Photographer Tutorial


Welcome to NativeMirror! This tutorial is your first step on the way to becoming a NativeMirror contributor. We encourage our contributors to be as imaginative as possible and submit their most creative work. At the same time, we have very specific requirements designed to maintain the quality of our collection. There will be a short quiz at the end of this tutorial to help you remember what you've learnt. Don't worry, if you get the wrong answer a pop up message with the correct information will assist you.

What We Need From You

NativeMirror is in the business of selling art and images to customers; the more marketable your images the more sales you generate.

We are looking for images with the following qualities:
 

  • Photographs aligned to our local content focus.
  • Appropriate, interesting and creative subject matter.
  • Strong technical quality.
  • Compliance with our legal requirements, including copyrights and model releases.
  • Appropriate keywords to help customers find your images.

We'll cover each of these topics in detail below.

Photographs aligned to our Local Content Focus

At NativeMirror we pride ourselves on being an avenue of exposure for local art and photography. We strive to differentiate our gallery collection based upon highlighting the beauty of our lands, culture of the people, and artistic creativity. As you might guess we would be more interested in your image of a local landscape as opposed to an image of Apples and Strawberries.

Subject Matter - Choose Appropriate Subjects

You will have the greatest success at NativeMirror if you submit images that are eye-catching, creative and have broad usage appeal. Consider subjects, concepts or places that are hard to shoot. Do not submit lifeless, mundane, snapshot-quality images. Please spend some time browsing our collection and studying the shots. At the same time, avoid submitting work that other NativeMirror contributors have already covered thoroughly, unless you have a unique angle, differentiated lighting, or other creative element.

Partial Nudity Only

NativeMirror will generally allow partial nudity in submitted photographs. We will reject images containing fully exposed buttocks, genitals, fully exposed female breasts or female nipples.

Image Quality

Images must be at least 800 pixels high or wide.

The bigger the better. The average photo dimension is 2400 pixels on the longest side, and we can accept images up to 25 MB and above. Larger images (4000 pixels and higher) allow for higher resolution.

Images must be clear and well-lit.

Excessively dark, dim or poorly lit photos will not be approved. The more your photo looks like a postcard, album cover, glossy advertisement, or something that should be framed, the better. Avoid grainy or blurry photos, unless for artistic effect.

Using a single, on-camera flash as your primary light source leaves unnatural shadows that make your photo difficult to sell. Photos with flash shadows will probably not be approved.
Photos should be in focus. Images with excessive JPG compression artifacts also will be rejected.

Color photos should have rich, accurate color.

We prefer photos with bold and vivid colors. We may reject drab photos shot on cloudy days. You may need to boost a photo's saturation slightly in Photoshop to breathe life into the colors.

Most photos should be adjusted in Photoshop or Lightroom

Photos almost always benefit from level adjustments, color tweaks, and the use of the unsharp mask filter. However, we are not suggesting drastic changes. In particular, do not over-sharpen your images. Running a sharpen filter more than once can create undesirable artifacts on your image.

Five Key Things to Remember

1. You MUST be the photographer of the work you upload.
2. NativeMirror will reject dim, blurry, snapshot-quality photos, or photos with poor colour.
3. NativeMirror is looking for photos focused on local content.
4. Interesting subject matter is important. 
5. Photos that include logos or other copyrighted material will not be approved for commercial license.

During the image approval process, you may get feedback if your images are not what we are looking for. Please don't be discouraged or offended. We are trying to give you pointed feedback to help you understand what will make your images a better fit for our collection.

Some common reasons for rejection include underexposed images, images with hard flash shadows, and badly focused, blurry or overly grainy images.

Legal Requirements

Photographers who repeatedly upload images that violate our legal requirements will have their accounts closed and may forfeit any balance they have accumulated.

Copyright

1. You must be the photographer of the photo submitted.

No exceptions. If you are NOT the photographer, chances are you cannot legally upload the photo or resell it. The sole exception would be an old family photo, where the estate of the original photographer passed it to you as the legal heir.

