Photocrowd’s Community Guidelines
Last updated March 29th 2023
Photocrowd is an inclusive, global community of photographers, from age 13 years and up.
For the community to function effectively, and in a way that maintains both respect for each other and a clear focus on photography, our Community Team publishes and maintains these Community Guidelines.
They lay out what is acceptable behaviour towards your fellow community members, and what imagery it’s OK for you to upload to the site.
If you wish to let us know of something that you consider to be a breach of these guidelines then please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and we’ll take a look.
Broadly, acceptable imagery for you to upload can be summarised as - it must be 100% shot and owned by you, be photographic in nature (not a digital creation), and not include advertising or other content deemed inappropriate, as described below.
Only your own imagery
Any imagery you upload to the site must be yours and yours alone. It cannot be an image you have found elsewhere, or contain any added elements within it that were not shot by you.
For the avoidance of doubt, the following imagery is not permitted:
- Any that was shot wholly or partly by another, including any image elements that have been dropped into the shot as part of a composite
- Image elements added from a software package, such as skies or backgrounds that can be dropped in but were not shot by you
- Imagery found on the internet that is not yours, including in stock image libraries, whether or not you purchased them and whether or not they are Creative Commons or free-to-publish imagery as found on sites such as Unsplash
- Screenshots or photographs of other people’s work, including photographs of television screens and monitors
- Imagery that was shot by you but the copyright of which has passed to another
- Screenshots of mobile phones that include multiple images and other non-photographic elements alongside the main image
We take the uploading of other people’s work to Photocrowd very seriously.
Not only will imagery that is shown to be someone else’s copyright be removed without discussion, it also places that photographer’s profile at risk of deletion from the site. We do this to maintain the integrity of the site, but also to make clear to any photographers whose work has been stolen that we respect their copyright and its enforcement.
No graphic art or illustrations
Any imagery you upload to the site must be photographic in nature. Photocrowd is a community of photographers and photographs.
Any imagery that is computer-generated, illustration or otherwise non-photographic in nature will be removed.
Imagery generated in any way using AI (artificial intelligence) is not permitted.
Use of creative filters and editing effects is permitted as long as the resulting image remains recognisably photographic, and does not take on the appearance of art, illustration or of being computer-generated.
Images of artwork and logos
Images of other people's artwork (paintings, graffiti, posters etc) or of recognisable brand names or logos must show those things in a wider context, and not simply be close-up reproductions of them, which would not be considered to be original photography.
Added copyright information and watermarks
It is permitted for a copyright notice or watermark to be visible on images that are uploaded. It should be noted that generally images with copyright information overlaid do a lot less well in contests, but we respect the rights of photographers to do this.
Where that copyright information is deemed to stray into the realms of advertising, such as including website addresses or other slogans and logos, the image may be removed.
Other text overlaid on images is not permitted, to retain Photocrowd’s focus on photography.
Nudity and sex
Images of male and female nudity are permitted on Photocrowd, but there are some boundaries. Images that are deemed to fall under the following categories are not permitted:
- images of male or female genitalia (excluding bottoms and breasts)
- imagery that is sexually explicit or overly sexually suggestive
- ‘Peeping Tom’ imagery such as long-lens photography on beaches taken without the knowledge of the subjects
Profiles that exist solely or predominantly for the purpose of posting snapshot or more personal/exhibitionist nude photography of themselves or their partners are likely to be removed. A distinction will be made between these profiles and those where the photographer has a genuine interest in fine art nude or boudoir photography.
Images of children
We don’t want Photocrowd to be a space where photographs of children and childhood can’t be shared. Photographing their children is for many photographers one of the most rewarding ways to enjoy and progress their photography.
But we also recognise the importance of ensuring that images of children who are in a vulnerable position are not given the light of day, and that those seeking these images should not find them on Photocrowd.
These guidelines provide a clear framework for you to understand any decision to remove one of your images. Removal of images is not intended as a judgement on the owner of the image, and is done simply to protect any children who may be in a vulnerable position.
Imagery of children under the age of 18 that is not permitted includes
- images showing genitalia, including bottoms
- images where the child is sexualised in any way, including the clothing they are wearing, their pose, the location, or any items included in the image
- images where the child is in a state of distress, or is exhibiting other behaviour that suggests they may feel unsafe or coerce
Images likely to cause distress to others
We try and strike a balance on Photocrowd between allowing images that shine a light on distressing or offensive situations and stories, and removing those that are more gratuitous, and likely to cause serious distress or offence to the community. If an image is deemed to be the latter then there may be a dialogue about it, to understand it more, or it may be removed without that dialogue.
