Photography is the first choice for imagery in City of Calgary communications. It is capable of showing emotion, capturing a moment in time and eliciting an emotional response. Our brand is best served by photography that is local, authentic and original.  

Whenever possible, avoid the use of stock photography. The City of Calgary has an extensive collection of proprietary images to choose from when time or budget prohibits original photography.

Photos depicting people should show them as actively engaged rather than passive or apathetic. Please stay away from photography that is cheesy, staged, or depicts racist or sexist stereotypes. Consistent with the spirit and tone of the overall brand, photography should show citizens and employees in a positive way. Some exceptions are possible if they are appropriate to express the creative idea or specific subject matter at hand.

When creating original photography it is always wise to plan for graphic elements that will be present in the final layout. For example, try to leave some unclutted space to accomodate for the Visual Identifier in the upper left hand corner. 

Image quality is a key consideration. Photography that is well lit is preferable to images that look flat, or either washed out or too dark. Technical considerations like resolution also need to be sufficient to the requirements of the particular medium in which they are to be used.

It is also important to make sure that legal waivers for usage have been obtained. 


Supporting images and hero images

Cropping for greater impact

Lighting and general image quality

Shooting for authenticity

Contrast and tonal range

Corporate Photo Library

myimages, launched in 2015, is a corporate photo library that contains much more than images! Find finished project PDFs of signs, brochures and other advertising material and City logos within.

The collection dates back to 2004 and new images and PDFs are added daily. myimages is searchable by keyword, docket number, SR number or you can create your own search! It's easy to use and you will save time by finding your own images or creating Lightboxes to share with your colleagues.

Any City employee who needs access to myimages can request access. Send an email to Christine Othitis at

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