Photographers who upload photos that are not their own will have their accounts closed and will lose any account balance.

2. You cannot upload a retouched version of an image someone else created.

Consider this an extension of rule 1. Under no circumstances can you upload an image that was obtained from any other source, even if you've altered it heavily.


3. Your pictures may not contain logos, characters, advertisements, images, or graphics that are copyrighted or trademarked.

Please look closely at your photos for logos, graphics or other possibly copyrighted work before uploading them. We cannot accept any photo with a recognizable logo. 

Photos from places that contain recognizable characters (such as the Nesquik Bunny at a Preschool Party) are also not acceptable.

Works of art created after 1923, including sculptures, are likely to be copyrighted. Do not submit photographs that include modern works of art.

Model Releases

Any photo with recognizable people in it must have an accompanying adult model release, available here: Adult Model Release or minor model release, available here: Minor Model Release. This includes photos of people taken in public places and photos of crowds in which individual people are recognizable.

A legal guardian must sign a model release for minors under the age of 18 and any other people unable to sign for themselves.

If you are uploading a series of photos of one model, only one model release per photo session is needed. However, you still must upload that release with each photo that you upload. In other words, EVERY photo of a recognizable person needs a release, and every person in the photo must have a release.

Property Releases

Photos of showing the interior of a private building, such as a business, or taken on the owner's property should have an accompanying property release, available here: Property Release signed by the owner.

We will use judgement in approving images without property releases, however, getting a property release provides extra protection.

Taking photos of buildings or homes from outside in a public street is generally OK, as long as the pictures don't show anything private such as people seen through windows.

Keywords

You are responsible for writing the keywords that help customers find and download your pictures. Good keywording is critical to good sales. Follow these steps to make sure your images have the best keywords possible.

1.) Begin by asking questions about your images:

  • WHAT is it?
  • WHAT's it doing?
  • HOW does it feel?
  • WHERE is it?
  • What colour is it?
  • WHY is it this way?
  • WHO interacts with it?
  • WHO is it?
  • WHAT do you DO with it?


2.) Enter as many pertinent keywords as possible.

Think about whether a keyword will help someone find the right art piece. For example, a conceptual photo not necessarily about a specific place should not include the name of the city in which it was created. On the other hand, a painting of a Rum Shop in St. James, Trinidad , Caribbean is an example of art that SHOULD have the keywords "St. James, Trinidad, Caribbean". Also, always include your name (i.e. artist name) within the keywords.


3.) Never include irrelevant keywords.

If you include keywords that fail to describe your image, we will reject your submission. Our editors do their best to add keywords we think are missing, but it's your job to try to give us the best keywords you can.


4.) Don't forget variations of words like "smile" and "smiling."

Adding "s" or "es" to words is not necessary, since our search engine will do that automatically. Adding "ing" or "ly" when appropriate is a good idea.

Only one of each word is allowed in your keywords, so you do not need to enter "red fruit, red mango, red delicious mango". Simply entering "red, delicious, fruit, mango" will be fine. Entering multi-word phrases is not necessary, since they will be reduced to single words when you submit them.

FEEs and Image Usage Rights

The Photographer sets the Image Usage Fee and determines whether their images will be used for Unlimited or Limited Edition Reproductions. The Photographer always maintains the copyright to their image(s).

Image Usage Fee Per Reproduction: This is the fee charged by the Photographer for the rights to use their image on each reproduction sold by NativeMirror. NativeMirror is responsible for all costs associated with printing and framing the reproduction. If the Photographer chooses to sell reproductions, and no image usage fee is input by the Photographer, then the displayed default Usage Image Fee will be used.

Unlimited versus Limited Reproductions: As the naming suggest with unlimited reproductions an inexhaustible number of reproductions of the original can be produced, whereas with limited reproductions the Photographer sets a specific limit on the maximum number of reproductions available. The maximum reproduction number set is inclusive of all sizes of reproductions as well as all sales worldwide.

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