New Here and Have Questions

Hi there I am new. Question - I used to professional photography and I am wanting to upload some past photos - is that cheating? Thanks!


Hey there, welcome to iNat! :) Uploading past photos is perfectly fine, so long as your date/location data you upload alongside them is at least close to accurate.


Hi there and welcome!

Nope, there’s no cheating on iNat. It’s all about knowledge here; any contribution to science is appreciated, even if it’s from long ago. There are no rules for observations (except if you make them rude or you break another rule from the community guidelines.) You can even upload the most blurry pictures you can possibly find in your photo library or accidentally make an identification that’s totally, obviously wrong, and that would be totally fine.

There’s no competition or game here, if that’s what you meant to imply. Every upload is appreciated.


Welcome aboard! There’s a page of Frequently Asked Questions here, including one about posting older photos. That page plus the Getting Started guide would be a good place to look if you’re new.


Please feel free to ask any kind of question.

1 Like

Is this your iNaturalist profile? Looks like you joined iNaturalist about 3 years ago but haven’t been on it since.

Not quite true, as one can readily upload images taken from the net, or from someone else, change data etc. It has happened before.


Like previously mentioned, the only real “cheating” would be disingenuous observations that are either copyright infringement or observations with deliberately incorrect data. The community guidelines (also previously mentioned, and linked) really cover everything, though.


I’m glad you’re interested in uploading past photos. I’m sure people will be interested to ID them, though the speed at which they attract IDs will likely vary a lot (very quickly for most birds; pretty slowly for things like fungi).

As you mention that you used to do photography professionally, you may want to consider the license you use for images by default (this can also be altered for each photo). You’ve got a wide range of options from CC0 (free reuse for any purpose) to full copyright (essentially, no reuse without explicit permission). If you still plan to use these images commercially, you may want to use a license with some restrictions. However, it would be great if you would consider using a more permissive license (such as CC-BY or CC0) for at least some of your images. With one of those licenses, your photos can be used in other collaborative projects such as Wikipedia and GBIF.

Note also that you can set the license that you use for text provided in your observations separately from the licenses you use for images and sounds.

If you go to Account Settings > Content and Display > Licensing you’ll find these options and info on what they mean. Click “Learn what these licenses mean” for more info. If you have other questions, feel free to ask here.


There is no such thing as “cheating” on INaturalist. Any photo of any living or dead(but not fossilized) organism is accepted, regardless of date of photo. This is as long as it is your photo.
It is unacceptable and inappropriate to post photos that are not your own, which includes from the internet or from another person without permission. Such copyright infringement may result in a temporary or permanent suspension from INaturalist.
Otherwise, upload as many photos of yours as you would like!

For those of us who are NOT professional photographers and struggle to get good pics, I might say that, if you are a pro, yeah, that’s kind of cheating. (I’m joking of course.) I look forward to seeing your photos on iNat.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.