Photo Editor Instructions

Carefully review the photography style guide to familiarize yourself with the image requirements that have been provided to the photographers. These instructions will serve as a guide for the criteria you should keep in mind as you edit. Once you have approved each image with the criteria below, you will select keywords and descriptions for each image.


General Guidelines:


  • All images should illustrate what is described in the accompanying text.

  • You have the right to send back images if you feel the subject matter does not connect with the text.

  • Overall assignment image consistency is key. If one image does not match the others in exposure, color temperature and styling, it must be addressed.



  • When possible, images should illustrate the action of the step as opposed to a static before and after.

  • On occasion, images illustrating the result can be more helpful to a reader. Use your discretion to determine if the image provides enough information for the step.


Exposure and Temperature:

  • Images should be bright and evenly exposed.

  • Images should be white balanced.



  • Images should not have harsh dark shadows.

  • Images should look like they are lit naturally.

  • No use of on-camera flash.

  • Lighting should be even.

  • No distracting reflections.



  • Focus should be sharp on the subject matter.

  • Pay close attention to framing of the photo.

  • No awkward angles or cropping.

  • Be aware of depth of field, as this is instructional content. Background elements can be pushed out of focus, but the step itself must be in focus.

  • Photos should be shot in context and not on studio white. If a photographer chooses to shoot on studio white you can use your discretion to determine if the assignment warrants it.

  • Do not approve images of drawings unless drawing is specifically called for in the instructions.


Brands and Logos:

  • No visible brands or logos unless specified in the assignment title.

  • Make sure the Photographer covers or removes brand names and logos cleanly. If you feel like it could be handled better, please send the photo back.



  • Images should be well styled, aspirational and feel like they are shot in a “real life” environment.

  • Fabrics should be wrinkle free.

  • Images should not be overly styled with excessive props- focus should be on subject matter.

  • Please ensure that all models are fully clothed in all photos.



  • Images should be spot corrected for any dust or imperfections.

  • Images should be color balanced with even highlights, mid-tones and darks. Provide specific and detailed instructional feedback if edits are needed.



  • Minimum of 70% image coverage for the assignment. There will be special instances where an image cannot be photographed for a step. If that is the case, make sure the assignment has a least 70% of the images provided.

  • Make sure there is always an image in the first step of the article.

  • Overview images should represent the title and subject matter of the assignment. In almost every case, the overview image should be a final beauty shot of the end result.



  • Photographers should provide a release for models if face is visible.

  • Photographers should provide location release if the location is obvious and a large part of the photograph.



  • Suggest images to shoot if photographer determines a step image is unsuitable.

  • All imagery does not have to be literal, so be creative with image solutions as long as it can illustrate the copy.

  • Try to ensure that images are not unpleasant or disturbing especially in the introductory image.

    • For example: in an assignment “How to Treat a Swollen Face,” we do not want to see a harrowing close shot of swollen cheeks and lips. Instead, suggest a pulled back shot of the model relaxed with a cold compress or a composed still life of the products.


Rejection and feedback:

  • If you are working with a photographer and they are not able or willing to apply your notes after a couple of rounds, you have the right to reject the assignment.

  • Do not approve any assignment you do not feel comfortable approving.

  • It is mandatory to leave feedback in the notes section even if the assignment is approved and not sent back to the photographer. Please include positive feedback or things to look out for on the next shoot. Your feedback helps shape our photography studio and ensures the success of the photographers work.

  • Our Photo Editors are the gatekeepers to the studio. Please feel free to exercise your power and work with our photographers to produce the best work possible.

  • Assignments should not require more than two screenshots. If the assignment requires more, advise the photographer and flag the assignment. Suggest alternatives when available, like photographing a model at a computer or a closeup of hands using one.


 Metadata & Tagging Instructions

As a Photo Editor with DMS, you are responsible for tagging the images in each assignment. Our interface will guide you through the process with a series of dropdowns for you to select. This cheat sheet with guide you through the process.

If you have questions, please email us at



  • Scores are from 1 to 4 stars, one being average and four being excellent.

  • Image Quality is an assessment of overall quality, including lighting and composition.

  • Accuracy to Copy is how well the image relates to the action or concept described in the copy.

  • Styling is specific to the set and props used.



  • Clicking Yes or Hands Only will open a new set of criteria to select from.

  • Be specific. If the image depicts a group of people, you can select more than one identifier.



  • Select Interior or Exterior to see more criteria to select from.

  • Be specific. If you cannot determine a location, use the context of the article to make an educated guess or select Unknown.


Time of Day

  • Select Daytime or Nighttime.

  • If you cannot tell, assume Daytime.


Camera Angle

  • Macro/Closeup - shot within inches of the subject.

  • Overhead - shot from directly above the subject.

  • Table View - shot straight on at table level.

  • ¾ View/Medium - shot at angle in between overhead and table view, and/or is in between a close shot and a wide shot.

  • Wide Shot - shot at least a few feet from the subject.

  • Low Angle View - image is shot from below.


Image Techniques

  • Copy Space - there is room on the image to add text without obscuring the action.

  • Studio Environment - shot in a studio or against a backdrop with strobes or other artificial lighting.


Subject - Choose single or multiple subjects.



  • For each type of lighting, you will need to indicate soft or hard light. Hard light will be evident if shadows are sharply defined.

  • Options: Interior Natural, Interior Strobe, Exterior.


Composition, Style and Mood - select the option for each that best fits the image.


Keywords - enter descriptive keywords you could use to search for the image, including the items pictures and relevant action words.


Description - describe the image in one sentence. Do not use the title or text from the article.

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