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Photography / BugGuide Newbie -- What is the best way to share my work?

I got my first DSLR about a month ago and I've had lots of fun shooting spiders.

I'm starting to build a collection of photos of local spiders (gallery here: and I think some of them may be worth including in the guide.

What is the best way to contribute? I'm no expert, so I'm not sure which photos are worth adding and what the proper procedure for adding would be (with some help I've tentatively identified most spiders I've encountered, but I'd hate to add photos to the wrong species).

What constitutes a useful addition to the guide...
... is somewhat subjective, and most people develop their own criteria for submissions over time. Personally, if I have already identified a photo, I'll find that species in the guide and check the "Images" and "Data" tabs. If that species has relatively few pictures (less than a page) or is not represented from my state, I will consider adding it. Conversely, if there are many images, including images from my state, I conclude that my photo would not make a meaningful contribution to the guide. I typically won't upload a photo in that case, even if I think it's a really good picture. (When I first joined BugGuide three years ago, I tended to post my favorite finds without much regard for whether the image was actually needed, but I try to be a lot more selective now.) Some people like to fill in the months as well as the states under the "Data" tab; however, I think that the general consensus based on forum discussions is that this is not a high priority for the guide, especially if it results in an overabundance of sub par images. Another reasons to add a photo, as I see it, is when the photo shows a behavior (i.e. mating or predation), life cycle stage, or color variation that is not yet depicted. There are probably countless other examples, and as I said, there are no set-in-stone rules for this kind of thing. It is ultimately up to your judgment. Of course, all of this mainly concerns identified images. If you need help obtaining an ID, feel free to upload your photos to "ID Request" or directly to the Spiders page as Ken suggested.

Whew! Didn't mean to be so long-winded. Hope this helps!

Good general guidelines
Not long winded at all. Many people should read this. I find it very reasonable and helpful.

Thanks Carmen!
I agree. It was quite helpful. Definitely gave me some thinks to consider when uploading.

One additional thought:
Particularly when it comes to spiders, you might consider whether your subject is male or female. I've noticed that in many cases, photos of one sex will be well-represented in the guide while the other might be lacking entirely. For example, many species of orbweaver have large, conspicuous females that attract lots of attention, even though the smaller males are frequently overlooked. On the other hand, you have some of the trapdoor spiders, where the males wander in search of mates (increasing their chances of being seen and photographed), while the females tend to stay hidden away in their burrows. Should you happen to get a shot of an underrepresented sex, that would definitely be worth sharing.

One thing you could do in you
One thing you could do in your gallery (here it's more or less obligatory) is to include "collection" data (location, date, habitat and/or from where/how found).

Of course, with the more interesting specimens, you are welcome to collect them -- there are a couple of us here on BG that would be interested.

We'll welcome your contributions.
If you're not sure of an ID, you can always post the image to Spiders. The experts will identify it to the degree possible, and move it to the appropriate page if they think it will add value to the Guide. Images that are not needed (those of poor quality, or those of species already well represented in the Guide), will end up in Frass, where they will hang out for 30 days until they are removed by the system.

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