Contacting others in a respectful manner
On Photocrowd you can comment on other photographer’s images, and if you are a subscriber you can send them a direct message.
All communications must be respectful. The purpose of the messaging options on Photocrowd is to further a feeling of community, learning and kindness, not to find fault and tell each other off for perceived failings.
If we are informed of communications that have upset the recipient or others in some way, we will review those communications.
Communications with Photocrowd staff through our customer support channels and email@example.com email address should also adhere to these guidelines.
Advertising and solicitation
It’s not permitted to advertise any commercial products or services on Photocrowd, or to ask for donations of any kind, without prior permission. This includes advertising or requests for donations within imagery, within profile descriptions, or in comments or messages posted on the site. Any accounts doing so are likely to be removed.
This does not extend to imagery within which incidental business advertising is present, if for example it forms part of a street scene.
The advertising of an individual photographer’s other social channels, websites, or personal photographic business is permitted, but only within the confines of their Photocrowd profile, or in one-off direct messages to other users. Any bulk comments or messaging of links to other websites or social profiles is not allowed. This includes text overlays on images displaying website links or social account handles.
Spamming and bulk message sending
It is strongly discouraged for photographers to try and grow their followers by sending requests for their profiles or images to be viewed. Where this is happening regularly they will be contacted with a request to stop.
The sending of identical messages to multiple photographers on the platform is automatically flagged for review as part of our anti-spam efforts.
Owning more than one Photocrowd account
It is only allowed to own one Photocrowd account per photographer.
There are mechanisms in place to prevent and/or detect when a photographer has more than one account. Where this is proven to be the case, it will be assumed that this is for the purpose of attempting to game the crowd rating mechanism, and all of those accounts will be deactivated without any discussion, regardless of their longevity on the site or subscriber status.
Accounts created for purposes other than the promotion and enjoyment of photography as a hobby or career
Accounts that have been created for something other than the promotion and enjoyment of photography are not permitted. This includes purely social profiles, dating profiles, and political profiles.
Ensuring images submitted to contests are on brief
Photographers must make an effort to ensure that images they submit to contests meet the terms of the brief.
There is a mechanism for subscribers to flag images that are not on brief, and they will be removed from contests. Where a photographer persists in regularly entering images to contests that are not on brief, they may be contacted about this, and in egregious cases they risk their account being deactivated.
Photographers who find a not on brief image in a contest are requested to use the Not on Brief flag to report that image, rather than commenting on the image itself. Subscribers can use the Not on Brief flag during the open stage of a contest. Non-subscribers can mark images as Not on Brief during the image rating phase.
Actions we might take
If the Community Team suspect or know there has been a breach of these guidelines, at our discretion we may take one or more of these actions:
- Contact the photographer reporting the issue for further details
- Contact the photographer who may have breached the guidelines to request clarification and discuss the issue, with a hope of reaching a resolution
- Remove one or more images from the site, which will also mean that any awards those images have won will also be removed
- Deactivate a profile, which allows for that profile to be reactivated later
- Permanently remove a profile, with all data for that profile deleted and no possibility of reactivation
We don’t want to default to a punitive response. It is our preference to engage in dialogue whenever possible, and we understand that mistakes can happen.
But we are also a small Community Team and can only invest that time in certain circumstances, and so the response we take will be at our discretion, and may take into account the following:
- How clear-cut the breach of the guidelines is
- The seriousness of the breach
- The past behaviour of the photographer involved, and whether we have contacted them before
- The complete photographer profile - how does this image/behaviour sit in the context of their other images and behaviour
- Longevity and engagement on the site - we are more likely to offer the opportunity for lessons to be learned if the photographer’s profile has had investment in it over a longer period of time
When action is taken, such as an image being removed from the site, it will not necessarily involve a communication to say that action has been taken.
These guidelines remain a work in progress as the community grows. Suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These guidelines are in all cases superseded by our full Photocrowd Terms and Conditions, which also detail other restrictions on imagery and behaviour not detailed in these Guidelines. (https://www.photocrowd.com/terms/)