Submission Guidelines

Welcome to AfriPics. Please read through the information below before loading images onto the AfriPics site


1.    What kinds of images do we want?  

AfriPics is a curated collection of premium-quality images.   We would like to work with all dedicated photographers who produce exceptional quality images.  

Not all images will be accepted for sale on AfriPics.  Material uploaded to AfriPics will be screened by our studio staff to select material of a suitable technical standard which is also saleable to our clients.  They will make a decision based on the nature and quality of the image, and most importantly our assessment of it’s potential to make sales.   
AfriPics is a specialist African collection of images, so we would welcome submissions of all images which fall within this broad brief.  This includes the following broad subject areas:
•    People at work
•    Scenery and Landscapes
•    Lifestyle
•    Wildlife and Nature
•    Commercial and industrial images
•    Technology
•    Infastructure
•    Travel
•    Still life and studio

People pictures:
Please note that there is a growing demand for all images containing people to have valid model releases.   This includes images sourced by client for usage in areas which were previously regarded editorial.  In short, please make every effort to secure model releases for all your people images as there is a shortage of model-released images with African (as opposed to Afro-American) subjects.  If you are able to do this it will give you a significant advantage in the market.    We will ask for a copy of the model release if you register that an image is model released.

2. How to become an Accredited Photographer

The accreditation process is outlined in the figure below.  We invite interested applicant photographers to submit a portfolio of up to 20 images.   To do so you will need to register and log-in as a photographer.  You will then be able to access the image upload function via your account and select the “Upload new Photos” link.   DO NOT close this Tab or navigate off this page during the upload - it will cause the upload to stop.  Once the upload is complete, you can access the “My Photo Status” link. All successfully loaded images will have the status “Pending” which indicates that they have not yet been reviewed by AfriPics staff.    We will review all loaded images and provide you feedback within a week (depending on our workload).  At this point the badge on the top right of the site will read “Applicant Photographer”.    Should we believe your work is of suitable quality and also marketable, we will then accredit you.  This will be reflected on your status and the ‘badge’ at the top of your account screen will be green and read “Accredited Photographer”.    Please read the technical specifications carefully below before uploading images to AfriPics.

If the images are not suitable, your status will remain “Applicant”.  We will provide you feedback on the images you submitted under the “My Photo Status”.  Declined or Rejected images will show for a period of approximately a month whereafter they will be permanently deleted.  Once the images are removed, you will be able to load a further selection of images for review should you wish to.


3.  Technical specifications


Before loading images onto AfriPics please take the trouble to check your images at 100% and scrutinize them carefully to ensure that they are pin-sharp, clean and dust-busted without any blemishes so that they are print-ready.   Retouching of images is allowed, but please take special care to ensure that blemishes are removed in such a way that the end result is of a professional standard.   Images which don’t meet these technical standards will unfortunately be rejected.

3.1 Camera

We will accept digital images shot by all professional-quality cameras. We do not currently accept photos from cellphone cameras.  Our current minimum standard sensor size is 12 megapixels.  This minimum standard will be upgraded from time to time as digital cameras and sensors evolve.   It is the quality of the digital image which matters most, so we will use that as our guide in determining which images we choose to take on board and which not.  

3.2 Images must meet the following minimum technical standards.

•    Photos must be pin-sharp and blemish-free
•    Clean and dust-busted (print-ready)
•    Images should be fully processed and saved as "Baseline" (Standard) JPEGs - No Tiff files
•    A minimum of 3600 pixels on the longest side
•    Save image as 8 Bit RGB .jpg file of Maximum Quality JPG files (quality 10 or better in Photoshop).
Please do not interpolate the images during processing to make them appear larger.

3.3 Recommended Image processing workflow:

i)    Check your images at 100% (actual pixels) for sharpness – do not submit unsharp images
ii)    Shoot your pics in Camera RAW format to allow maximum image quality and flexibility during final processing.  
iii)    Make all adjustments to your images (gamma corrections, contrast, colour balance and saturation) in 16 bit colour depth.   If you don't do this, the levels curve will have gaps in it which causes problems for some high-end uses.
iv)    Convert the image to 8 bit once all final adjustments have been made and save as a .jpg file (quality 10 or better in Photoshop).   Please only load jpeg images saved as baseline (“Standard”) .jpg files.   Our experience is that optimised .jpg files cause problems during the upload process.

3.4 Technical adjustments to the image

3.4.1 Levels correction:

As a general tip check that the black point and white points coincide with the first and last data points on the levels curve as in the example below.  Whilst there are exceptions, this will generally give the most pleasing result.


Do not over-correct the levels on images to avoid the dark areas being over saturated or whites that are blown-out (as in the attached samples below.  This is not always possible (for example in high key images with a sun, but in most cases if you stick to the rule below, it allows for optimal flexibility in reproduction.

3.4.2 Colour Profile:

Please calibrate your screen and make sure you embed the colour profile when you save the file.  We recommend using the Adobe 1998 colour space (as opposed to sRGB) because this is the industry standard.

