Photocrowd’s Community Guidelines
Last updated November 10th 2022
Only your own imagery | Only photographs, not digital creations | Added copyright information and watermarks | Nudity and sex | Images of children | Images likely to cause distress to others
Contacting others in a respectful manner | Advertising and solicitation | Spamming and bulk message sending | Owning more than one Photocrowd account | Accounts created for purposes other than the promotion and enjoyment of photography as a hobby or career | Ensuring images submitted to contests are on brief
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.
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
We take the uploading of other people’s work to Photocrowd very seriously.
Only photographs, not digital creations
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.
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
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
- 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
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
Advertising and solicitation
It’s not permitted to advertise any commercial products or services on Photocrowd without prior permission. This includes advertising 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
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.
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,
Accounts created for purposes other than the promotion and enjoyment of photography as a hobby or career
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.
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/)