How to accept submissions and present photography online for an event
March 9, 2014 9:02 AM   Subscribe

A family member is involved in a "48 hours in the Life of [town name]" project through a photography club and the local historical society. They would like to have a good way to receive photos during those two days, screen them for content and other requirements and simply and easily publish them and display them.

Here is their description of the project:

With a 48-hour photography blitz, [town name] will photograph itself on Friday and Saturday, May 2nd and 3rd. Organized by the [town] Camera Club and curated by Historic [town], photos from hundreds of [town] residents will become a permanent part of the city’s historical record.

Participation is open to anyone currently living in [town], regardless of age or photography experience. Photos must be taken during the 48 hours between 12:00 am Friday morning, May 2, 2014, and midnight, Saturday night, May 3, 2014. During the following week, each participant may submit up to twelve (12) photos to this group. No photos will be accepted after midnight, Saturday, May 10, 2014.

All photos submitted to this group should include information identifying the time, place, and subject of the photo. Submission of photographs grants permission to the [town] Camera Club and to Historic [town] to use the photographs in digital and printed shows, to display them on a publicly accessible website, to use them in publicity, and to store them permanently.

Historic [town] will select photos for the permanent collection based on both historical interest and photographic quality. These curated photographs will be displayed in digital slide shows in multiple[town] locations during August and September, 2014.

The people involved would like a simple way to do this.

Possibilities and drawbacks:
Flickr: you could supply participants with the upload via email email address and set incoming photos to private so they can be screened, but this makes it harder to get good tags and descriptions.
Ipernity: same feature and same issue as Flickr
Tumblr: if you make a blog you can accept submissions from people with and without accounts. I think you lose exif data and they'd like to retain that.
Twitter: requires people to have accounts
Instagram: requires people to have accounts
posted by sciencegeek to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about a flickr Group (rather than account) which is moderated?
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:08 AM on March 9, 2014

Response by poster: One of the goals is to find a solution that doesn't require people submitting photos to have to sign up for accounts.

A Flickr group would not work for that reason, while uploading photos to a Flickr account via its upload email would (but fails because it doesn't allow reasonable labeling).
posted by sciencegeek at 9:12 AM on March 9, 2014

Having multiple people upload to a single account goes against Flickr's Terms of Service, which specifies only one user per account. The odds of being caught are small but the contest organizers would be taking the risk of having their account deleted in the midst of a contest.

BTW, you can add description and tags via Flickr's email upload (title is subject line, description is body text, tags are coded "tag: xyz" with a separate line for each tag within the message body).
posted by plastic_animals at 10:53 AM on March 9, 2014

I'd email Flickr and see if they'd let you get away with using the email-upload feature for the contest; I think it's definitely the most elegant solution. The few interactions I've ever had with the Flickr dev team have been good, but it's been years and I'm not sure how things are now that they've been Borgified by Yahoo.

But yeah, you definitely don't want to do it under the radar and risk having the account suspended midway through the contest.

And I wouldn't try to do it on a free account, I'd at least spring for a Pro account (or offer to); that might get you some discretion.

Alternately you could set up an email address that people send photos to, and then do some basic screening and then forward them to the Flickr upload-by-email address. Somebody would have to monitor the email address (or, I guess, you could set up a rule to forward all messages with attachments) but that might get around the restriction on letting multiple people use the upload-by-email feature. Technically your organization would be the only ones actually uploading photos to Flickr in that scenario.

You could also add tags via the subject line as part of the forward (or the forwarding rule).
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:50 AM on March 9, 2014

Response by poster: The idea of an intermediate email address is good. I know that you can add photo title in subject and description in the body of the email. I'm concerned that asking people to do their own labeling even if given explicit instructions will not result in good labels/tags.

(ok, time to stop commenting; I don't want to threadsit but I did want to clarify some things.)
posted by sciencegeek at 12:18 PM on March 9, 2014

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