Photo Guidelines & FAQs

The guidelines and frequently asked questions below should help guide you in how to submit photos and get them accepted to the database. We understand it may not be fully comprehensive and deviate a little from what's in the database already, but please keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule and we are only human screening the photos and trying to adhere to the guidelines as best as we can. If you have any additionl questions/suggestions, please feel free to let us know via the contact form or even better, post in the Forums. Thanks.

Photo Submission Guidelines

Please keep in mind the general guidelines below when submitting photos. Additional questions may be answered in the FAQ section further down on the page.

Types of Photos Accepted
As we are a military aircraft photo database, we only accept photos of military aircraft, ex military aircraft, and contractors whom directly work with the military. We also accept photos of replicas that meet the replica guidelines below. We do not accept photos of full-size models, or scale replicas. Also, we do not accept photos of bombs or missiles where they are the main subject. Of course an aircraft with bombs/missiles is allowed as it is incidental. We do allow photos of UAVs that have a military registration. They must be full-size UAVs, not little hand-launched drones.

The aircraft must be the main subject of the photo, not the pilot, or anything else that seems to distract away from the aircraft. The aircraft should not be obstructed in any way and no parts should be cut off. If it's a quarter or nose-shot, then that's acceptable that about 1/2 or 3/4 of the plane is cut off, but not a left or right hand shot with the nose or tail cut off, for example. The photo should be clear of any dust-spots. Photos taken with a DSLR tend to have dust spots which have to be cleaned up before submission. The aircraft should be centered in the frame, not too high, and not too low. Photos of aircraft taken at airshows may not be blocked by fences or people. Try your best to keep people out of your photos as best as you can. We realize this may not be easy at airshows and other events.

Your photos must be sharpened and the contrast adjusted before they can be submitted. Do not make the contrast very high as it will result in an unrealistic-looking photo. Likewise, the contrast should not be too low as it will result in a flat and dull-looking photo. Also, please keep in mind that we do not accept HDR photos.

We generally do not allow altered photos. If you have great Photoshop skills and clone out a cone or two and it's not noticeable, it will most likely slip by and that's totally fine. But, please do not make big changes like cloning out a person standing in front of the aircraft, adding an afterburner to a plane taking off, or something drastically similar. Those kinds of alterations will lead to a rejection and possibly even a ban depending on the severity of the offense.

If you are near a local airfield and tend to visit often, please do not upload photos of every visit. While it's very exciting to be there and shoot some great photos, it can also get awfully boring for the visitors of the website as the aircraft tend to be mostly the ones based there and usually in the same pose. Upload only your best shots and from days taken months or years apart.

How to Upload Photos

To submit a photo to the website you must have a photographer account and be logged in. Once you are logged in, click on the Upload Photos link from the top to be taken to the photo upload interface. On this page you will select the photo to upload from your computer, enter the correct data and select the pertaining category, if any, and add a Watermark if you wish. If you choose to add a Watermark, you can select one of the available settings or one of your own liking which allows you to place the watermark exactly where you like it and have more control over the strength as well. Please do not choose a very opaque setting for the strength. You still want to allow the guests to enjoy the photo while at the same time protecting your work.

After you have selected the photo to upload and a watermark, you must enter the data for the aircraft. They type of aircraft, Air Force, location, registration number and construction number are required fields along with the date. We do have an Auto-Fill feature which can be very handy, more info can be found below. Select the info for the aircraft from the series of drop-downs. If a particular aircraft is not in the drop-downs, select "other" and a text box will appear for you to enter the exact version. Select the military branch for the country the aircraft belongs to. In the Country list you will also find Private and Company-Owned. Company-Owned aircraft are usually aircraft still owned by the manufacturer for testing or demonstration purposes.

Next, select the location of the photo. This is usually an airport or airfield, but at times can be off-airport or in-flight. For photos taken in International Air Space, simply select International Air Space from the Country drop-down, then choose the sub-location. After this you may choose one or more categories for your photo, but it may not be necessary as most photos do not fall into a particular category. Please see Category Guidelines below for more info.

You're almost there. Before clicking the Upload button, please make sure that the date selected is the correct date for the photo. At this time you may also enter any remarks in the Remarks section. Please do not enter any URLs in the Remarks section.

Immediately after you click the Upload button, the photo starts to upload and a thumbnail will appear on the page as a confirmation that the photo has been successfully uploaded. At this time, notice how the data for the particular photo is still saved, which means you can select another photo of this particular aircraft to upload immediately without having to enter all the data again, or choose another similar aircraft with only minimal changes to the data, like the Registration and Construction number for example. While this saves you a lot of time, it can also get you in trouble if you upload a totally different aircraft type and forget to change the info. Please verify the data for every single upload. Wrong data in most cases will lead to a rejection and lost time for everyone if the correction is minor and needs to be corrected later on.

