Vanderbilt Photography

There’s an immersive quality to a Vanderbilt photograph, allowing the viewer to look at a distinct moment, conveying a real experience. The world of Vanderbilt is shown via rich color, bold compositions and unique vantage points. There’s a sense of story in each image, with an editorial thread that ties together the photo categories to elevate the people and perspectives of the Vanderbilt community. These core brand photo categories are a strong reference 
for key qualities like color, composition and mood.


A high degree of collaboration and community should be evident in the photography selection for communications pieces. Together, our students and faculty embody an innovative, pioneering spirit and redefine what’s possible. We embrace debate and take on challenges to move forward together.

  • hugs
  • dual
  • hold


  • Participating in immersive discussions
  • Celebrating a win or huddling up after a loss
  • Taking on a challenge together as a group
  • Receiving feedback or giving input
  • Highlight team engagement through interesting angles and depth of field 


We aim to capture how Vanderbilt students, faculty and alumni carve pathways for others to reach their potential, through the never-ending pursuit of excellence and ongoing work to reach the next level. We show them overcoming obstacles to achieve the pinnacle of their craft, signifying that greatness is only achieved through hard work. 

  • Art Student
  • experiment
  • Women's Lacrosse


  • Pursuing excellence as individuals and teams
  • Showing tenacity and fortitude
  • Exploring and experimenting
  • Overcoming challenges through hard work and determination
  • Highlight process, not just final outcomes


We are a community dedicated to strengthening each other. We seek the best and brightest and select those who embody our collaborative spirit to join our community. Vanderbilt cares about each student’s success and well-being, supporting them at every turn.

  • Diverity
  • smiling graduation
  • athletics


  • Rituals and ceremony
  • Mentorship and guidance
  • Connection and immersion
  • Vanderbilt hand signs
  • Showcase the full diversity of the student body
  • Highlight candid facial expressions

Campus Imagery

Campus imagery should feel timeless. Celebrated architectural components such as archways or rooflines can provide focal points. Dappled shadows and golden lighting add depth to the selections.

  • campus eye view
  • students on campus
  • campus angle


  • Keep everyday imagery interesting and fresh through creative framing and perspectives 
  • Show ordinary views in extraordinary ways
  • Rely on shadows, lighting and reflections to make the shots interesting
  • Highlight spaces for communal gathering

Topical Imagery

For topical images, we recommend purchasing stock images from sites such as Adobe Stock, Getty Images, Imagn, AP Images or Reuters Pictures to tie the subject matter’s relevance to current events. Look for photos that feature abstractions of complex topics.

  • student work
  • abstract art
  • ocean


  • Reinforce our color palette of black, gold and neutrals through photography selection
  • Showcase the topic from a macro or micro perspective
  • Try an all-over pattern that allows large-scale usage without distracting from content

Black and White Imagery

To unify portrait and headshot images for event branding or other communications materials where many will be shown together, we recommend treating them in black and white. This unifies disparate lighting and backgrounds. This can be successfully achieved by desaturating the photo in Photoshop or Lightroom, and then adjusting the levels and contrast to unify them as a group.

  • faculty
  • faculty
  • faculty

Imagery and Pattern Interaction

In our campaign and event branding, you’ll see the element of interconnectedness displayed through our interwoven grid pattern. Grid cells are either 1:1 or 2:1 and can adapt based on overall size and dimension of final piece.

photography poster

Imagery can be placed within the grid squares to add 
interest and depth to compositions.