These are the things we think about when making photo selections and I thought it was only fair for all of you to know so you can use your limited submissions to choose only the photos that will pass our criteria. So to help you prepare here are the photo requirements:
1) YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF Doodle Kisses to be eligible--and your doodle must be in the photo. This means, for example, if you have a friend with a doodle or are a breeder you may not submit a photo of a doodle you do not currently own or a puppy that you are planning to sell. Obviously if your doodle is in a photo with a non-DK doodle that's fine. But YOUR doodle must be in the photo.
2) Photo must be high resolution. Minimum of 200 DPI. This means it's better if you do NOT submit a cropped photo or a photo whose size has been edited. General size should be 8.5 x 11 inches (or 1800 x 2300 pixels) as a minimum. Most older camera-phone photos won't meet this criteria--check your photos before submitting. You can see the size of you photo in pixels by checking the properties.
3) Photos, of course, must be of excellent quality:
--Clear and in focus--not blurry.
--Doodle should not be a tiny speck in a giant scene
--Pleasing background. Think about not only how cute your doodle is but what's in the background.... If your doodle looks great but the background is cluttered with laundry, or detracts from the photo, it won't make the cut. So look carefully for stray ankles, toes, elbows of humans trying to sneak into the photo ;-) Details matter.
4) Humans may be in the photo, but they should look like they were meant to be part of the photo--no stray ankles, thighs, arms and feet poking out of a corner or holding a leash. And keep in mind we rarely choose photos with humans in them--most people buy our calendars to look at beautiful doodles not strangers.
5) Submitting photos taken by a professional photographer will imply that you are claiming you have the photographer's express permission to submit the photo for a calendar that will be sold. They own the copyright, even if they gave you the digital files. Unless you signed a contract with them that says otherwise, you need to have their express permission to use a photo in a product that will be sold. If you don't have this permission, get it or don't submit the photo. We will ask you about this if it was a professional shot. Also we'll need the photo without any logo on it. We will gladly put their copyright on the photo, but no logos.
6) Speaking of 'natural' -- we also prefer photos that do not look 'touched up' or 'glammed up' -- so please DO NOT add special effects to your photos for submission. No frames, halos, borders, or glowing edges please. Just submit the photo as is, without cropping. It's fine to fix the lighting, color that didn't turn out quite right, hide a red rocket, or other minor adjustment...but DO NOT fancy-up or add bling to the photo =) Photos should look like a real life scene, not a glamour shot.
7) ONLY photos that are in the horizontal or "landscape" orientation -- NO vertical photos.
8) Consider the leashes and collars as part of the photo. Metal collars don't always look nice in photos. And sometimes, leashes can make a photo look cluttered. It's not a deal-breaker but something to think about as you choose your photo(s). Feel free to photoshop them out but only if you know how to do it correctly. Sometimes I get photo submissions where the leash or collar has been 'erased' but it leaves an ugly and obvious smudge. But leashes and collars are necessary for many dogs, so they are not deal breakers...just be aware of how it looks.
9) Please turn off the date/time stamp on your camera before taking potential calendar photos or photoshop the date/time stamp out of your photo if you know how to do it.
10) We prefer to see your doodle(s) face(s). While we're not ruling out profile shots...photos where faces are visible will get highest consideration. Because after all...those eyes and noses and smiles are just adorable!
11) A summer trim is okay, but we will not accept photos of doodles that are shaved down to the skin, nearly shaved, or have shaved faces. We want to see doodles in their full doodle glory!
12) No newborn pups, no litters, no pups under 8 weeks. I will make exceptions for a gorgeous photo of an older pup or adult dog that happens to have very young pup with it, but better to just avoid the just born doodle or very young pup.
NOTE: Since our site is primarily for owners of labradoodles and goldendoodles, this is the main type of doodle that we will feature in our calendars. However in our Lotsa Doodle Calendar we have historically accepted photos of other types of doodles. We may do that again this year. As far as colors go it makes no difference. It may seem that we prefer light colored doodles, but it really is not the case. Lighter doodles are often easier to photograph, but even white doodles can photograph poorly depending on lighting. For example, white and cream doodles often get washed out and you'll see big bright spots on fur where the fur's texture has been washed out from the light. That is one way that a photo might get cut immediately. For examples of this, please ask in the photography group.
If you want to see what last year's calendar looked like, visit our store http://www.cafepress.com/doodlekisses -- but keep in mind the calendars you see are for last year. We will keep those up for reference for a short time. However, there comes a point where CafePress slaps on a new 'year' onto the calendar pages--don't be fooled--look at the cover photo!
NOTE: WE DON'T ACCEPT PHOTOS UNTIL SEPT 1st - at which time I will announce WHERE to send photos and how many you may send in.