Image Submission Requirements2021-10-08T02:20:54-07:00

Image Submission Requirements

Carefully select your images based on the below guidelines and review our Image Guide.  Once you have gathered your application info and your images, then you should fill out the application and upload images in one sitting. Images are not required to be submitted in black & white (B&W) however, all final NILMDTS images are B&W and demonstrating proper B&W conversion is helpful.

  • Fill out the application in full. You will not be able to submit unless the application is complete however you are able to save and return to the application at any time. You will receive an email confirming that your application has been received. If you do not receive the confirmation email, it was not likely received. Please attempt to apply again or contact us.
  • We make our best attempt to get all applications evaluated within two (2) weeks however during busy trade show season, it may take longer. If you have questions, please reach out to contact us.
  • Learn about the application fee.

Requirements for Submitted Images

  • The Available Indoor Light images (window light, not just ceiling lighting) may also include the use of reflectors. The use of flash as fill light is acceptable in this case, but not as the main light for these samples.
  • The Portable Artificial Light should be those in which the main light is either studio-style strobes or speedlights, or other off-camera flash equipment. (“Snapshot” style  use of ambient/available room lights will not be approved.)

Image Submissions NOT Acceptable (resulting in a request for additional photos)

  • Out of focus images
  • Outdoor photos
  • Unposed event, lifestyle, journalistic, documentary (including birth) photography images
  • Non-human subjects (i.e. pets, nature, inanimate objects, etc. except a babydoll)
  • Images taken at a workshop

Skills Criteria & Evaluation Process

Once your application has been received, it will be evaluated by the NILMDTS Membership Application Committee (MAC). This Committee consists of experienced Affiliated Photographers who will score your application.

An application must score at least 40 out of 100 points to be considered for approval. We use a 0-20 scoring system (0 is lowest and 20 is highest) for each of the following 5 criteria:

1) Available Indoor Light – We are not interested in whether or not one shoots in available light, but how one uses natural indoor light (window lighting) to enhance the picture.

  • The overall submission should include light with direction. Directional light gives the face structure.
  • Blown-out highlights on skin are unacceptable. In general, both the highlights and shadows should retain detail.
  • Outdoor photos are not permitted.

2) Portable Artifical Light – It is critical to demonstrate the ability to deliver portrait-style lighting in a dark room.

  • Direct, on-camera direct flash is not acceptable. Please try to choose images that clearly show us that you have the ability to take professional photographs using equipment (speedlights or continuous lights) that you could take with you to a hospital setting. Speedlights that are bounced or fitted to small softboxes/modifiers work well. While you CAN take studio strobes to a session, speedlights are far more portable and easier to use and some of the newer, smaller continuous lights also work very well.
  • Blown-out highlights are not acceptable if those appear on body parts.

Keep in mind that when volunteering as a NILMDTS photographer, you will be faced with the challenge of hospital lighting, many times at night. Please try to choose images that clearly show us that you have the ability to take professional photographs using equipment that you could take with you to a hospital setting. Although studio/strobe lights show us your ability to create a portrait-style lighting in a comfortable and controlled setting, images with speedlights (bounced or with small modifiers) or continuous lights, will show us if you can photograph in a less controlled environment that’s similar to a NILMDTS setting, so please choose images carefully.

3) Focus – Just like any portrait, the eyes have to be sharp.

  • Do not submit out-of-focus images.
  • If any two images in the submission have questionable focus issues, the applicant could be declined.

4) Posing and Composition – All the standard posing guidelines apply. Refer to our Image Guide.

Even though in our environment we are often limited in how we can position our subjects, the applicant should demonstrate knowledge of what makes flattering position.

  • Has the applicant made any effort to pose subjects in a flattering way?
  • Are diagonals used? Does your eye move around within the image?
  • Does the photographer utilize composition rules, like the rule of thirds, triangles, etc.?
  • Is the subject positioned and/or cropped without cutting off limbs, head, other key aspects of the image?

5) Attention to Detail – This is an overall evaluation of the submission.

  • The committee reviews to see if the the photographer missed out on noticing details such as: drool on a baby’s chin, centered necklaces, poles growing from heads, appropriate backgrounds, overall retouching skills, etc.
  • Black and white images, if converted, should demonstrate good conversion skills and not just dull gray images.

For those of you who do not have image samples of work using studio lights or do not normally shoot using your flash attachment (speedlight) please do the following:

  • Take a cooperative human (preferable) or doll into a low light room and shoot off a series of images using your flash attachment, bouncing the light off the ceiling and walls, using various focal lengths (shoot tight like you would a baby session), angles and poses. Refer to our Image Guide.
  • We do not need the images to be completely retouched however if there are simple edits necessary to reduce distractions that improve the image (i.e. removing a fresh scratch on a baby’s face) not making those changes will deduct points to the “Attention to Detail” category. We will be looking for your ability to shoot in very low light situations similar to what we encounter in hospital rooms during NILMDTS sessions.

The application process usually takes up to two weeks depending on the current volume (although it is sometimes longer during the busy Trade Show season).