Become a Blue Planet Archive contributor

Thank you so much for your interest in our stock photo library. We welcome any aspiring photographers and artists.

We are a photographer’s agency. Blue Planet Archive was founded by a photographer and has been run by photographers. I am a photographer myself and care about your images. Unlike other agencies, we carefully select images for our stock photo library.

To begin the process…submit your images for initial quality review following our Submission Guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines

1. Please prepare your images as follows:

Image Specifications:

RAW with XMP or JPEG at near maximum quality, 8bit Adobe RGB (1998) color space, no resizing, no cropping (if all that possible), include all metadata

Metadata:

We work very hard to provide accurate information about our images to our clients, so the accuracy is very important when keywording and captioning. If you misspell an important keyword, your images might be buried deep into our huge library of pictures and never be found by a search. For this reason, we highly recommend to copy & paste Latin species names or common names from a trusty source such as WIKIPEDIA, IUCN Species List, FishBase, etc.

Please be aware that how well you prepare your images on these metadata will directly affect your image discoverability and ultimately your image sales. Keywords, captions (descriptions) and headlines are the three most important metadata, and SHOULD ONLY INCLUDE RELEVANT WORDS that are directly depicted in the picture. Please understand that if you spam your keywords, we will ask you to redo the keywording, or we will delete all your keywords in order to protect the integrity of our search function. Required fields are those that will be searched by our library system as well as by search engine bots known as “web crawlers” such as Googlebot.

Required Metadata Fields:

  • Keywords
  • Caption
  • Headline
  • Creator
  • Sublocation
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Country 

KEYWORDS:
Perhaps this field is becoming the most important of all the metadata these days as far as the SEO is concerned. Again, please do not spam all kinds of keywords, instead, just type in only the relevant keywords that are directly depicted in the picture. At least, you should include: various common species names, Latin species name and any recent synonyms, basic info such as animal, insect, mammal, fish, bird, etc., location, country, and behaviors, etc. Use singular word than plural. You should be able to imagine how the picture actually looks like by just reading through the keywords.

Keywords Example 1; Big Island, coast, coastline, environmental issue, eruption, Hawaii, horizontal format, hot, island, Kilauea, landscape, lava, lava eruption, molten lava, ocean, ocean entry, red, scenery, steam, steam cloud, USA, volcano, Wonders of the Natural World

Keywords Example 2; animal, Animalia, Aptenodytes, Aptenodytes patagonicus, Aves, baby, Bay of Isles, bird, chick, Chordata, flightless bird, horizontal format, juvenile, king penguin, leucism, leucistic, marine, marine bird, patagonicus, penguin, Salisbury Plain, seabird, South Atlantic Ocean, South Georgia, Spheniscidae, Sphenisciformes, white, wildlife, young

Keywords Example 3; Actinopterygii, animal, Animalia, aquaculture, Baja California, captive, Chordata, Ensenada, farming, fish, giant bluefin tuna, horizontal format, marine, Mexico, northern bluefin tuna, Pacific bluefin tuna, Pacific Ocean, pen, Scombridae, Scombriformes, orientalis, threatened species, Thunnus, Thunnus orientalis, tow pen, tuna, tuna penning, tunny, underwater, vulnerable species, wildlife

Here are some of the worst keywords example.

      • “No something” keyword – e.g. “no people”, “no animal”, “no model release” – if these are NOT in the image, then do not put anything. “No something” keywords only produce inaccurate search results.
      • “Lone preposition” keyword – such as above, across, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, by, down, from, in, into, near, of, off, on, to, toward, under, upon, with and within. These need to be combined with other words to be more meaningful.
      • “Word by word” keyword – similar to above, keep the words together instead of breaking them up. For example, “Raja Ampat” instead of “Raja” and “Ampat”, “New England” instead of “New” and “England”, etc.

