Imagery is one of the most critical assets in a brand identity system. Human beings relate best to other humans, and photography affords us an opportunity to relate with others while expressing our brand and distinct personality. The right image can make or break a story. To that end, Calvin’s marquee imagery fits into three primary imagery categories: exploration, curiosity and moments.


Calvin University students conducting dune research

  • Individuals or group activity.
  • Subjects are not acknowledging the camera.
  • Discovery, adventure and exploration are the central attitudes of the image style.
  • Special emphasis on the surroundings, creation and its expansiveness.
  • Unique camera angles and lens perspectives are acceptable.


Calvin professor Lew Klatt reading in his office

  • Single individual (typically).
  • Subjects may or may not acknowledge the camera.
  • Investigation, discovery and inquiry are the central attitudes of the image style.
  • Additional emphasis on the details of the surroundings in and around the room (the “laboratory”).
  • Indoor, artificial, dramatic lighting is most effective, but natural-light staging is possible.


Calvin University students talking around a fire at the beach

  • Groups
  • Subjects may or may not acknowledge the camera.
  • Positivity, play, personal growth and experience are the central attitudes of the image style.
  • The most intimate of the image styles, the shot may draw in close to the subjects, or pull back as needed.
  • Natural light, outdoor settings

Technical standards

Regardless of the style or content of an image, some universal technical standards are required of all photography representing Calvin University:

  • Professional photography only—no cell phones or amateur point-and-click devices.
  • Natural color—refrain from grayscale, muting, sepia or artificial manipulation.
  • Never scale an image up past its original resolution.
  • Print only high-resolution imagery (300dpi or higher).
  • Contact a professional before cropping or editing a photograph.
  • Never provide official Calvin University imagery to third-party sources without the consent of the office of communications and marketing.

Need a photographer?

Communications and Marketing prioritizes our photography library based on the university's communication goals and the broad usability of the photos. Please contact Communications and Marketing to explore whether your photo needs fit into one of these priorities, or to seek advice on creative direction.

If, as an example, you want to photograph a small dinner event with the end goal of sending the photos to the attendees only, please contact one the photographers mentioned below to arrange your own photo shoot.

These photographers have done work for C&M before and are guaranteed to be on brand. They will be a great fit for your project. Please contact them directly to schedule your photo shoot. You are responsible for scheduling, cost quotes and payment.

  • Noah PreFontaine,
  • David Chandler,
  • Deb Hoag,
  • Ruth Vanden Bos,

Communications and Marketing often has student photographers on staff. Our students are for hire, if your photo needs aligned with our communication goals and there is a perceived need for the photos in multiple mediums. For example, if you have a small dinner event that you want photographed for the end goal of sending the photos to the attendees only, this would be a case where you would need to reach out to one our photographers mentioned above and arrange your own photo shoot.

Digital library

It could be that you don’t even need to book a photo shoot. We might already have the shot you’re looking for. Our cumulus photo library is packed with existing Calvin-related photos. If you do not have access to the library, please get in touch with Luke Robinson.