Scientist in a lab with bunsen burner Photographs on your website or publication can support or enhance your message. Instead of writing long paragraphs to describe what something looks or feels like, try and capture it with an image. Images are particularly useful for pages targeted at prospective students, staff and alumni, it helps you sell the campus and facilities and can really showcase research or news content.

The Digital and Creative Media team can help you enhance your web pages and publications by showing you:

Photo guidelines

Where to find pictures

The Digital Image Library

You can choose from more than 120,000 images covering all aspects of College life in the digital image library.

There is currently a problem with the search function in the Digital Image Library, which means that it is not possible to search for an image using keywords. Images can be found by browsing through categories. Alternatively, please contact style.guide@imperial.ac.uk, and a member of the creative team can help with finding images for you.

If you require advice or training on using the image library please contact Thomas Angus.

Other image sources

You may use various other online image libraries, but they may have other cost implications:

Read the rules and make sure you have permission to use the image and acknowledge copyright when necessary. Don’t just copy and paste images from the web (e.g. Google images, Wikipedia etc). Check copyright before using anything that isn't yours, if you are unsure please contact graphicidentity@imperial.ac.uk.

How to commission a photo shoot

Hire a photographer

The Communications and Public Affairs Division has rota of photographers it regularly uses and arranges a number of shoots each year. Contact Joanna McGarry for help and advice hiring a photographer, or to pitch an idea for a photo-shoot.

Get consent

On the day of the shoot please ensure you inform the subject that Imperial College London would like to use their image and publish it online or in print for the purpose of promoting the College. Also tell them that their name may be published with the image(s).

To gain the permission of an adult being photographed on or off campus, please ask them to complete this Adult consent form PDF, then sign and date the consent form where indicated. For any patients who are in an Imperial College London hospital please use this ICHC consent form PDF.

For permission to photograph children please contact Joanna McGarry for more guidance.

How to take your own photographs

Top tips

Example of portrait Why not try your hand at photography?

Here are our top tips for a successful photo shoot so that your photos can be used on the web or in print:

  1. Style of your photo - clearly show faces and emotions
  2. Shot framing / orientation - take landscape and portrait shots. Take close up, medium and long shots. Make sure you move the camera around and shoot people from right and left.
  3. Types of shots- think about what type of image you need? Is it a portrait head shot, academic action shot, research action shot or an invention / product shot?
  4. Web home page shot - try and get a few shots that may be considered for the homepage. Always a landscape shot - letter box size
  5. Imperial name - try and capture people standing in front of the Imperial College logo, name, or iconic buildings. Do not include other competitor's names or logos
  6. Safety - if you are going into a lab or hazardous areas please ensure you and the subjects are wearing the correct safety clothing and equipment. Ensure the area you are working on is safe and you have informed the building manager of your presence.
  7. Be natural - try and capture people in their natural setting, chatting in an informal manner. Some people do not like having their photo taken but if you are relaxed it will help your subject feel at ease. For help when shooting academics please see our What to expect from a photoshoot PDF guidelines for academics.
  8. Awareness - Be sure to have the instructor let the class know you are there to take photos. Explain the photos will be used in publications such as the college website or prospectus. Get subjects to fill in the Adult consent form PDF. (For hospital use only - ICHC consent form PDF)
  9. Write it down - who, what, where, when? This will help when tagging or referring to an image.
  10. Thanks - thank everyone who has helped with or appeared in a photo shoot

Checklists

Have a look at our Photoshoot Guidelines PDF document for more useful tips and a more in depth look at taking a great picture and take this mini checklist PDF with you on all shoots to ensure you don't forget anything!