CAPTION:
The minimum caption submitted with any types of photographs should include; common species name(s), scientific species name in Latin, specific location (for example: dive site, marine reserve, marine sanctuary, national park, etc.), city/town, State/region/province, country, Sea and Ocean. It is also important that you state any noticeable animal behaviors or anatomical features in an image because the caption directly affects our search results as well as our clients’ decisions accordingly. If your subject is endemic to a certain area or listed as vulnerable, threatened, or endangered in that area, please include that information in the caption. If you’re not sure, check the IUCN site as well as the Wikipedia. If your image includes a person or people with the model release(s), please add MR at the end of the caption. Use PR for property release if you obtained it.

Caption Example 1; red-footed booby, Sula sula, and tourists, Isla Genovesa, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South America, MR

Caption Example 2; green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, endangered species, being cleaned by convict tang, Acanthurus triostegus, Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

Caption Example 3; Eureka Valley Sand Dunes, National Natural Landmark, Eureka Valley, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, California, USA, North America

Caption Example 4; a silhouette of saguaro cactus, Carnegiea gigantea, at sunset, Saguaro National Park, Arizona, USA, North America

HEADLINE:
This is the “title” of an image, so the Headline should summarize the image using only a few essential words. It should be a simple but SEO effective, short description of the main subject in the picture – It can be a combination of a common name and scientific species name, a name of the location, a name of the event, the name of the object, the name of the activity, etc. Use search engine friendly vertical bars or commas to separate the words. Please do not get confused with the “Title” field. The “Title” field is most often used for the file name – in most cases, the image ID.

Headline Example 1; Sperm Whale | Physeter macrocephalus
Headline Example 2; Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Headline Example 3; Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Headline Example 4; Grand Canyon National Park | Arizona | USA

Sublocation, City, State/Province, and Country: List the location of the photo. As for the country, the United States of America should be USA or United States. Never use U.S.A. here, as well as in keywords and captions. ISO Country Code is not required but you can put either 2 letters or 3 letters if you like.

Disclosure: You are required to disclose any significant image manipulations, in particular, if such manipulation contains cutting and pasting parts of images to create a “composite” image. You are also required to disclose if the image of an animal is shot in captivity or it’s a captive release. We need proper and correct information about your images as we deal mainly with the clients who’s main focus is natural history. Following words or abbreviations can be used at the end of your captions/descriptions if appropriate: captive or (c), captive release or (cr) (a tamed or captured animal placed unrestrained in a natural setting such as “rent-a-dolphin”), digital composite or (dc) (two or more images combined digitally).

2. Submit 5-10 sample pictures for Quality Review.

Please upload 5-10 sample pictures to our ftp server for the Quality Review using the following login info, and we will report back to you for the result in a couple of days. Please make sure that your sample pictures meet all the requirements of our Submission Guidelines for image quality, captioning, and other photo metadata.

Server: ftp.photoshelter.com
Port: 21
Please use passive mode

Username: quality
Password: review

This is an ftp login, not a website login. You will need an ftp client software to access our ftp server. We recommend FileZila, Fetch, and Transmit. If you are submitting RAW files with XMP, or not comfortable with the ftp system, please use a third-party, internet file transfer service such as “We Transfer”, “Dropbox“, etc.

3. Sign up on Contributor Agreement.

Once you pass the Quality & Metadata Review, we’ll send you a copy of your Contributor Agreement for you to sign up. The entire sign up process will be done online. No need to print out, sign and mail the agreement. You will receive a pdf copy of the counter-signed agreement via email after you finish your part.

4. Receive your personalized ftp login info and start submitting your images.

We’ll create your own ftp folder directory on our server, and you can start submitting your pictures by uploading your images into that directory, or you can use the aforementioned, internet file transfer service of your choice.

However, please edit tightly your image selections. Your images will be competing against many, many great images from all over the world. We would greatly appreciate if you organize your images by the subject (species) or locations, instead of sending us a huge variety of animals and locations. We can process your images much faster if the subject or the location is the same. Please keep track of your submission records and do not submit any similar pictures or duplicates.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Looking forward to seeing your great pictures.