3.4.3 Dust-busting:

Most digital sensors are susceptible to having dust spots settle on them. These are most obvious when shooting small apertures.  Please examine your images carefully at 100% (actual pixels), and use the clone tool to spot out all dust spots.  Be particularly careful in the even-toned parts of the image (such as sky or out of focus background areas).  Please ensure that this is done so one cannot see where the image has been dust-busted.

3.4.4 Retouching:

Where images have been digitally manipulated this is to be done in a way so as to be pleasing on the eye and not obvious to the viewer.

3.4.5 Image size:

Do NOT resize your images – they are best provided at the highest resolution available in the native camera format.  By this we mean, if your camera shoots 12 Megapixel images – submit them to us as 12 Megapixel images.   Cropped images are acceptable provided that the longest side of the cropped image is at least 3600 pixels

3.4.6 Minimum size:

Please do not submit images taken with less than a 12 Megapixel camera.


4. Accredited Photographers - Meta-guide

Accredited photographers will be pemitted to upload images to the AfriPics site using the same upload facility as described above but without a limitation on how many images may be loaded.  Images uploaded in this way will be screened and processed by AfriPics using the process illustrated below.  Please note: only properly keyworded and captioned images will be allowed to go on sale.   Also, note that certain metadata in the IPTC sidecar files will be uploaded automatically.  



The metadata for each image is critical in that it provides a means for clients to find your images.   Simply put, our clients will search for images using captions and keywords which best describe the image they need.  If your images don’t have accurate metadata, they will simply not show up at the party.


4.1 Minimum requirements for Metadata

The “My photo status” tab provides a shortcut to your images and shows you which images require additional information to go on sale.  The following minimum metadata are required for images to go on sale:

i)        Caption: A concise, descriptive caption of what the image shows

ii)       Keywords:  Please note: it is pointless to repeat words already in the caption in the keywords

iii)      Country: The country in which the image was taken


Images with a caption, keywords and a country will be reflected as “Awaiting final approval” in the My Photo Status tab.  These images will be reviewed by the AfriPics studio, and if the above information has been properly entered will then go on sale.   Should further information be required we will communicate with you via email.


Please ensure that model released images are indicated as such by checking the “Model released” checkbox.   Please email copies of relevant model releases to us.


4.2 How to add your metadata


4.2.1 OPTION 1: Use Lightroom or equivalent software

The most efficient approach is to add metadata as part of your image processing workflow.   This is the simplest option as it is then embedded in the IPTC information accompanying the image file.  We would recommend you use a software package like Photoshop Lightroom to do this.


The following fields will be extracted from the IPTC file automatically when you upload your images to AfriPics:

•        Caption - sometimes also called "Description" in the IPTC file

•        Keywords

•        Location


4.2.2 OPTION 2: Use the Afripics website online image management facility

You can also check and edit the image metadata after loading images to your account via the “Edit Metadata” link which appears while hovering over a thumbnail in the “My Images” tab.


4.3 Guidelines for good metadata

4.3.1 Caption

The Caption should provide a complete but concise descriptive caption of what the image actually shows.  Use simple English, keep captions short and clearly but simply describe the photo. Include scientific names for all species directly after common name where possible.  Where relevant please also provide location details of the photo. 


4.3.2 Keywords

Keywords are critically important to selling images.  Put yourself in the shoes of a designer looking for images and ask what words they would use to find the image.  Simple language works best.   Keywords should be descriptive words or characteristics directly relevant to the dominant features in the image.  Use only words which are directly related to the subject.


We find that it helps to be systematic while keywording your images – here’s a list of eleven things to remember while keywording:

  1. Dominant visual features
  2. Perspective:  eg.aerial view, portrait, close-up, side-view, profile, facing the camera,  eye-contact;
  3. Dominant colour of the image - (eg green, blue, golden, backlit)
  4. Shape (eg circular/circle, triangular/triangle;
  5. Pattern (eg spots, stripes);
  6. Number of items (eg herd, individual, two, group, single);
  7. Time of day (eg sunset, sunrise, midday)
  8. Synonyms plus variations of words (eg funny, humourous, humour, amusement, amusing, shock, shocking, aggressive, aggression, etc)
  9. Mood/intangibles/conceptual/abstract eg moody, inspiring, cute, hopeful, violence, leadership, interaction, love, interacting, mother and child, family;
  10. Idioms, similies, cliches, concepts leadership, leader, teamwork, team-building
  11. Add in Americanizations (colour, color, humour, humor), particularly for conceptually strong pictures


4.3.3  Country and Location

We also encourage you to provide the location at which the photograph was taken as clients often specify this in their briefs when they are searching for images.  Please note Country and Location are NOT the same.   The location is more specific than the country, so, for example, Location could be the town and province where the photo was taken eg.  Johannesburg, Gauteng  or  Cape Point.  Where the location is not relevant (eg. Studio shots), either add “Studio Shot” or “NA”.


4.3.4 Category

It would also be beneficial to add a category for your image.  Images may be allocated to more than one ‘category’ if it makes sense.  The list of available categories are visible in the Category drop-down.