Auto Fill Feature
Please note that an Auto-Fill feature is provided to help save you precious time as well as add consistency to the database. The Auto-Fill will automatically fill in the data for you based on the Registration Number or Construction Number. Simply enter the registration number and click the submit button. The Auto-Fill feature will fill in the data based on the most-recent entry into the database. That means that the modex for example may not match the one that is in your photo, please verify. It will also not enter the location or date for you. You still have to select those manually.

Photo in Queue
Congratulations, you spent lots of time getting the image cropped, leveled, sharpened, removed the dust spots, and successfully uploaded the photo! Now your photo is in the queue awaiting screening. This can be anywhere from a few hours to several days. We try our best to screen the photos as fast as possible. You can help us screen your photos faster by making sure that it adheres to the guidelines and the data is as complete as possible. For example, if we have to look up a construction number, that will delay your photo getting screened.

Photo Category Guidelines
Most photos uploaded do not fall into a particular category. But some do, and sometimes it's very obvious, like Helicopters for example. Every helicopter photo uploaded must have the "Helicopters" category selected at time of upload. If it's a helicopter with special colors, then please select "Helicopters" as the main category and "Special Schemes" as the second category. Some photos may have 2 or even 3 sub-categories. For example, a Classic Aircraft, with Special-Schemes and taken at night. Please take a look at the photos in that particular category already to be sure it is the correct category for your photo. For example, take a look at the photos in the "Low-Level" category to see if your photo would belong in that category. You can get a good idea from what is there already. Often we get photos with the wrong category selected and we have to make the correction before approving the photo.

Category Description
Classic Warbirds only photos of aircraft that were operating during WWII and prior belong in this category. Please do not select this category for recently retired aircraft, WWII is the cut-off date for now.
Air to Air this category is for photos taken from another aircraft while in flight. Photos of the cockpit or the interior of an aircraft while in flight would fall into this category as well.
Display Teams this category is only for actual teams, ie. 2 or more aircraft. It is not meant for single aircraft demoing at an airshow for example. It must be an actual team, like the Navy's Blue Angels for example. Please do not select this and Special Schemes at the same time.
Night shots any photos taken at night, dusk or dawn fall into this category.
Special Schemes this category is for special-schemed paint jobs that are done for events. Like tigers schemes for the NATO Tiger Meets for example. One sticker on the side of the tail does not denote a special scheme.
Nose and Tail Art photos uploaded to this category must be shots of the nose or tail. Again, shots of the tail or nose. Not whole aircraft! And it must be artwork, not just close-ups of the nose or tail displaying a sticker or squadron badge. While selecting this category, please do not select the "Special Schemes" category and vice versa.
Carrier Decks this category is for photos of aircraft on an aircraft carrier, including photos of aircraft approaching or taking off from an aircraft carrier.
Tankers and Transports   category for large transport or tanker aircraft.
Spy planes and Reconnaissance please select this category for any aircraft specially designed for reconnaissance or performing such roles with a reccee pod for example.
Preserved aircraft this category is for aircraft preserved in a museum or base that is no longer flying. The plane must be preserved and not in operation anymore.
Low Level this category is for aircraft flying in special, low-level flying zones. An airplane taking off or about to land, and just a few feet off the runway would not fit in this category.
The Boneyard please select this category for derelict or stored aircraft in a state of disrepair or stored in the desert. Please do not select this category along with the "Preserved Aircraft" category and vice versa.


Can I make corrections to the data after I submit a photo?
Yes, you can make any changes and even upload a second or third version of the photo while the photo is still in the queue. Simply go to the "My Photos" section and click the "Edit" button next to the photo. After a photo has been accepted, you can no longer make any changes or delete the photo yourself.
What format should the photos be in?
The photos should be in jpeg format with size not to exceed 1600px in either direction. The aspect ratio must also be between 16:9 and 3:2. Anything below or above that will not be accepted.
What size photos can I submit?
Photos cannot be less than 1000px wide and no more than 1600px wide or high. The file size cannot exceed 1024Kb.
Is there a limit to the file name?
Yes. File names cannot exceed 55 characters and may not include special characters or spaces.
Can I submit photos of missiles, bombs, etc.?
No, we do not accept photos of missiles, bombs, etc.
I have a photo of a Warbird with a Civil Registration and still has the military registration. How should I enter the data?
In the main Registration Number field, enter the current civil registration. Put the former military registration number in the second "Code" slot. The construction number of course will not change.
Please do not put two registration numbers in the Registration field.
Can I submit photos of replicas?
Yes, we currently accept replicas that meet the following conditions:
  • Replicas built to original plans
  • WWII and pre-WWII replicas having a recognizable construction number in the civil register
  • Replicas of WWII aircraft with non-standard engines (such as the Fw-190, Me-262, Yak 3U, etc.)
  • Mockups of Japanese aircraft

