Photo Guidelines

We welcome all readers to send nature-related photographs for consideration to be published.

Please follow these submission guidelines:

  • For photos shot digitally, we want your largest file size. 
  • Save the file as a jpeg using the 10 setting.
  • Name the file with: Subject, Photographer’s Name, Age, City, State.jpg (Deer, John Smith, 15, Dayton, VA.jpg)
  • E-mail to, or, or, or (All photos submitted will automatically be considered for any feature; it does not matter what address you use. However, the address you use gives us an idea what you have in mind.)
  • Please indicate the subject of the photo being submitted in the “Subject” field of the e-mail.
  • The photo file should be included as an attachment rather than embedded in the body of the e-mail.
  • Send only one topic in an e-mail.  If you have two topics, use two e-mails.
  • Text of e-mail should have full name, age, address, and phone number.
  • Text of e-mail should also include captions for each photo.  Include in the caption:
    • Identity of what was photographed–kind of plant, animal, or bird, etc.
    • Any interesting details concerning your finding the photographic opportunity.
    • Any interesting details concerning how you took the photograph.

To mail a photographic submission:

  • Include your name, address, and phone number with each photo submission.
  • Save to CD or DVD the largest files you have. They may be either jpegs or tiffs. Please include a printout so we can quickly see what photos are on the disk without needing to put the disk into our computer. Label papers and CDs/DVDs with your name, address, and phone number.
  • Prints or CDs submitted by mail will not be returned, so send us copies of your photos, not your only photos.
  • Any photos submitted may be considered for use in either the Nature Friend magazine, or “The Photo Critique” in the Study Guide.

Tips for Scanning Photos:

Sometimes we hear questions about file size.  What is important is that we receive the largest file size you have.  To be considered for a front cover, the file should be about 20 megabytes before it is compressed as a jpeg.  For photos used inside the magazine, the file size should be a minimum of 5 megabytes, but larger if you have larger. 

Another way to put this, photographs submitted for full page consideration, such as for the front cover, should be 8×10 at a resolution of 300.  Photos submitted for inside use should be a minimum of 4×5 at a resolution of 300. 

The best solution is to always send the largest file you have.  If this is too big to send as an e-mail, you may mail the file to us on a CD.

*  Note: When the file is saved as a jpeg, choose the 10 setting if/when prompted.  The file will be considerably smaller than before compression, yet large enough for us to use.

If you still have questions, please ask a knowledgeable friend on your end if they can help you.  I’m sorry, but our staff is limited, and we are not able to give individualized instructions to every one.  Thank you.

Tips for Taking Photos:

  • Only the best photos are considered for a cover. This means submit only your highest resolution digital photos.  
  • Use a tripod or another solid support so photos are sharp, SHARP, SHARP! Please do not submit blurry pictures.
  • Use good lighting, either sunlight or flash, so subject is well lit.
  • To be considered for a cover photograph remember to shoot vertical format pictures. This means you need to tip the camera when you take the picture.

Contact Information

Nature Friend Magazine is published monthly by Dogwood Ridge Outdoors.

Nature Friend Magazine, Photo Editor
4253 Woodcock Lane
Dayton, VA 22821






Office:                540-867-0764