Photos for social media should highlight the beauty of campus and showcase the spirit (academic, service, and social) of our students. You can find branded photos in the photo library. If you would like to request professional photography at your event, please fill out this form.






Scenic: Showcase the grandeur of our campus in the Shenandoah Valley. These epic photos capture the attention of a distracted social audience.

  • Aerial, super telephoto, wide shots
  • Let iconic campus buildings fill the frame.
  • Show student life in these landscapes.
  • Include natural features such as trees, green spaces and mountains.

Candids: Meant to capture the authentic activity happening on campus.

  • Show students hanging out on the Quad, researching in the lab, doing service in the community.
  • Make sure that the photos include elements that are distinctly JMU.
  • Show students interacting with professors, community members or other students.

Textural: These images offer a different way of looking at JMU and can be used to cut through the cliché of the social newsfeed. However abstract, they should still offer a slice of reality.

  • Telephoto, macro, or super wide shots
  • Fill the frame with vibrant cherry blossoms or historic bluestone.
  • Show off campus buildings from a new perspective.

Portraits: Meant to be a direct way to present students or faculty.

  • Should be used in limited and highly purposeful situations
  • Aim to use portraits that place students or faculty in relation to what you’re presenting about them.

Things to avoid:

  • Avoid posting images that are generic and could be replaced with stock images.
    • Not only are these photos typically dull, they could be from any institution in the country.
    • Avoid this by finding images that have an element specific to JMU.
      • Example: Instead of a photo of student walking to class through a random hallway, use a class change photo from the Quad with Wilson in the background.
    • Do not post images of a student wearing apparel from a school that is not JMU. Be mindful of what’s on apparel in general.
    • Avoid posting photos of the same campus features directly after one another. Alternate with different types of photos or subjects.
    • And remember that photos are typically uploaded one at a time. So unlike features in Madison Magazine or some Admissions materials, photos will not be presented in the context of a story with other photos. At any particular time, we may only have one photo to capture someone’s attention for the day.

Photos should be edited to ‘pop’ off of the users feed. JMU is a colorful place and should be presented as one.


Photos that aren’t deliberately canted should be straightened to the horizon.


Disregard information online that gives you exact display size for social media images. Those sizes aren’t always flexible, meaning if you size an image for the exact timeline size, when a user clicks into the image it may be undersized. What matters more is the aspect ratio of the image: the ratio between the width and length of the image.

  • Aspect Ratio
    • Facebook: Because of how images are displayed on mobile timelines, try to keep graphics for Facebook in a landscape orientation (wide aspect ratio) [Wide 3:2 or 4:3]
    • Twitter: Because of how images are displayed on mobile timelines, try to keep photos for Twitter in a landscape orientation (wide aspect ratio) [Wide 3:2 or 4:3]
    • Instagram: Unlike Facebook and Twitter, user on Instagram will be exposed to the full image (no cropped timeline thumbnails) so this platform is the most flexible with aspect ratios. However, vertical or square images are desirable because they take up more screen space on a user’s phone. [Square 1:1, Vertical 4:5, Wide 3:2]

Back to Top