Using other divers photos

I recently uploaded and identifies all the plants and sea life from my dive trip with my mom. My question is: Should i upload and identify the pictures my mom also took?

I only used a gopro. She took way better photos and saw more fish/ species than i did. I know she will not take the time to make her own profile and categorize the pictures she took. Should i just add the pictures she took to my profile even though i did not take them but was in the same vicinity?

Many thanks.

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welcome to the forum :)

This is fine; best practice would be to add a note in the description of each observation along the lines of “Photograph(s) taken by my mom, posted with her permission”


If you saw the organism, upload it at your profile with caption, if not, you need to create a separate account for her.

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You can also link from your obs to the better photos from your mom.
See also observation …
Helps the identifier if they have info from both.

There was recently some extensive discussion about school classes using iNaturalist, which led to someone posting a link to the iNaturalist Teacher’s Guide. For children under 13, this outright recommends adding observations on other people’s behalf, when the other people are children:

Teachers working with younger kids need to keep in mind that the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 means we can’t allow people under the age of 13 in the United States to create accounts without parental approval. This restriction is also reflected in our Terms of Service.
One common workaround is for a teacher to add observations on behalf of the students, without including any personally identifiable information.

Obviously neither you nor your mother are children, but I post this to show that iNaturalist doesn’t have a strict expectation that every account represents one person.

Some of my own observations (less than 1%) are people I went on bushwalks with who photographed something I did not (or maybe I did, but it came out blurry or I missed some details). They didn’t want to create their own profile for a few observations and gave me permission to post their pictures.

I don’t know other people’s standards here, but my own are these:

Can I answer questions about this observation?

If the photo is a close-up of a flower, and someone wants to know how tall the whole plant was, can I tell them?
If it’s an animal, and someone wants to know if it showed signs of movement and therefore being alive, do I know?
If it’s something really surprising and a professional naturalist asks for guidance to visit the location close enough to find the organism, can I give them?

If I can answer “yes” to these questions, I post the observation. If not, I don’t know enough about it, and I leave it out.


Group accounts are not the norm and should be avoided. Posting photos of what you saw, but someone else has photographed, is not 1 account = many people, it’s 1 acc = 1 person’s observations, cause you saw them.

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My take aligns with @Marina_Gorbunova. If you saw it with your own eyes at the same time, it may be okay to use another person’s photo of the same individual. But, make sure to add a note attributing the pic to another and change the copyright permissions, if needed.

Two possiblities.

  1. Post your mother’s photo on your account and for each one write, “Photo by [your mother’s name], posted by permission.”

  2. Set up an account for your mother and post them there. You’ll need a different e-mail from the one associated with your account. Obviously, discuss this with your mother and only post or comment using her account with her permission. Point out to her that she can change her password at any time.

If you’re both posting photos of the same individual organism on different accounts, you can make a comment linking to the internet address of the other version. That’s not required, though.

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