Brand Photography Library
Our UCSF brand photo library includes a curated collection of approved imagery that reflects our photography style and quality. All images contained in the library have been cleared for non-advertising use on UCSF materials. New images are added to the library on a regular basis so check back frequently.
Visit the UCSF Brand Photography Library.
You can access the brand photo library using your MyAccess ID. Vendors and partners may request access from the log-in page. Once you've entered the secure area, view the "Brand Photography Library" folder. Please be advised the photos may not be used commercially without permission. Commercial use includes all paid advertising or placement. Paid advertising includes books, city pole banners, billboards and periodicals.
UCSF photography is built upon three pillars of expression: Emotion, Environment and Science. Photographs from each of these pillars work together to tell a story. Images from each pillar can be rescaled relative to the others, and combined together to place more emphasis on humanity, campus life and/or environment, and science depending on your audience.
Emotion-based imagery possesses an intimate quality. Whether portraitures or photojournalistic shots of people, there is a striking trait they share in common. Each captures a moment in time, ripe with feelings ranging from happiness to intensity. Focused deeply on the person or persons, emotion-based imagery should be direct and powerful. It should create a connection to the subject matter and be strong enough to stand alone.
Environment-based imagery evokes a sense of destination. Each photograph provides context for the sense that UCSF is a place where things happen – where health leaders are trained, patients are cared for, and scientific breakthroughs are achieved. Environment-based imagery includes photojournalistic-style photography, event photography, portraiture, landscape (architecture, San Francisco) and still life (equipment, objects).
Science-based imagery is a reminder that UCSF is an institution backed by research and committed to discovery. This imagery offers vibrant textures, abstract complexity and raw beauty. It is an absorbing entry point for our audiences to understand a critical component of UCSF. Science-based imagery can include microscopic imagery or still-life details of research, equipment, robotics, tools and objects. When using science imagery, be sure that the imagery used is within the correct context of the story.
If you're in need of photography for your area, or if you have ideas/suggestions for whom or what we should photograph that would complement our Brand Photography Library, please fill out the Photo Ideas Form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original vs. Stock Photography
Whenever possible, using original UCSF imagery will add to the authenticity of our story and develop the visual strength of our brand. When shooting original imagery, use the examples shown as a visual reference and follow style considerations (see below) to capture the essence of the new UCSF photography style.
In the event that original photography does not exist or cannot be used or created to help tell a specific story, stock photography can be used.
Stock Photography Resources
For rights-managed and royalty-free stock photography, recommended resources include the following sites: stocksy.com, gallerystock.com, us.fotolia.com, gettyimages.com.
Note: the stock imagery shown is approved for use only within the UCSF Brand Guidelines. Additional licensing fees apply for other usage.
UCSF ORIGINAL IMAGERY – emotion
STOCK IMAGERY – emotion
When selecting emotion-based stock imagery, follow the same criteria as original UCSF photography. Make sure it feels authentic, genuine and focuses on a moment. Photography should be engaging and compositionally balanced. When selecting stock imagery, it is important that it can co-exist seamlessly alongside original UCSF photography.
UCSF ORIGINAL IMAGERY – environment
STOCK IMAGERY – environment
When selecting environment-based stock imagery, make sure it can co-exist seamlessly alongside original UCSF photography. Environment-based stock imagery may be necessary to utilize when telling a broader story where non-UCSF imagery may be needed. Expansive city views, technology stills or compositionally engaging shots of typical environments can support and even elevate existing original photography.
UCSF ORIGINAL IMAGERY – science
STOCK IMAGERY – science
When selecting science-based stock imagery make sure it can co-exist seamlessly with original UCSF photography. Science-based stock imagery, such as equipment or robotics equipment may be sourced through a number of stock sources.
Photography from the three pillars can work together to tell a story. The compositions to the right demonstrate how the focus of the story changes as the balance between each pillar shifts. Understanding the purpose of the communication and the audience will influence the ideal balance between emotion-, environment-, and science-based imagery.
These examples show imagery from each pillar working together. However, with strong imagery, a pillar can also work independently in a communication.
EMOTION AS HERO
ENVIRONMENT AS HERO
SCIENCE AS HERO
AUTHENTICITY + NATURAL LIGHT
Whenever possible, capture people with genuine expressions. Authenticity is also important and can be achieved by using as much natural light as possible. In dark environments where artificial light is necessary, try to mimic natural light by bouncing light indirectly. When capturing someone at work, shadow the subject and capture authentic moments that feel real.
SYMMETRY + DEPTH OF FIELD
It is important to understand that the UCSF photo library is designed to work across the entire enterprise and should work together. Balanced compositions with symmetrical qualities allow different types of photography to work and complement one another. Avoid extreme angles when possible. A concentrated depth of field that focuses on the subject and not the surroundings is also important to consider.
MULTIPLE IMAGES + AREAS OF REST
With the new visual system and the ability to use multiple images to tell a story, it is no longer critical to capture a whole story in one shot. It is critical to focus on the subject matter and allow ample areas where the eye can rest to help balance compositions.
Photography and Media Consent
UCSF is committed to protecting the health and welfare of patients. Written authorization from a patient or a patient’s parent/guardian should be obtained before photo shoots are arranged. We will only photograph or release patient information as allowed under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
For non-patients it is also important to obtain consent. You may use this simplified form. Please make it clear as to how the photographs may be used in the future.
Incorrect Usage Examples
DO NOT CREATE ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHY
DO NOT USE CLICHÉD METAPHORICAL IMAGERY
DO NOT USE ARTIFICIALLY COLORIZED IMAGES
DO NOT USE IMAGES WITH SPECIAL EFFECTS
DO NOT USE IMAGES SHOT FROM EXTREME ANGLES
DO NOT USE SOMBER OR OVERLY SERIOUS IMAGES
DO NOT USE PROPS OUT OF CONTEXT
DO NOT USE IMAGES WITH CLICHÉD POINTS OF VIEW