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Photography Services

University Marketing and Communications is home to South Dakota State University's Photography Services unit and is responsible for documenting through digital images the people, places and events of SDState that best reflect and support the University’s strategic positioning. Photography services provides campus-related photography for use in official internal and external publications and is part of the creative services and branding unit of University Marketing and Communications.

Photography Services is staffed with an experienced professional photographer who strives to provide high quality, creative imagery to showcase and support the University. Photography services works closely with strategic communications, web development, digital and social media, and marketing and creative services to help tell the story of activities and accomplishments of SDState students, faculty, staff and alumni, and promote the University’s five-year strategic plan, Imagine 2023.


Photography Services places top priority on photographing events and activities that will support and enhance student success and student experience at SDState. Priority for Photography Services scheduling includes:

Events and Activities Related to Recruitment

These events include, but are not limited to, admissions-related activities, visual student activities and experiential learning opportunities. 

Strategic Communications

In collaboration with strategic communications staff, photography services provides images for news releases, publications and media services. To request a media relations shoot, please contact the Strategic Communications division at 605-688-6161 to talk directly to with the manager of strategic communications. The manager will determine photography needs related to the request.


Web & Social Media Support

Photography services provides images to enhance the main pages of the University website and central social media accounts. To inquire about images for a department website or social media account, contact University Marketing and Communications at 605-688-6161.

Online Database

Photography services maintains an internal database of university photos as well as an external database of campus scenes and activity images, which are available for use. Images are available at SmugMug. Each college has its own log-in credentials that reside with the main secretary or program assistant for the college. 


Photography services provides individual in-studio portraits at a cost of $25 each. Clients receive a retouched photo to be used as their official portrait, which will then be kept in the University Marketing and Communications internal database. Portrait photography is available during the academic year on Tuesday afternoons from 4-5:30 p.m. and Wednesday mornings from 7:30-9 a.m. in room 115 of Morrill Hall. Changes to the walk-in portrait schedule are posted on the Portrait Studio page

Large groups need to call 605-688-6161 and schedule a time for official portraits, which will be billed at a rate of $45 an hour. Individuals not able to come during the standard portrait office hours can call for an individual appointment, which will be billed at $45 an hour.

Portraits are available by appointment during the summer for $25 each. 

Marketing Material

To supplement the website and printed marketing pieces, photography services supplies photos highlighting colleges, departments, labs, etc. To schedule a marketing shoot, please call to schedule a time and discuss fees. Shoots should be scheduled at least 30 days in advance. When scheduling marketing shoots, keep in mind that we will need to have at least five student models available, as well as at least one faculty member. We also prefer to have four or five locations or setups that best represent your department or organization. Advanced planning and communication will be key in organizing a successful shoot. 


Banquets will be evaluated based on their purpose and how they support the priorities of photography services. Awards presentations and general departmental events normally do not fit within the unit’s priority services. In those cases, assistance will be given to find a suitable solution, which could include another member from UMC other than the primary university photographer or help in finding a suitable freelance photographer. 


The following fee structure applies to photography services.

  • $45 per hour during normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) 
  • $100 per hour outside of business hours, including weekends
  • $25 per individual portrait when taken during set times between 4-5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and 7:30-9 a.m. on Wednesdays. Special scheduling for portraits will be billed at the hourly rates.

To schedule an assignment or portrait photo please contact Emily Weber, Marketing and Communications or call 605-688-6161.