Higher Education Visual Content Marketing Strategy Fuel: Undergraduate Photoshoots

higher education visual content marketing agency strategies tips ideas and examples for undergraduate photoshoots

From its early inception, Elliance with its team of photographers has been capturing iconic photographs that bring the excitement, immediacy and candor of photojournalism to the higher education brands, websites, social media, campaigns and magazines.

Here are some strategies, tips, ideas and examples of visual content marketing for undergraduate photoshoots for colleges, universities, and higher education institutions.

Why Undergraduate Campus Photoshoots

Photoshoots share three of the five core elements of any institutional content strategy. They:

  1. Energize the college brand: by telling new brand stories with iconic photographs.
  2. Engage prospects and supporters: by creating resonance with prospects and reminding donors why they give.
  3. Create emotional bonds: by revealing the passion of your brand.

Six Tips for Campus Photoshoots

Tips to help you get the most out of your photoshoots:

  1. Frequency: To keep college photo libraries fresh and relevant amid changing seasons, fashion, and campus environments, plan four, two-day photo shoots each year.
  2. Quality: Instead of relying on less experienced photographers, invest in a skilled photographer with a long-term contract to capture high-quality images to significantly enhance your reputation.
  3. Editorial Planning: Editorial planning should be a year-round activity guided by story needs rather than convenience, ensuring that photos align with publications, marketing, campus events, and social media for maximum impact.
  4. Student-Faculty Encounters: Instead of merely scheduling photo appointments with faculty and students, have a conversation to understand how best to capture the essence of each unique relationship.
  5. Scouting: To ensure a productive shoot day, meet the person to establish a connection with them, and to learn as much as you can about them before meeting them for the shoot.  Scout locations early and frequently, sending both an art director and a writer for their diverse perspectives. Have alternative plans.
  6. Stylist: Though it may seem like an extra expense, insist on working with a stylist to ensure details like hair, clothing, and accessories are perfect. This can often be managed by a detail-oriented staff member or student worker.

Ideas for Photographs Worth Capturing

There are literally dozens of ways to focus your camera, but to get the maximum mileage out of a photoshoot, we recommend capturing these five types of photographs:

  1. Peer interactions: new friendships, networks and lifelines is what attracts young people to college.
  2. Student-faculty encounters: each relationship has distinct contours, and the photo should capture something essential.
  3. Hero shots: after all, each student is on their personal hero’s journey.
  4. Mastering academic and research skills: practice makes better and from tiny acorns, tall oaks grow.
  5. Service in action: the dream of becoming an engaged, actualized citizen begins with practice in serving others in schools and colleges.

Examples and Samples

Here is a select portfolio of some of the photographs we’ve taken for undergraduate programs. I hope you enjoy them.




Give photoshoots time, budget and respect. Cultivate the habit of doing a few photoshoots every year. After all, colleges and universities, like retailers, are in the image and perception management business.

Learn more about our  higher education marketing services.and consider partnering with us.