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ISAP's New Policy On Social Media

Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:56 am

I made the mistake of trying to link posts I made on the International Society of Aviation Photographers Facebook pages with the applicable images from After three deletions with no explanation, ISAP has come out with the reason you can't link to "collection" sites such as this. has been good to me by hosting 6200 of my images and garnering over 22 million views. This a much broader audience than I could reach in a personal website. There have been many doors opened to me through this site and my photography as a whole has been improved by this experience. This is the text of ISAPs social media policy with respect to websites such as and Fencecheck. I don't agree with it.

Since the release of ISAP’s Social Media strategy a week ago, several members have asked why so-called “collection sites” have been singled out to be banned from linked content in both the ISAP Facebook group, and the ISAP forums. To understand why ISAP has chosen to ban the linking to content from these sites, we must define the two categories that these sites fall into, Edited and Open.

Edited collection websites, i.e. those sites that have a formal review process such as, remain a useful environment for photographers to receive feedback regarding the quality and composition of their images by their selection from the masses of submitted images via the editors choices. Often these sites tag the selected individual images with their own unique markings, thereby marking the image as an approved part of their collection. It is still YOUR image, copyright-wise, but they endorse it and by extension receive the benefits of linked posts around the web in the form of free advertising.

Open collection websites such as Fencecheck, have been, and continue to be, a valuable part of the aviation photography web presence. Many of the current members of ISAP continue to be active members of Fencecheck and other Open collection aviation sites. These sites are a free-wheeling exchange of images, techniques, and commentary from a wide variety of skill levels, artistic styles and stages of professionalism. Like all open web forums they are sometimes visited by that reviled denizen of the web, the “internet troll”, dragging discussions off-topic and sometimes diluting the assistance provided by forum members through “fanboy” comments, and even outright false information.

Where ISAP chooses to draw the line is at the linking of content from these sites into the ISAP Facebook group and the ISAP forums. We at ISAP firmly believe that our members are the finest aviation photographers in the world. We want our forums and social media presence to assist YOU with developing your unique identity as a photographer via the web. We want the wider world to see the best images that you have to offer, via the ISAP portfolios, and drive the internet traffic to YOU, and not to another individual or organization’s “collection” site. As a result, we encourage you to post your images across the web in a variety of forums, sites and social media. What we ask is that when you post in the ISAP forums, or on the ISAP Facebook group, please make this a separate posting, and not just a hyperlinked post or linked image from one of the “collection” sites.

As always, please continue to provide us your feedback on this and our other social media policies. It is only through the frank exchange of ideas an opinions between ISAP members that this organization will continue to improve and provide the best assistance possible to its members.
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RE: ISAP's New Policy On Social Media

Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:44 am

It's honestly not much different than this site not allowing users to link to photographs on a number of aviation photography websites that compete with It's also similar to our site's policy about users linking to their content located off-site.

However, I do take umbrage at their point of view regarding this site and others like it. If you do a Google Search for "aviation photos", their site isn't even on the first page of results. What site is the top result? The fact is that prior to today, I've never even heard of that site as I don't even think anyone has previously mentioned it here in the past, shows that they've don't have much of a profile to begin with. I've never seen a link to their site on an airlines' website like our site has. We've got photographers here whose photos appear on a regular basis in a number of aviation related publications, including cover shots. A photographer is more likely to get more views of their photos here than any other aviation photography site.

I took a look at their site and to be quite honest, having to go through the portfolios of their members in order to find a photo of a certain a/c type is not conducive to repeat visitors unless they're just wanting to look through the portfolios as if they are coffee table photography books.

From the way it looks, that site is more or less a restrictive site geared towards professional photographers and those looking to become professionals and the hobbyists and enthusiasts found on sites like ours are unwelcome. They look down at sites like ours, partially out of jealousy and partially out of ego. The general public cannot view their forums or their Facebook page which leaves the non-member curious as to what's going on behind those stone walls. They want to be as popular as the other sites, but their manner in doing so seems to contradict that.
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RE: ISAP's New Policy On Social Media

Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:48 pm

I began on in 2003 when deployed to the desert. I was editing my images in my tent. It was initially a struggle to get accepted but I noticed as I became more successful, my other images improved. Not everything I photograph is appropriate for here but this site really has a positive influence on me. Likewise, ISAP, touted a large tent where aviation photographers of all skill levels were welcome. I joined and learned a lot at the four symposiums I attended. I had to miss this year for financial reasons as I did not get gainfully employed too late to make arrangements.

There are some highly respected photographers, editors, and publishers in ISAP. They have always been very forthcoming and willing to share ideas and opinions. I never felt like I was being talked down to. Aviation photography has three intertwined categories for me. There is the artistic, art you hang on your wall. There is the illustrative, the images that are published in magazines and books. And there is the historical documentation. I was a historian before I began taking pictures. Since 2003, I have begun moving into my other two categories.

Very good point on the utility of this site's database.

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