Can I upload pictures for a friend with credit?

I have a few friends in other states (one in canada) who like to show me what bugs and flowers they’ve found and suggested I use their pictures to upload to my profile, so copyright isn’t an issue. (they even encouraged me to use their pictures) however, I’m still not sure whether or not it’s allowed to do this, so I wanted to ask because I can’t find any information on the topic.

these pictures are real things my friends went out and saw on their own, they just don’t want to make accounts here, and want me to upload the observations for them. will I get in trouble if I upload them? I would put all the correct data and locations of course


You should only upload pictures of organims you witnessed under your account, but if they grant you copyrights, you may ask them if they’re ok if you create accounts for them here, or maybe you can show them that it’s easy to do, like via sharing your screen or something like that, it’d be much better if they just create accounts, you can do it with Facebook, so it takes a short time to do.


I asked this same question a while back, and they said yes, if you have permission and name who took the original photos, you can upload them.


“Rare instances of posting on behalf of others are tolerated when you’ve obtain permission from the photographer to post their image, when it’s clearly indicated in the observation description that the observation is not your own, and if you have the information about the date, location, and context of the observation and are willing to field any potential questions about the observation from the community.”


Welcome to the forum!
I’ve done that once or twice, giving the person’s location and the date and their name. The name may be in comments, but personally I don’t see anything wrong with the occasional photo. If it becomes a perpetual habit, that’s a different issue.

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I did it in the past, all the comments here basically said it all.
One way you can credit them is also putting an observation field like “photo by”.

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In the past, I have done a couple times when requested by the person. I noted in comments that I was posting on behalf of another at their request, and that they retained any copyrights.

But, now, if they just want some idea of an ID, I would begin an iNat observation and upload their material. Then I let the CV magic happen. Instead of completing the observation by posting it, I get back to the original observer and say something like, “iNat’s computer vision thought this was a “….”, and, maybe note, “it looks reasonable”. So, I do not finish uploading the data. If it was weird enough that the CV seems unreasonable, I would likely get back to the person and ask if they want to try for a community ID. Then, as described above.


I believe Seek application is designed to identification of organisms from photos. As far as I understand (I haven’t used it) you don’t need to add observation to check the species. Anyway, I would be cautious with this identifying, I have impression that not with all grups of organisms it works well yet.

No matter whether it’s allowed or not, I would be rather reluctant to have my life-list and map “smudged” with somebody else’s photos. I would always try to talk them into getting their own account.


Welcome to the Forum! Always lots to talk about.

Indeed, we are careful about it in these situations, thanks. That’s why we noted if “it seems reasonable”. Still, the CV it has gotten better pretty fast over the last few years, at least here in California where there is a lot of iNat activity.

Curiously, the newer iPhones have a plant ID function built into the Camera app now. It is not always right, of course, but often convenient for satisfying the curiosity about landscape plants.

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