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Photo Standards

UTHealth Houston photography captures the creativity, commitment to research, and prestigious nature in and around the university and the Texas Medical Center. It is an opportunity to tell our story visually to our audiences, including prospective students, faculty, staff, patients, and donors.


Photography enhances the user experience and facilitates communication more than text alone.

Photo Credits and Cutlines

  • Photo credits

    Photo credits must accompany all photos except headshots, in parentheses. Headshots accompanying a news story do not require a photo credit or a cutline/caption.

    Public Affairs photographer:
    (Photo by Jane Smith/UTHealth Houston)

    Other UTHealth employee photographer, based at school or clinic:
    (Photo by John Williams/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston) (Photo by Jane Williams/UT Physicians Marketing & Communications)

    Freelance photos assigned and paid for by UTHealth Houston:
    (Photo by Jack Johnson/Brand Name Media)

    Handout, free photos, PR images, museum photos, or anything licensed and not requiring payment:
    (Photo courtesy of Individual or Entity) (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

    Approved use of an image from an individual or group’s social media feed should only be credited to the individual or group and not include social media platform. 
    (Photo courtesy of Mike Matthews)

  • Photo cutlines/captions

    Photo cutlines/captions should accompany photos, before the photo credit. They are generally complete sentences, usually in present tense, that describe the content without necessarily stating the obvious (e.g., he sits, she waves, they clap). They should be brief, complementing the story, not summarizing it. Do not repeat information in multiple captions/cutlines in a story.


    Use parentheses, not commas, to identify who’s who in the photo. Use directionals only if they’re necessary to identify the people.
    Pat Smith (left) and Sam Jones watch the surgeons cut an incision. (Photo by…)


    Use the month and the day.
    Dean Johnson attends the medical conference on Dec. 15. (Photo by…)

    If it took place a year ago or longer, add the year. If the date is in the middle of the sentence, put a comma after the year.
    Sally Martin gave her keynote address on Aug. 12, 2018, at the center’s grand opening. (Photo by…)

    If the specific date is irrelevant, consider dropping it altogether or using a general term like “recently.”


    Some cities don’t require a state or country after them; please see the datelines entry in the AP Stylebook for more information. For all others, include the state name and/or country name. In cutlines/captions, use state abbreviations as found in the state names entry in the AP Stylebook. These are NOT the same as the two-letter postal codes (Calif., not CA). Eight states are always spelled out: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah.
    Pat Smith's hometown of Norman, Okla., held a parade in her honor. (Photo by…)

UTHealth Houston Multimedia Library

Photos in a variety of subject areas can be accessed via the UTHealth Houston Multimedia Library using your university-issued credentials. Users outside of the university may request access by contacting the Office of Public Affairs.

These image resources are available for all UTHealth Houston communications projects created to promote the university, including those created by UTHealth Houston students and employees, or approved projects hired out to a third-party vendor.

As a reminder, please do not use third-party assets on university-sponsored communications projects for which you have not cleared the rights. If you have any questions about copyright or other intellectual property rights, as they relate to UTHealth Houston communications, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.

Photography Best Practices

  • Aim for simple, direct, and candid images.
  • Use single-focus compositions that hold the foreground or subject in sharp focus.
  • Capture your subject in his or her natural surroundings. Avoid overly staged photography.
  • Limit use of dramatic filters and colorizing.
  • Avoid mixed light situations where possible (e.g., fluorescent lighting near a sunlit window, incandescent lighting mixed with LED lighting).
  • Leave plenty of space around the images for cropping. However, do not crop an image or reduce image size to the extent that the subject and the tone of the photograph are compromised.
  • Do not use “selfies” for official portraits. For photography questions, please contact the Office of Public Affairs.

For photo storage and public distribution, Flickr is recommended. Free Flickr accounts allow up to 1,000 images; anything more than 1,000 images will require a FlickrPro account for a monthly fee. New, university-sponsored Flickr accounts must be registered with the Office of Public Affairs using the Social Media Registration Form .

University Policy

All UTHealth Houston students and employees must follow HOOP Policy 6, Photographic, Audio, and Visual Recording.

All students and patients featured in university-sponsored photography must fill out university media consent forms.

A notice of photography must be posted at any event or gathering where photography will take place. Here is recommended language:

  • Long version to be used in copy:
    Please be advised: Today’s event will be photographed and recorded for publicity purposes. If you do not want to be photographed or recorded, please alert the photographers and videographers before the event starts. Thank you.
  • Short version for on-site signage:
    Please be advised: Today’s event will be photographed and recorded for publicity purposes. Thank you.