Let me get straight to the point. It’s spring on your campus, or will be very soon. Now is the time you need to be shooting pictures to build and supplement your image library.

“Wait!” you think. “We are taking pictures all the time, of events and groups and things happening on campus.” And you should be. But there is a distinct difference between documentation, grip-and-grin, group shots and the kind of non-staged images that simply capture the feeling and experience of campus. It is the latter type of photography that so many institutions need. These are the images that are so important for your website, print publications, newsletters, magazines, emails, social media…you name it. Pictures are critical to telling your story.

Flowers are blooming, trees are getting leafy, and your students and faculty are outside as much as they can be. You know that list of “wish we had this picture” that you keep? Now is the time to pull that list out and schedule a few days of photography. These don’t need to be break the bank days. Photography can be very affordable, especially when the shot list is thoughtfully considered, planned, and articulated to the photographer.

You may read this post and assume it is self-serving. Think it’s a pitch to hire H·A ThirtyOne for your photography? Yes, we do campus photography and we’d be happy to consider your photography needs, but that’s actually not where the self-serving part comes in. There is nothing more frustrating than partnering with a school to help them with their recruitment and communications efforts and discovering they have no image library, or the image library is kept under lock and key in another department.

The self-serving aspect of this message is we know that the schools investing in photography on a regular basis are schools better equipped to partner and realize some of the big ideas H·A ThirtyOne can bring to them. So help us help you. Carve out a little time in your team meeting today and talk about photography. Craft a shot list, set aside some dinero, and get it scheduled. Come summer, when you’re developing all those publications for the recruitment year ahead, you’ll be glad you did. And so will we.


Karyn Adams is vice president and creative director for H·A ThirtyOne, working closely with the enrollment leadership and strategic communicators on campus. Have some dots that need to be creatively connected? Contact Karyn at karyn.adams@hathirtyone.com