We are tremendously grateful to everyone who submits a post to the South Carolina Picture Project’s Facebook group, and it is hard each time we have to decline an image. The simple truth is that, as this group has grown, we receive more requests per day than we can approve. We now get roughly 100 images/day for approval, and we can only approve about a quarter of them.
With over 43,000 members, we feel a responsibility to share only those posts that best match the goals of the group – which is document the history, beauty, and culture of South Carolina through photography and artwork. (Please read our 501(c)(3) mission statement here.) We have also conducted an extensive survey, and the vast majority of members want us to curate posts so that only the highest-quality images appear in members’ newsfeeds.
All this said, we know that photography is an art, and it can be frustrating when a image you’ve shared with love gets declined. We’ve created this page to help give photographers guidance about why a picture may not have been approved.
Below, we share our 10 most important guidelines for approval. If you believe your image(s) meet these conditions, please scroll down further to see a list of 5 other reasons your post may not have been approved.
Thank you so much. If you have any questions, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you will attach your image to your email, we will be very happy to give you more personal feedback.
We want to say again how much we appreciate your taking the time to think of the SC Picture Project and share your image(s) for approval. If we could approve all 100+ submissions a day, we would!
Our Top 10 Approval Guidelines
(1) We Approve Images of South Carolina Only
This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised! 😉
(2) Provide Detailed Locations for All Posts
Please note that we may decline any post not accompanied by its South Carolina location – this includes the name of the city/town and the name of the specific site/landmark. Try not to simply write, “Historic Charleston.” At least let us know a landmark’s approximate location or street address!
(3) Focus on Historic Landmarks and/or Iconic Landscapes
Our mission is to celebrate South Carolina’s beauty while preserving images of her landmarks and landscapes for future generations. Posts that don’t fit this mission, by and large, will not be approved. (See additional details under #4 below.)
(4) No Generic Images | Scenes Must Be “South Carolina Specific”
Photos of flowers, birds, critters, shells, clouds, skylines, sunsets, etc, should be shown within their larger landscape. If members cannot look at a photo and identify its specific SC location, we may not approve it. Please do not submit photos of a seashell, flower, or sunset, for example, unless you can tie it to a South Carolina landmark or include its common or Latin name. Here is an example:
No: Pretty wildflower I saw in Beaufort County today
Yes: Example of Indian Blanket I found in the dunes at Hunting Island today
(5) Add History or Stories/Anecdotes to Your Posts
We just cannot emphasize this enough. You do not need to be an historian, but please share all you know – no detail is too small. A mediocre shot with a solid story behind it will almost absolutely be approved. We LOVE and WANT stories, history, knowledge – not just images! Although our 501(c)(3)’s legal name is the South Carolina Picture Project, our mission is historical documentation via pictures.
While images can help document a landmark’s physical appearance, information and personal stories explain why that landmark is IMPORTANT – be it to our history at large or to you personally.
(6) Crisp, Clear Wildlife Images Only
While we LOVE animals, our focus truly is on landmarks and landscapes. We will approve a wildlife photo ONLY if it so crisp, clear, and detailed that it allows members to see the creature in a way they otherwise could not. As with plants, including the common or Latin name of a species is essential.
(7) Post Your Image(s) DIRECTLY to Group’s Feed
Everyday we must decline photos that are amazing but are posted as “shares” from other pages. Images posted as “shares” from other pages WON’T BE APPROVED. This includes shares from your personal and business pages, and from other organizations. Note: If you are looking to get traffic to your business, you are now able to join the group as your business and post from there. Same for organizations!
(8) We Discourage Albums with Fewer than 3 Photos
Facebook often crops images in albums which causes them to appear unattractive, even when they are not. To resolve this, please do not post an album with fewer than 3 photos. Please note that albums with generic shots like isolated flowers or isolated skylines will be approved.
(9) Historic Images Warmly Welcomed!
If you have an old photo in your collection, we’d love to help you share it with others. These are often the most interesting posts we get, so feel free to add as many as you’d like! This is the one case in which family photos are happily accepted!
(10) If Declined, Please Look for a Personal Note
Although we are unable to do so in every case, due to the time involved, we will often ask members to make a simple change, then repost their image so it can be approved. For example, we may ask you to include the landmark’s name or post it directly to the group’s feed instead of as a “share.” Please look for these notes when Facebook returns a “declined” notice. Thank you so much!
5 More Things We Consider
Please don’t assume the worst! Very often, if we don’t approve an image, it is because no image was attached and an error read, “Content isn’t available at this time.”
Otherwise, one of the following was likely the cause:
(1) Horizon line should be straight.
(2) Photos should not be blurry.
(3) Photos of common landmarks should be exceptional. We often get complaints when we post too many many shots of the Angel Oak, the Ravenel Bridge, Downtown Greenville, Old Sheldon, Shem Creek, etc. Thus we try to approve only the best of these.
(4) We are unlikely to approve any image of a flower, butterfly, bird, animal, etc, unless it the photo is truly breathtaking, the flora/fauna is native to South Carolina, AND it is identified by its common or Latin name.
(5) Because our focus is historical documentation, we do not approve images with distorting filters or fancy borders. Similarly, we do not approve photos with large black “screen-shot” backgrounds.
Again, We are grateful to all who share, and sometimes we may like a photo very much but be unable to approve it based on the goals of this group. Please know that if we do not approve your photo, it is not necessarily a reflection of you as a photographer, by any means. We hope you will continue to send in photos, and if you seek feedback – please email us at email@example.com – we will do our very best to help you understand why an image was not approved.