FAQ for Specific Content - Editorial Photos

What is an Editorial image?
Preparing Editorial Images For Submission
How do I submit editorial content?
Why was my content rejected for Not Editorial?
Creating Editorial Captions
What are credentials and when do I need them?
How do I upload credentials for Editorial content?

What is an Editorial image?
Certain images at Bigstock are designated for ‘Editorial Use Only’. These are intended for editorial purposes such as news reporting, criticism or commentary on the subject of the image, and parody.  Common examples of newsworthy editorial photographs are: a parade, a speech by a public figure, a crowd outside a high profile trial, a political demonstration, a celebrity sighting, and sports or entertainment events at which photography is allowed with proper credentials so that no model or property release will be obtained.  Basically anything you would see in the newspaper that isn't endorsing a product or service. The purpose of editorial imagery is to educate and inform and to document subject matter that has some kind of historical significance.  These images are usually not cleared for commercial use. Editorial images cannot be used by customers for commercial, trade, promotional and advertising uses. For a detailed explanation, please read our Image Usage Agreement.

Only certain kinds of images are appropriate for Editorial Use.
Bigstock accepts two categories of editorial content:
    Documentary Editorial content are images that capture certain event or subject of human interest. These images must accurately and truthfully communicate the event or subject.
    Illustrative Editorial content are creative and/or conceptual images that can be used to illustrate newsworthy or current events, as well as subjects of human interest. The arrangement of the subject and/or other visual elements that make up an image must be well thought out and image quality should be superb since this content is shot in a controlled environment. Poorly arranged subjects or images with distracting elements will be rejected. Light traditional photographic post-processing techniques can be used to enhance illustrative editorial content, but no major alterations.
* If you are going to be submitting illustrative editorial content, you must include the keywords “illustrative" & "editorial” or "Illustrative Editorial"
* Illustrative Editorial images must have a quality that is inline with our commercial quality standards
A Contributor should not upload a model release for an Editorial Use image.
An Editorial Use Image should include a specific subject or concept that could illustrate a news story or piece of human interest commentary.
Without a proper caption/description, newsworthy editorial images will not be approved.
Any content for which a Contributor lacks a model or property release should not be submitted as Editorial.
Images of non-newsworthy events will be rejected if submitted for editorial use.  This will affect your contributor Approval Rating.
Aside from slight cropping, Editorial images should never be digitally altered. Elements should never be added or removed and the “message” of the image must not be changed.
 * Editorial images must have the image description written in Dateline format. For more details on how to create a proper caption, please see 'Creating Editorial Captions' below.

Preparing Editorial Images For Submission
When working on the technical quality of an editorial image, you should make the exposure, contrast, and white balance as faithful as possible to the original scene.
DO NOT digitally alter the content of your photograph with tools or digital elements. For example, you cannot cut or smudge/blur an object that was present when the image was taken. Current industry standards for editorial imagery allows only what you could do in a darkroom. This includes brightening or darkening, adjusting the contrast or white balance, and cropping the size or frame.

How do I submit editorial content?
Editorial content is uploaded and submitted the same as commercial content. There are only two things you need to do:
  1. Be sure to create a proper Editorial Caption, and,
  2. Check the 'Editorial Usage' box in the Edit window under the Description and Keyword fields.

Why was my content rejected for Not Editorial?
To be accepted, editorial content must:
    Meet our editorial image quality requirements,
    Fall under a documentary or illustrative editorial category,
    Be accompanied with an editorial caption.
    Be tagged as an editorial image

Creating Editorial Captions
For a newsworthy editorial image to have any long term value, the image must have a description that is formatted in a specific way and include basic identifiers such as: Who, What, Where & When. If you are submitting editorial images, you will need to designate the content for ‘Editorial Use’ after uploading and provide each image with a caption in the standard editorial format.
Below are the required guidelines of how an editorial caption needs to be structured.  This information will be entered in the Description field before you submit each image for review - please pay special attention to formatting, phrasing, capital letters, and punctuation. The structure of an editorial caption is:
CITY, STATE/COUNTRY – MONTH DAY: Factual description of the image content on [date] in [location]. A qualifying newsworthy second sentence (if necessary).
The dateline includes the location and date. It always comes before the caption/description and is in written in capital letters.  For images taken in any 'major' city in the world such as Los Angeles, New York, or London, you do not need the state/country identifier in the dateline, but you should include this in the caption.
The dateline is followed by the caption/description of the event. This is the Who, What, Where & When that the image illustrates. Just explain what is going on in the image. Simply write the facts. If the photo depicts people, start by identifying the subject(s) with the person’s/people’s name(s), and describe what they are doing. Be sure to describe the action in the active present tense. When writing, be Concise, Factual, and remember:  Accuracy is important. Please keep it under 200 characters (including spaces).
EXAMPLE: Singer Deborah Harry performs onstage at Six Flags Great Adventure June 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Combine the Dateline and Caption
This is what the completed, proper editorial caption would look like:
JACKSON, NJ - JUNE 16: Singer Deborah Harry performs onstage at Six Flags Great Adventure June 16, 2008 in Jackson, NJ.
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 16: Singer Deborah Harry performs onstage at Six Flags Great Adventure June 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Editorial images of children
Editorial images of children, like all editorial images, need to be newsworthy (specifically of domestic or international importance). Please follow the caption examples cited above but due to the sensitive nature of photographing children, provide the name, age, and general area of residence for all children in the image.  One caption/description example of an image of a child that may be newsworthy:

