Here at We Love DC, we post about 100 photos per week on our site. Some are press-kit images, some are taken by the authors specifically for their articles, but the vast majority of them are contributed by local photographers. We’ve been asked a few times by our readers how one might go about getting their photos on We Love DC. One word: Bribery. (Kidding!) It seems to me that explaining a bit about how our photos get chosen helps everyone, so here are some tips.
1. Contribute to our Flickr pool regularly. We have a cool custom search tool (built by Don, thanks Don!) that shows us the results of our query according to priority, meaning the results from our Flickr pool are always first. You can contribute up to 8 photos a day, every day, to our pool. They don’t have to be new photos. They don’t even have to be outdoor photos OF DC (though ideally, they will have been taken in the general DC area). We place high priority on using photos from the Flickr pool, so contribute right up to the limit if you’d like your photos to be used.
2. Label your photos thoroughly. When we search for photos, we’re searching FOR something. Sometimes it’s concrete, like “burger.” Sometimes it’s more abstract, like “relax.” Sometimes it’s snarky, like “douche.” We are almost never searching on “DC,” because it would return the whole freaking pool. All the search tool has to go on is the Title, Caption, and Tags on your photos, so detailed use of these fields helps us find your photo to use it.
3. Content. Aside from the logistical stuff, there are basically two criteria we use for picking photos: how topical it is, and how attractive it is. Topicality is a big deal- when we’re taking about the U Street snowball fight, we want photos of the snowball fight, and even a phonecam shot will do if that’s what’s available. But attractiveness is a big deal too- when presented with two photos of the same thing, we’ll always pick the one we prefer looking at, whether that’s because it’s beautiful, or it’s an unusual angle to shoot from, or the composition is unexpected, or whatever. And on posts like the Weekend Flashback and We Love Weekends, topicality nearly vanishes as a concern- we’re just looking to show off the great photos in our pool. So consider those two things when choosing photos to add to the pool- is if OF something we’re going to write about? Is it labeled with the name of that thing?
Have any other questions about how we do what we do? Email me: tiffany -at- the name of this site.