People are the primary focus of all our photography. Every image should relate to Western students, faculty, staff or our community. When our campus, buildings or facilities are the photo subject, the images should reflect a thriving University. 

When available, always use natural light. Brighter is better, unless the desired tone or intent of the image calls for a darker environment. 

To represent WMU accurately, strive to show a wide range of student experiences. Every photo can’t represent every student, but a suite of photos used together should authentically reflect the diversity of our campus community. 

When people are the focus, students can engage the camera directly, but posing can detract from an authentic story.

Finding and Using Existing Photography

Imagery database

The Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications maintains and regularly updates the University’s photo database, hosted on These photos are for official use only and are cataloged by topic and date. Request photo database access

If you have a story that supports Western’s marketing or campaign efforts, we want to know about it. Event photography that provides opportunity for making arresting and compelling images will also be considered for assignment. If you have taken high-quality photos that tell a WMU story, please share them with the Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications so they can be considered for use by the University. Request custom photography

Formal headshots

Look for announcements about upcoming sessions in the WMU Today emails, sent to all faculty and staff. New headshots are available within three business days. Request official Western headshot access


Videography is an extension of photography and should be evaluated with similar considerations. Think about framing and editing a scene as you would cropping a photo. When editing, give priority to the elements that tell or support the desired story and remove elements that don’t. Aim for brevity.