Aim for much better than a ‘snap shots’

Our aim on Wikimedia Commons is to collect as many educationally-interesting images as we can. This means to capture details that illustrate the idea – and not just give a general view.

You could enter a photo essay, which is a series of photographs that tell a story about what is going on. Your entry could be a series of people involved in the same fun activity but in different contexts, or several people of a similar group doing different fun or playful activities, or a montage of images that explores one person going through the process of playing, or a montage of images that, say, explores a woman practicing her sport.

So, say, if you want to take a picture of a board game in Mozambique – don’t just take one picture of the players from far. Instead take several types of pictures … of the players engaging from different angles – and some long shots with some detail shots too. That way you have more to choose from and you have captured the whole story.

Avoiding problems

  • If you are a beginner, check out the common errors to avoid (this relates to buildings, but is also good for people and other images).
  • Please be respectful and considerate to your fellow photographers, and to the people you are photographing.
  • Please be especially respectful when taking pictures of people. You should always ask their permission (if you cannot do it before the shot, do it afterwards).
  • Always ask for permission if you want to photograph people or inside someone’s workshop or property. Stop straight away if you are asked to do so.
  • Do not trespass on private property.

Copyright issues

  • Please do not upload photographs of posters, noticeboards, signs, modern murals, or anything else having text or two-dimensional images that might be copyright-protected. That applies even to text or images that are in a public place and that everyone else is taking pictures of. Ancient wall paintings in churches are fine, as are photos of stained glass windows of any date.

Handy guide

The team at Wikimedia France and Wiki Loves Africa created these handy guides to help when photographing anything for Wikimedia Commons.