Photography plays a crucial role in bringing our brand to life.

Supporting EDI

Our images should:

  • Be truthful representations of our community
  • Accurately include those who are underrepresented on campus
  • Be used in the right context

Be authentic

  • Collaborate with students, faculty and staff to capture or source photos that accurately depict people, events and activities as they would truly appear, such as planning photography of a science field trip to promote the Faculty of Science
  • When photographing or using images captured spontaneously, ensure all identifiable people are informed of the photoshoot and give appropriate consent
  • When planning/staging photography to capture a specific topic or action, do not try to engineer diversity when selecting volunteers. Select volunteers from your community “as they are”.

Look beyond skin colour

Showing diversity in our photos can be challenging. Gender identity, religion, mental health and some physical disabilities may not be “seen” but can be portrayed using subtle cues.

  • Students wearing a cross, hijab, turban, yamaka, etc
  • The rainbow flag
  • Pins, patches and stickers on backpacks, water bottles and laptops
  • Symbols and signage around campus
  • Signs for gender neutral bathrooms
  • Braille on building entrances
  • Ramps for stairs
  • Closed captioning examples

Ask questions

Approach photography with an inquiring mindset to help you recognize bias and increase your ability to make sound and equitable decisions.

  • Who is missing?
    • Seek ways to include members of underrepresented and equity-deserving groups, but ensure they are not represented in a stereotypical way
  • How many people?
    • Use images containing more than one person unless the narrative of your story focuses on an individual. This puts less pressure on a single person to represent the topic (e.g. business) or their perceived race, gender, etc. Only use a photo with a single person if they have consented to its intended use
  • What are they doing?
    • Images with a person performing an action reinforce the message of your communication and align with our guidelines for brand photography. From an EDI perspective, active images are preferred because they reduce pressure on people to represent the topic of the photo—instead, the action is representing the topic
    • Images with passive action, (e.g., people smiling at the camera) are acceptable when active photos are not available or challenging to produce
  • Does my collection of pictures support EDI?
    • Be mindful of using a single prominent photo on a website landing page or brochure cover photo that includes various aspects of diversity, while subsequent photos do not. Approach photography through an EDI lens by reviewing the entire collection of photos used in a brochure, website, social channel and other forms of communication
  • Who is in the photo?
    • Better photos include people specific to their topic—for example, the Beedie School of Business would use business students and Athletics would use student athletes
    • Use generic photos only if they align with your message
  • Does this picture reinforce a stereotype?
    • Include members of underrepresented or equity-deserving groups. For example, not all post-secondary students are young adults
    • Review the image critically to ensure it does not perpetuate common myths or misinformation about an issue
  • Is anyone being tokenized?
    • Making a perfunctory effort to photograph people from underrepresented groups to be inclusive in your communications is tokenistic. Also, using the same individuals repeatedly in your photos can be tokenistic
  • Does this picture sensationalize or trivialize inequity, harm or trauma?
    • Avoid visual elements that evoke emotions of alarm, anxiety, or fear
    • Select fonts and graphic elements that are appropriate for sensitive topics