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How the University of Florida Captures the Excitement of Graduation

University of Florida tells campus’s biggest stories with platform built for sharing photos and videos.

The University of Florida communications team is on a mission to capture and share the genuine emotion on campus at any given time – and no time is more packed with anticipation, joy and nostalgia than graduation.Watch the video to see how this team immerses their audience in graduation, and makes everyone feel connected to this special occasion on campus.

Behind the Scenes with the Storytellers

Art/Creative Director Bernard Brzezinski works with two other photo/video experts, Brianne Lehan and Lyon Duong, to tell the stories of the University of Florida. He says they want to share what it’s really like to be a gator through their photos and videos.

“Our goal is to elevate the UF brand through visual storytelling,” says Bernard.

When they’re not covering events like graduation, Bernard says the real challenge is deciding which story to go after, since there are so many possibilities.

“One day you could be covering a researcher working on 3D printed silicone, or you could be working with a researcher that’s working on cyber security, or you could be chasing a hurricane down in Naples, Florida while Irma’s coming through,” says Bernard. “You never know what you’re going to see at the University of Florida.”

University of Florida photographer and videographer covers hurricane research in Naples, FL, during Hurricane Irma. Photo by Bernard Brzezinski, University of Florida.

No matter what they’re covering, this team needs a quick, easy way to distribute their photos and videos to their stakeholders across the university. Whether they’re working with news writers and social media managers in their own department, or a communications team from one of the 16 different colleges at the University of Florida, someone is always counting on them for thumb-stopping imagery to engage UF’s audience.

“Now, everyone needs their information quickly,” says Bernard. “They scroll through their feeds, and if something isn’t eye catching, they’re not really stopping to see what it is. That’s why it’s so incredibly important for us to tell our stories in a visually impactful way because we may only have that audience for just a few seconds.”

Bernard’s team uses PhotoShelter to organize and share their photos and videos, which has made image requests self-service. Now, stakeholders across the university can browse and search for images on their own, rather than asking Bernard and his team to find photos for them.

“We find it to be a lot more efficient, not only for us, but it works a lot better with them, too,” says Bernard. “A lot of times, you really don’t know what you need until you see it.”

He adds that sharing images via PhotoShelter for Brands is far more efficient than trying to email large files, and that the gallery thumbnails in PhotoShelter are more visual than filenames in Dropbox.

“You really need a platform that is made for sharing imagery and video,” says Bernard.

When they’re covering graduation, it all comes down to the combination of speed and perspective. As you see in the video, they use a lightning-fast workflow to get photos up on social media at the height of the excitement on campus. Meanwhile, a uniquely UF point of view helps those images stand out in the feed.

“We like to tell the story from a bigger perspective – the UF perspective,” says Bernard.

That means capturing everything from creative caps to graduates taking selfies and finding at their family members in the crowd.

A graduate hugs someone in the crowd during Spring Commencement on May 4, 2019. Photo by Brianne Lehan, University of Florida.

Want to learn more about the University of Florida’s visual content strategy? Check out the on-demand webinar with Bernard below!

On-Demand Webinar: The Strategy Behind University of Florida’s Stunning Visual Content

Ready to transform your team’s creative workflow?

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