General Photography Guidelines


  • Every section should contain one image. Do not repeat photos within an assignment or across multiple assignments. The introduction must always contain an image.

  • Please submit the largest image files possible, a minimum of 2000 pixels on the shortest edge. Images must be 300 ppi, sRGB JPEGs.

  • Photos must be sharply in focus and color corrected.

  • Photos must be well lit and properly exposed – do not submit dark photos.



  • Shoot in natural light during the day.

  • Do not use on-camera flash.

  • When using artificial light, such as strobes, be sure to diffuse and replicate natural light.

  • Avoid heavy reflections and shadows.

  • Maintain consistent color temperature and exposure throughout the steps.

  • When possible keep camera perspective and background consistent.



  • Compose images carefully.  Make sure the image is balanced and that the central objects directly relate back to topic of the article.

  • Do not shoot on white or black seamless backgrounds. Do not use background drops.

  • The photograph should be in context and feel as though its real life, not in a studio.

  • Tighter cropping is preferred. Shots should be wide enough to show the subject and its context but tight enough so that the subject is the main focus and entire room is not featured in the background.



  • Avoid shooting dated furniture, appliances, dishware, etc. Contemporary and simple styles are best.

  • Keep the background simple. Some great creative backdrops to use: rustic wood tables, tile, beautiful marble counters or painted walls.

  • Further style the photo with props and wardrobe that compliment the subject matter.

  • Please take photos in an aspirational, beautiful setting. Keep in mind that the subject matter should be the focus of your image but the background and lighting will set the mood and tone of the images.

  • Please make sure backgrounds are free of dirt and clutter. They should not contain surfaces that are heavily patterned.


Talent & Models:

  • Models should be in appropriate attire and as well groomed as possible.

  • When shooting hands and feet, nails should be clean and well manicured.

  • Models must wear simple colors and jewelry and avoid any busy patterns or loud colors.  Avoid white, black and red clothes.

  • If any faces appear, a model release must be signed and uploaded on assignment page with images.

  • Use photogenic models with previous experience.

  • Avoid overusing one model.


Brands & Logos:

  • No name brands or logos on clothes or materials should be visible, unless a brand is specifically named in the title of the article (i.e. How to Cook a Burger on a George Foreman Grill).

  • Transfer products into generic containers without labels whenever possible.

  • As a back-up tactic, labels can be removed physically or in Photoshop as long as it does not appear odd that the label is missing. Do not blur out labels.

  • Use strategically placed hands and objects to cover brand names and logos.


  • Do not use filters or distortion masks.

  • All images should be bright and accurately color balanced.

  • No additional text or graphics should be added.

  • When creating a composite use the template provided.

  • Try to shoot at the lowest ISO possible, if not, correct any graininess.

  • Clone out any imperfections in the photograph- dust spots or smudges.

Things to Avoid:

  • Unless drawing is specifically called for in the instructions, do not submit images of drawings.

  • Raw meat in the opening image for Food assignments.

  • Nudity, overtly sexual or suggestive subject matter.

  • Awkward and inappropriate angles of the body.

  • No guns or weapons unless they are the subject matter. For example:  “How to Clean Your Antique Knife.”

  • Expressions of extreme pain, discomfort or fear. Generally always feature positive images.

  • Graphic injuries such as wounds, scratches, rashes or sores etc.

  • Images from Google or stock archives. All photographs should be your own images.

  • Do not take photographs of your computer screen, please take a screenshot/ image capture when applicable. If one or more screenshots are needed please flag the assignment.

  • Do not take photographs of copyrighted materials such as artwork, photography, recognizable books, movies television shows etc.

  • While you can employ low depth of field, make sure that the action of the stp does not fall out of focus.

  • Don’t shoot an assignment if you do not have the require setting, models, tools and supplies. Make sure all elements are as accurate as possible.


  • If shooting on recognizable private property, a property release must be signed and submitted to studioD.

  • If any faces appear, a model release must be signed and submitted to studioD.
Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk