Photo © Tamar Shemesh


Instagram Takeovers

Thank you for your interest in being featured on the Native Instagram account! We are excited to use our platform as a means to showcase the work of photographers from all over the world.
 

Please review the following guidelines for submitting your work:

  • Our focus is on journalistic, documentary and editorial work. Please make sure your submission fits into these categories.
  • If your submission includes images from one project, please do not send a mixture of black-and-white and color images. Your set should either be one or the other.
  • Editing is crucial. Every image should contribute something fresh and new to the series and help add character to the feature. While we will narrow down your edit if selected, your submission should still be tight. Our best tip: avoid repetition.
  • Resize your images to be no larger than 1200 pixels on the long edge. It’s easier for us to work with smaller files.
  • Use an appropriate naming convention for your images (e.g. Lastname_Firstname_01, Lastname_Firstname_02, etc.). This helps with organization on our end as well as shows us that you’ve spent time considering the sequencing of your images. 
  • Please review our caption guidelines below.

In order to be considered for a takeover, please send a selection of no more than 15 images along with a word document with individual captions and a brief summary of the project (no more than 200 words) to nativeinstagram@gmail.com. The work you send should be from one project with editorial qualities.
 
If selected for a takeover, a total of 7 final images will be shown. Jitske Nap (Community Manager & Photo Editor) will be posting your images on your behalf. Jitske and Shannon Elder (Managing Editor & Designer) will be working with you on editing your captions to ensure that sufficient context is provided for our global audience.


Caption Guidelines

It’s rare for images to stand alone without words – captions can influence the meaning of a photograph and how it’s interpreted by viewers. Captions add context to ambiguous photographs. Captions help explain a topic that might be unfamiliar to an international audience. Transparency is important in photojournalism and documentary photography and captions can explain the photographer’s intentions.

A caption first serves to describe what’s happening in an image, so the first sentence should explain the action (unless the situation in the photograph is obvious) and who is in the photo. The second sentence of a caption should supply background information and context about why the image is significant. Any information that is included must be sourced.  

Caption structure:

  • Avoid stating the obvious – don’t tell viewers what they can find out for themselves by looking at the image.
  • Try to keep captions to no more than two concise sentences, while including relevant information.
  • Use the present tense and declarative sentences.
  • Use the active voice.
    • Passive voice: The patient’s temperature was taken by the doctor.
    • Active voice: The doctor took the patient’s temperature.
  • Try to use as few words as possible and avoid complex sentences.
  • Do not mix verb tenses in the same sentence or pair a present-tense verb with a past tense element.
  • Name the city, region/state and country where the image was made. 
  • Provide the date the image was taken in AP Style (e.g. Oct. 8, 2018).

 Other important information captions can contain (when relevant):

  • If a special lens was used or how an image was manipulated (e.g double exposure). 
  • If anything significantly differs from the actual event, or the photographer influenced the scene in any way, this must be noted so facts aren’t distorted. Honest storytelling is important to us.
  • Small details that viewers might miss at a glance, like how something tastes or feels (to explain a subject’s reaction).
  • Attribution must be given for action not seen (e.g. ...the scene of an accident where more than 10 people died, according to the police.)
  • A catchy quote from the subject in the image.
  • Before and after (cause and effect of the moment captured) to contextualize an image.
  • Explanation of an emotion viewers are seeing in an image

Be sure to obtain adequate information when photographing. Gather names - first and last, when possible, with correct spellings.


Caption Examples
Three air force planes fly over Caracas during a military parade celebrating Venezuela’s Independence Day. While the eastern part of the city experiences riots nearly every day by opposition supporters, President Nicolás Maduro continues to create weekly television broadcasts showing support of the armed forces. July 5, [year]. (Fabiola Ferrero/Native)
Parishioners fervently pray during a mass organized by the King of Kings International Mission in Yeoville. The church welcomes a majority of French-speaking West African migrants. Services are held in a classroom rented by the Mission on a weekly basis. Nov. 13, 2016. Johannesburg, South Africa. (Miora Rajaonary/Native)

Native Agency

Platform highlighting visual storytellers from underrepresented regions -- Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia.
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