").
  • Copyright Permission: You must have approval from the copyright holder before using copyrighted images on any publicly facing website or social-media account. Failure to do so can result in legal action taken against the Institute from outside parties.
  • No Gory Matter: If possible, avoid depictions of gory work activities (such as excessive blood and guts) in publicly facing venues (websites, social-media accounts). Without proper context, images can be misrepresented by others.
  • Safety First: Please ensure all photo subjects are wearing appropriate safety equipment.