  • We do not accept photos of replicas that are:
  • Small Scale Replicas, ie. 3/4 scale replicas for example
  • Home-built aircraft of any kind
  • Can I submit photos of full-size model airplanes?
    No. Please see replica guidelines above.
    Can I sumbit photos of pilots?
    Photos of pilots can be incidental in the photo. For example, you take a shot of the nose area of a jet and the pilot is sitting in the cockpit. But, if the pilot is about to get out of the cockpit and is posing for a shot, that would not be acceptable. The subject of the photo has to be the aircraft, not the pilot.
    Can I submit slide and film scans?
    Yes, we do accept slide and film scans. Please make sure slides are cleaned thoroughly before scanning. Any dust-spots must be removed.
    How important is motive?
    Very important. The photo should show the aircraft clearly. The nose or tail should not be cut off. Areas of the aircraft cannot be blocked by people, ground equipment, or any other kind of obstructions. Please take the time to make sure the photo is level with the horizon, dust spots have been cleaned, and the photo sharpened adequately.
    I have a photo with more than one airplane in it, which data do I enter?
    Please enter the data for the aircraft nearest to the camera, ie. the aircraft closest to you.
    I visit my local airfield every day during lunch and shoot photos, can I upload one for each day?
    No. Please do not upload photos of the same aircraft in pretty much the same pose taken day after day. The photos will not be accepted.
    Can I submit HDR photos?
    No, we do not accept HDR photos or even photos that may look like HDR. For example, photos where the contrast is too high, or using a special filter that highlights certain parts of the photo. If the photo does not look realistic, it will not be accepted.
    Can I submit photos not taken by me?
    No. You may only upload photos taken by you or which you own the copyright to, ie. a photo handed down to you from a parent. Even then, it's a good idea to mention this in the remarks section.
    I have a very old airplane calendar, can I scan it and submit the photos?
    No. Again, the photos submitted must be taken by you. We take this very seriously and even one incident of trying to pass another photographer's photo as your own will result in a ban.
    I see photos far worse than mine, why was mine rejected?
    We generally have more leniency towards older photos and photos of which we have none of in the database. Also, we are more lenient towards slide and film scans. Therefore, comparing a photo taken now with a digital camera to a photo taken in 1963 is not a good comparison. We have very high standards for modern photos and routinely reject about 20% of photos uploaded. Believe it or not, this is not fun for us, but we have to for various reasons and to keep the standards of the database high.
    I have a photo of the aerobatic display team members posing in front of the aircraft, can I upload it?
    No. The subject of the photo must be the aircraft. We do not allow photos of people anyways, especially if they are blocking an aircraft.
    I have photos in the queue awaiting screening for several days/weeks now, why is it taking so long?
    First of all, our apologies. We try our best to screen photos as fast as possible, but sometimes a photo can stay in the queue for a long time for various reason. One common reason is incorrect or missing data. In that case, we have to take the time to lookup a construction number for example, or to find the exact aircraft type. Please make sure the data is as complete and accurate as possible. Another reason may be a photo that is not that great and maybe not that bad either. It's not an easy decision either way. In that case, the screeners have to vote on it and that can take several days.
    My photo was rejected, can I appeal the decision?
    Yes, absolutely. Most appealed photos get accepted the second time around. Often, the issues can be fixed, for eg. leveling a photo, and re-submitting for an appeal. Please, please appeal photos the correct way by either clicking in the link provided in the rejection email, or navigate to My Photos > Rejected photos and click the ReUpload link next to the photo. This way we can compare the two photos and make a decision right away. Please be advised that we only allow 2 appeals, after that most likely the photo cannot be saved and it's generally a waste of everyone's time.

    At this point you might feel like we are trying our best to keep as many photos out of the database as possible. Quite the contrary, our goal is to grow the database and make it as comprehensive as possible. But, we have to do it a structured and controlled way to maintain integrity and consistency as much as possible. We have to make sure the photos are of high quality, the data is correct and consistent, and kept fresh and varied to keep it as interesting as possible for the regular visitors and to attract new visitors. Thanks for your support and good luck!