CHARLOTTE - JUNE 16: John Doe, 8, from Charlotte, N.C., cools off in a spray of mist at the zoo on June 16, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Temperatures recently went into the triple digits.
If the exact date of the event is not known, "circa" may be used to indicate that the date is around the "circa" year given within the dateline and caption areas. An example would be:
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA JUNE 2008: Singer Deborah Harry performs onstage at Six Flags Great Adventure circa June 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Postage Stamps (, close up photographs of)
Upon submission, contributors need to classify close-up images of postage stamps as 'Editorial Use' only and provide a proper editorial caption for each image. Prerequisites for your submission include:

1. The stamp(s) has been canceled by authorities and has at least some of the ink from the cancellation stamp mark visible in the photo.
2. You are submitting high quality images from a technical standpoint (tack sharp focus when viewed at 100%).
3. The image has a proper editorial caption format.
The 'Dateline format' has the country of origin written in all capital letters followed by the month and year, and then a colon. If you do not know the exact date the stamp was issued, you may use the term 'Circa' along with the year the stamp was issued. Example of the format for the appropriate captioning of a postage stamp:
GERMANY - CIRCA 1986: A stamp issued in Germany shows a portrait of Dorothea Erxleben, circa 1986. The stamp had a print run of only one month.
* You will need to include a relevant fact or description of the artwork that is featured on the stamp in the first part of the caption sentence. The country of origin should be listed again and the full date is the second part of the caption sentence.
* If you have an additional fact about the stamp you may add it as a second sentence at the end.

What are credentials and when do I need them?

Press Credentials are proof that you have the authorization to take a images of an event. They are usually, but not always, in the form of written permission. Please note that credentials are different from other releases. Property releases indicate you were authorized to take a photograph on private property while model releases commonly show that you were authorized to take an image of an individual and use for commercial purposes. Credentials, on the other hand, show that you are authorized to shoot an event, which may both be taken on private property as well as feature individuals, for editorial use.

Images submitted for editorial use that have been taken at the events listed below require proof of credentials before they will be reviewed:

  • Sporting events (including those taken at non-collegiate schools or recreational, non-professional events)
  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Trade shows
  • Theatrical performances (including those taken at school performances/theater)
  • Conventions
  • Openings
  • Ticketed events

Credentials Requirements: Images requiring credentials will only be accepted if the submission is accompanied with either of the following documents proving photographer credentials:
A clear, well-lit JPG image of an event badge (a generic sticker will not suffice) that indicates your authorization to shoot the event and includes the following information:

  1. the name of the event;
  2. the date of the event; and
  3. your name (if possible)

- OR -

Correspondence (e.g., email, letter) with an authorized representative of the venue, performer’s management, or other authorized representative of the event having the authority to grant you credentials to shoot the event, saved as a JPG, not PDF or PNG.  Such correspondence must include the following information:

  1. the name of the event;
  2. the date of the event (if not, then the date of the email);
  3. your name;
  4. the authorized representative’s name and company; and
  5. the email must be sent from the representative’s company email account.


How do I upload credentials for Editorial content?
We have created a tool for Contributors who submit images that require Press Credentials. Contributors are now able to upload documents, as well as JPG images, of necessary credentials and link them to the appropriate images, much like you do with Model and Property Releases.
Where To Find The Credentials Uploading Tool

  1. Go to Uploads, then 'Manage Releases'
  2. Click 'Add new releases'
  3. From the File Type drop down menu select 'Credentials' for both documents and images of press badges or vests.
  4. ** ( Please DO NOT select 'Reference Image' as this will not properly classify your documents as a credential)
  5. Name of Entry: This title should include the abbreviated name of the event and date. Example: ABCMusicFestBadge_2016
  6. Then click the Browse button to select the file from your computer
  7. Description: Here you can add information such as the location, contacts for the event, or anything else you might find useful. This information will not be seen by any other Bigstock user. Example: Images of live performances and bands at the ABC Music Fest in Big City, USA on May 1, 2016

After you upload the credentials, you will be able to link them to images before you submit for review. An additional area for uploaded credentials will appear under the Model/Property Release tab for each image.
 * Please note that we will evaluate credentials on a case by case basis. For more information on our required criteria or submitting credentials, please send an email to support@bigstockphoto.com prior to submitting your images.

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