Guidelines and Rules

Welcome to TPF! The Photo Forum is an international, online community of photographers, from beginners to professionals, film shooters and digital shooters. It is the mission of The Photo Forum to be an informative, educational, and friendly place to discuss all aspects of photography, as well as a place to share images. The following rules are in place so there can be no misconception regarding the privileges and responsibilities inherent by being a contributing member in this forum.

TPF Members
As a registered member (this includes regular members as well as subscribers), when posting on TPF, you agree to abide by the following rules:

* You are completely responsible for the content of your posts. Upon becoming a member, you agree to hold harmless TPF owners and staff regarding any claim based against you from a posted message or forum behavior. Although we guard your privacy on a routine basis and will not disclose confidential information to other members, TPF reserves the right to disclose any and all information we may have on you, from your IP address to your actual identity, should a complaint or legal action arise due to posts you have made here.

* Your IP address is recorded with each post, so that in the event of a major infraction of TPF rules, your address(es) will be banned as well as your ISP contacted.

* You agree to only post images and/or other material to which you have exclusive copyright, or permission from the copyright holder that you are able to present to TPF Staff. Under no circumstances will any instance of copyright infringement be tolerated.

* You agree not to post any links or messages that lead to material which could be deemed obscene, discriminatory, unlawful, or threatening in nature by TPF Staff. TPF Staff reserves the right to edit, delete, or otherwise remove any material which is deemed to be an infraction of this rule, based solely on their discretion.

* Should you disagree with a staff member's decision regarding one of your posts, please contact that staffer, or the site owners, privately. Publicly challenging a staff member may result in banning, regardless of who is deemed right. For example: a moderator closes your thread. Opening a new thread on the same topic or to insult or challenge the moderator may lead to your being banned.

* Should a TPF Staff member contact you requesting changes in your posts, your signature, your style, or any other comments, you are expected to cooperate completely.

* You understand that any member who has been registered with TPF for less than 10 days, and has fewer than 25 posts, is not eligible to vote on any forum polls, including polls created exclusively for TPF contests such as The Photo Challenge and Photo of the Month.

* No multiple accounts are allowed. If you have a technical issue with your account, please contact anyone on the TPF staff. If you are discovered carrying more than one account, and a staff member contacts you about it, you are expected to cooperate completely or your original account as well as additional accounts may be permanently banned.

*We have implemented guidelines restricting signature sizes and format. These guidelines not only help the forum pages load more quickly, but also keep signatures from competing for attention with the images contained in each post. Here are the guidelines:

• Any graphics or images used in signatures will be restricted to a single item with a MAXIMUM size of 500px wide x 100px high
• No animated or flamboyant signatures are allowed.
• No political statements or links are allowed.
• Lengthy lists of camera gear should be put in your user profile, not in your signature.

The forum Moderators and Administrators reserve the right to remove any signature that is not in keeping with the above guidelines, and will notify you if your signature is not in compliance. If you are found to be in continuous violation of signature guidelines, you may face action on your account.

*TPF prides itself on encouraging friendly and open discourse regarding photography. Personal attacks on any members as well as TPF Staff will not be tolerated, and these posts will be deleted and the instigators possibly banned.

*This is primarily an adult forum, though we accept members from the age of 13. Please keep this in mind as you post, particularly if you are engaged in a discussion with a member you do not know. In addition, although casual swearing is tolerated, excessive swearing and abusive language is not tolerated.

* Flaming is not tolerated. Any member who routinely taunts, insults, or engages in any inflammatory, fight-inducing behavior will face banning, and such posts will be edited or removed.

* Abuse of the Ignore feature: It is our hope you enjoy interacting with all of our members at TPF. But in the case of encountering people you’d rather not engage, TPF offers the “Ignore” feature, located under your account. Simply type in the member’s name and you will not see their posts anywhere on the forum, including in your own threads.
Be advised that, once you have added a member to your Ignore list, you should not continue to take them off, then put back on, just to spar with them on the open forum. For example, telling a member they are on your Ignore list, or removing them to have an argument then putting them back on, constitutes abuse of the Ignore feature, and the staff may impose penalties on your account.

* Use of the Private Messaging/PM or Conversation system: This form of communication is available for use to all members. This is the appropriate place to hold private discussions that should be kept off the main forums. Should you receive a message that you deem inappropriate for any reason, you should report it to the TPF Staff. Please note that all conversations via PM are meant to be kept private, not reposted in the main forums for any reason. Violations of this guideline may lead to action on your account.

* Spamming is not tolerated. Do not cross-post messages in multiple forums in an effort to gain attention.

* Should it be obvious by your signature or posting style that you are here only to promote your business or product, you may receive a warning or possibly be banned. It is permissible for active, involved members to post links to their personal or business web sites - however, they may not include links that can be perceived as marketing for personal gain or profit (such as linking to your site if you are Amazon affiliate links or similar) from the TPF Community, or taking advantage of TPF's SEO.

* No linking to crowd funding websites or groups (such as Kickstarter for example) for personal or commercial gain, without prior permission from the Administrators of this site. It is permissible to link to such sites if they are of general interest and relevance to the forum, but we will remove any such link that we believe is self-advertising or promotion from the poster. Please contact an Administrator prior to such postings to avoid moderator action.

* No general politics are allowed. If the political discussion involves photography, it may be allowed. Use common sense when posting anything of a political nature.

* No religious discussions or debates are allowed. Exceptions are only an objective explanation of a religious ceremony that may have been photographed during the course of a wedding shoot, or other photojournalistic event that may require some informative background.

* While images containing firearms depicted for the sake of art are permitted, discussion of firearms and related politics is not. Like politics and religion, it is another “hot button” topic that can lead to inflammatory discussion. Such discussion posts will be removed by the moderating team.

* No digital vs. film/traditional arguments or debates are allowed. We have separate forums where the virtues of both mediums are discussed. No provoking comments will be tolerated.

* Like many other forums, we limit the number of forums where member posts are counted. As this is a photography forum, first and foremost, we have decided not to count posts in the Off-Topic Forum, and also in the Gaming Room.

* We hope you will always enjoy The Photo Forum, but should you wish to leave, please do so quietly as lengthy departure threads are discouraged, and may be removed. In addition, we do not delete or hide member accounts, so please know your posts will remain indefinitely even if you are no longer active.

TPF Staff
The TPF staff includes the site owners, administrators, moderators, and editors. The entire TPF staff:

* reserves the right to edit, move, or delete any post with or without explanation.

* may contact you regarding your signature size, a post's content, etc., and any such requests for change are expected to be complied with.

* We do not condone the sharing of illegally acquired software, nor do we tolerate discussions regarding the distribution of same. Such posts will be removed or edited.

* TPF staff cannot and do not review every single post, nor are we responsible for the content of any posted message. However, we reserve the right to edit, move, or delete any message whatsoever, which may be done with or without explanation.

* TPF Staff also reserve the right to move, with or without explanation, any message that appears to be posted in the wrong forum. Although every effort is made to contact the poster when this is done, this is not always possible.

These rules will be updated as often as needed, and this list may not include recent rules that are in effect but remain not added. Although we will make every effort to keep you informed, we reserve the right to modify or update these rules without notice.