Wikipedia:WikiProject Photography/Guide for Professionals

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A professional photographer's guide to contributing images to Wikipedia[edit]

As a professional photographer, you may have many questions and concerns about contributing your images to appear on Wikipedia. This page is designed to help answer those questions.

Frequently asked questions[edit]

Question:Why should I freely license my pictures (or music) so they can be used on Wikipedia?
Answer: Because putting them on Wikipedia is great exposure. Click on any picture on Wikipedia, and you will go to that picture's description page. The description pages says who took the picture and may link to the photographer's website.
Question: I'm thinking about contributing pictures, but what's the catch?
Answer:You have to license them under a copyright license that allows anyone (including 3rd parties not affiliated with Wikipedia) to copy and use them, for any purpose, including commercially. These licenses are irrevocable. The suggested license is Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike.
Question: How do I contribute?
Answer: The easiest way is to use the photo submission system, where you send the pictures by email and our experienced editors will do the rest. Or, you can do it yourself.
Question: What can I do to protect my work if I give it away?
Answer: Since the license applies to the file you upload, not the underlying image, you can get some protection by uploading only lower resolution images, keeping higher resolution images to yourself. This means that people can reuse your images, but they can't use them for publication or other uses where resolution matters. For example, this allows you to sell prints of an image you gave away.
Question: Can I protect the integrity of my work?
Answer: Wikipedia currently requires that the license must allow derivative works, which means that your images could be taken from Wikipedia and modified for other purposes, such as pornography. While unlikely, the possibility that this could happen may violate model releases or other agreements you have made. You can try uploading with a no-derivative-works license such as the Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 license, but your uploads may be rejected.


I wanted to share a small part of my catalog of classic rock stars with the public because rock music has been an important part of my life. Since I contributed the images I have corresponded with and sold prints to other fans of this era. I have also sold images to rock magazines and book publishers. It's a great way to have my work noticed and give back to something that helped shape my life. - Jim Summaria
- Matthew Field

- Jerry Avenaim
I contributed, because I am passionate about the fashion industry and would like for the designers, models, and photographers who represent the industry to be showcased by the best available content. I support Wikipedia's non-profit goals of providing knowledge and content that is accessible to everyone. My photos are the best way for me to lend support to Wikipedia's cause and to represent the industry that I love whole heartedly. - Ed Kavishe

Users to contact for support[edit]