A lot of times while reading through questions and answers on the site, I have time and again wished there were pictures in the answers to illustrate the idea. As an amateur photographer that spends a lot of time here at PhotoSE absorbing the goodness, here are some key benefits (and I am sure it can form a long list!) of including pictures in questions/answers:

  1. Pictures makes comprehension of a key concept elegantly easy.
  2. It will take less writeup and hence time on the part of the answer provider is cut down to answer other interesting questions.
  3. For lot of amateurs who are not aware of the technology and the details of the hardware or the mechanism involved, it would be a great learning experience if an answer came in the form of a picture ready to practice and compare against.
  4. The "EXIF data" associated with the picture would be a boon for many.
  5. As the site grows, there are and will (I think) be a whole bunch of non-native english speakers joining the forum who might not have the dexterity to understand a great answer in English but whose comprehension could be greatly enhanced with the inclusion of a picture.
  6. And yes, because we are a photography Q and A site in the first place!

And hence I was wondering if we could:

  1. Mention that pictures would a be great addition in Q/A in FAQ section for everyone to see.

  2. Moderators/commentators reminding it in questions, answers as they appear or when passing comments, wherever they see fit.

  3. Implement some AJAX magic so that the reminder about benefits of uploading a picture pops up when the poster is composing the message.

[Having said that, please note that I am aware of but not focussed at the issues involved with uploading the pictures which has been very nicely dealt with here - Why do so many questions lack images?. I am just saying that it probably is a good idea that we should encourage more pictures anyway and the few quick and easy steps we could implement to make it happen.]

  • @MikeW Thanks for the edit. Looks much better now.
    – Regmi
    Mar 27, 2013 at 19:30
  • need a blank line before the first bullet point for some reason
    – MikeW Mod
    Mar 27, 2013 at 19:42
  • 2
    It would require some work from the StackExchange team to make it happen, but another great thought might be to have a visuals bounty that could be offered for someone to update or post an answer with visuals.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Mar 27, 2013 at 19:45
  • 1
    +1 "Visuals Bounty" - Like that!
    – Regmi
    Mar 27, 2013 at 20:17
  • 1
    I've had this exact same thought, as I am an amateur trying to absorb the excellent knowledge here. Mar 28, 2013 at 1:00
  • Now that we have discussed this, I am wondering where does it go from here? Is this a go or a no go... Sorry, I am not familiar with feature request procedure around here.
    – Regmi
    Apr 5, 2013 at 6:42

2 Answers 2


One thing that might be holding people back from uploading more photos with their answers is the license StackExchange takes for any content uploaded to their servers. They use a CC-BySA license, which potentially opens up the use of anyone's photography for reuse by...any number of people, for an indefinite amount of time, so long as that use is attributed to the original owner.

Many people don't like their work being automatically re-licensed like that, and could be putting a damper on the use of personal photography as an example of techniques or anything like that.

  • 1
    Yeah, this is why several times when I've posted my work I've posted it as a hyperlink to my own site. The irony is that for the most part, I'd love people to reuse my work (non-commercially at least), but I want to know about it so I can see what they do.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Mar 29, 2013 at 13:14
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    Yeah, CC isn't getting anywhere near anything of mine other than pictures of my own ugly phizzog. Attribution sounds real nice to anyone not interested in exploiting a particular work commercially — until you consider that it tends to imply collaboration on or endorsement of any context in which the work is later used. CC0 is the only CC license that makes sense (not that I would encourage anyone to relinquish any rights globally at all without compensation), and even that would be better if it prohibited attribution without permission.
    – user2719
    Mar 30, 2013 at 8:34
  • @StanRogers, from the actual license text: , You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties, as appropriate, of You or Your use of the Work, without the separate, express prior written permission of the Original Author, Licensor and/or Attribution Parties.
    – mattdm
    Mar 30, 2013 at 17:56
  • One thing worth noting is that licensing a photo here does not mean it can't be licensed elsewhere in another way, including commercially. One approach is to use a low-resolution version here — fine for illustrative purposes but not as useful otherwise.
    – mattdm
    Mar 30, 2013 at 18:17
  • Those are nice words, @mattdm, but essentially meaningless. The attribution by itself is enough to imply "connection with, sponsorship or endorsement" in a very real sense without any additional nudge-nudge-wink-wink. In the case of answers here, that extends to things like self-promotional how-to photo sites by third parties. A "this is how Stan Rogers does X" article is perfectly within the license, doesn't need to state anywhere that I was consulted at all, yet it certainly appears that I graciously supplied the images to a knowledgeable blogger who could write it up better, doesn't it?
    – user2719
    Mar 30, 2013 at 18:51
  • They're the actual legal license, not just fluffy words. It gives you a pretty strong stick to use if your images are used in a way which implies endorsement in the way you suggest. The word "implicit" covers the case you are worried about.
    – mattdm
    Mar 30, 2013 at 23:55
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    No, it doesn't; the license is looser than you think. (CC is intended to do that, and that's why anybody who cares about copyright at all will advise you to stay well clear.) The legal standard for a "reasonable person" to infer involvement is higher than you might imagine; the author merely has to avoid any direct suggestion or anything that would be tortious otherwise (using your pictures to suggest you approve of a cause you specifically do not endorse or entering into libel). Copyright is hard; don't be naive.
    – user2719
    Mar 31, 2013 at 1:43
  • This discussion (along with one on DPReview) has got me rethinking about some of the places I post pictures, notably Facebook... Stan has very good points on this front.
    – Joanne C
    Mar 31, 2013 at 14:05
  • Copyright concerns are ultimately what pushed me to pay for a more professional looking WordPress blog and site package, buy a custom domain name (jonrista.com), and start uploading my photography there. Wordpress is amazingly customizable, and I have complete and total control over everything I upload. Automattic, the company behind Wordpress, makes ZERO claims against any content you upload (as far as I can tell by the agreements I've read, anyway). I don't care quite so much about most of my past work, but as I have improved in skill with the types of photography I do, I wanted a safer...
    – jrista
    Mar 31, 2013 at 23:03
  • ...place to keep my photography that was free from virulent licenses that allows my work to relatively easily be reused and further propagated into derivative works. With the customization package at wordpress, I can implement any measures I decide are necessary to protect my work if what I upload there begins to get stolen and reused without my authorization.
    – jrista
    Mar 31, 2013 at 23:05

If you look at the most popular answers on the site, they almost all have great images or diagrams, so this is a great idea.

You know that stack exchange encourages you to edit questions and answers, so while it can feel a bit odd to do so, if you can edit someone's already good answer and improve it with an image, feel free. The site is meant to operate much like a wiki. As long as your edit doesn't seriously alter the intent of the original answer, in which case you can just add your own answer (with images).

  • 1
    To add to this, I really don't think anyone would complain if there were more photos and images backing up the questions, but I also know a lot of people simply don't have the time to find or make high quality images to support an answer all the time. I know I would certainly welcome someone adding constructive images to any answer I've ever put up.
    – AJ Henderson Mod
    Mar 27, 2013 at 18:03
  • @MikeW Thanks for reminding that I can in fact edit an already great question and add the shots. However, as an enthusiast, I would have to think twice :). Even then, I would love the community consider the three options I proposed.
    – Regmi
    Mar 27, 2013 at 18:50
  • @AJHenderson Good to know that there a good feeling with regards to edits (i.e, addition of pictures, specifically.)
    – Regmi
    Mar 27, 2013 at 18:52

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