Square Images

This assignment includes two stages.

  1. Create 24 still images suitable for use on the VPA Instagram (IG) channel. Submit these to the “24 Images” D2L assignment drop box by the first deadline.
  2. Then select the six best images, edit them to a square ratio, and write appropriate metadata for these six. Submit the images, metadata, and release forms to the “Square Images” drop box as detailed below.


6 x 4 = 24 Images

For each of the six categories listed below, submit four excellent images in a horizontal or vertical ratio. (No square images at this stage.)

All images must be taken and edited by the student submitting them for credit. Unless cleared with the instructor before submission, all images must be taken during the current semester.

All images should be appropriate for use on the VPA Instagram site. In other words, all should support the university’s and the department’s “brand.” None of the images (except “3. Classroom Professor”) may be taken in the M144 Design Lab.

  1. Student Candid:  an un-posed  shot that focuses on a single student. This student should be enrolled in one of the three VPA bachelor’s degree or six VPA minor programs. The caption must include the VPA program in which the student is enrolled.
  2. Student Portrait: a posed  shot that focuses on a single student. This student should be enrolled in one of the three VPA bachelor’s degree or six VPA minor programs. The caption must include the VPA program in which the student is enrolled.
  3. Classroom Professor: An un-posed shot of a VPA professor or a professor and student(s). The focus should be on instruction and learning–ideally, hands-on learning.
  4. VPA Life 1: a posed or un-posed shot of more than one student. This can picture a group involved in a formal VPA event (e.g. attending a class, working on a project, attending a performance or screening, etc.) or in an informal setting (e.g. studying, casual conversation, eating). The caption must include the VPA program in which the students are participating.
  5. VPA Life 2: Another image that meets the requirements for (3). It must be of different students and a different occasion.
  6. Campus Beauty: a scenic or abstract shot. At least one person or animal must be included. Individuals who are not recognizable in the shot do not need to sign a photo release or to be named in the caption.

Students should be prepared to demo one of their categories (i.e. four images) for the rest of the class.

Six Images – Format

Select the best image from each of the six categories and use Photoshop to edit it to a square ratio. Each image should demonstrate one of the techniques suggested by Pakarklis and Gibson. In addition, all images should look professional, including their lighting, focus, and resolution.

A note on resolution: All final images must be at least 1080 pixels wide and tall (though bigger is always better). Do not depend on up-sampling to achieve the required image size. This usually results in blurry and pixelated images. To ensure adequate resolution, start with images that are several thousand pixels tall and wide.


This will be the complete text that accompanies an IG image, visible when your reader clicks on the image’s thumbnail. It should include

  • A short description of the image’s context (e.g. “Another beautiful day on our beautiful campus!”)
  • The names and major/minor affiliations of the pictured students
  • Where appropriate, the event pictured (e.g. Homecoming parade)
  • Appropriate local hashtags (3-4 in addition to #claytonstateVPA)
  • Where appropriate, local mentions in addition to @claytonstateuniv (e.g. @claytonstateradio, @spiveyhall). If you choose to do so, feel free to include a mention of your personal Instagram here as well.

Remember that spelling matters, particularly for keywords like hashtags and proper names. Misspellings in these areas will result in significant grade penalties.

Submission Format


By the deadline, submit a single PSD file containing all six images to the “Square Images” assignment drop box in D2L. Each image should be the same size (e.g. 1080 x 1080). All images should fill the PSD canvas.

To accomplish this, first make sure the images are all identically sized. The easiest way to accomplish this is probably to use Photoshop’s “File > Export > Export As…” feature to re-size each image (making them all, e.g. 1080 x 1080). Next, save the images as separate layers of a single PSD file. I have created a tutorial video that illustrates an easy way to do this.

When complete, the PSD file should

  • Be square and at least 1080 x 1080 pixels tall and wide
    (Bigger is better, e.g. 4000 x 4000 pixels)
  • Include each of the six images as a separate layer
  • Label each layer to identify the category that the image satisfies (e.g.”Student Candid”)
  • Be named YourLastName.psd


Along with the PSD file discussed above, submit a MS Word document including the complete metadata for the six images. Use subheads (e.g. “Student Candid”) to separate the blocks for each image. Each block should be complete, ready for a single-step copy-and-paste into Instagram. The YourLastName-captions template file can serve as a model.


If you choose to do so, you may include as the final line your copyright credit as the creator of the image (e.g. “© Jane Smith, 2019”).

Release forms

Finally, also submit JPG or PDF images of the Photograph_and_Publicity_Consent_Release_Form signed by all pictured students. (You don’t need forms for students in our class, since I already have them.)