The Membership

IGBoston’s Membership Process


“…more than a hashtag, it’s a community.”

We don’t just re-post great pictures, we proactively encourage our creators to achieve their artistic goals.

We love to support our community members, because the same love was shown to us.

Read about our membership process below

The Purpose

So what’s with this “membership” thing? Why do you do it?

The IGBoston’s moderator team feels that any great creative artist needs a support system. Therefore, IGBoston’s primary goal is to create a working relationship with photographers by actively supporting their work.

IGBoston's “Member” status is our declaration that you are a talented, studious, ethical and collegial photographer from the New England area.

So Is IGBoston some exclusive club?

Not at all, it’s quite the opposite. Everyone is eligible to be a member regardless of your (in)experience in photography.

Your desire and aptitude to engage with the New England photography community are much more relevant to your IGBoston membership than your photography experience.

Who are the members of IGBoston?

IGBoston members are listed in the “following” section of the IGBoston Instagram account. IGBoston only follows IGBoston members.

I would like to become a member. What do I need to do?

Follow @igboston and email membership@igboston.com with the subject line “New Member Request.” Link your Instagram profile in the body of the email (ex: www.instagram.com/igboston), along with a brief paragraph about your photography experience.

What do you mean by “benefit from IGBoston membership”?

The moderators use the “Gallery Review” to answer two questions.

1) Can you, and will you, consistently post photographs that the IGBoston moderators would feature on the IGBoston feed?

2) Will you support the IGBoston organization, and its community at large, on a consistent basis?

A substantial body of New England photography with unique aesthetic themes and a desire to collaborate with the IGBoston community confirms these questions.

I started following @igboston and emailed you two weeks ago, but I still haven’t heard anything from you guys. What’s up?

IGBoston receives many membership requests so the moderators may be working through the backlog. They’ll get to you ASAP.

The Prerequisites

Are there any prerequisites to membership?

Yes. There are four absolute requirements prior to membership.

1). You must follow @IGBoston’s Instagram account

Following IGBoston's account allows you to see work from IGBoston members, providing opportunities to support them. You'll also learn about IGBoston events and projects that you can participate in.

2). Your Instagram account must be public

It's ideal for members to inspire, and be inspired by, the IGBoston community by using the #igboston hashtag to promote their photos. No one can admire your pictures if a private account hides them.

3). Comprehensive amount of photos in your gallery

A photographer should have at least 80 photos in their Instagram gallery to be eligible for membership. The moderator team feels galleries with under 80 posts is not enough content to accurately gauge a photographer's ability and activity.

4). You must currently be a New England resident

You must live in New England when you request membership. You should also plan to live in New England for at least a year afterward.

If you are currently living outside New England, you should wait until you return to submit your membership request.

Why do IGBoston candidates have to be New England residents?

One of IGBoston’s goals is to showcase the underrepresented side in New England; the local neighborhoods, unique takes of a particular area, or pictures detailing New England's rich history. It's easier to create this kind of content if a photographer is living in the region.

Plus, New England residents have personal knowledge of the region, which helps them add nuances that the moderators can easily identify in their photographs.

Furthermore, a majority of IGBoston’s audience are, were, or will be, New England residents. Therefore, our community immensely appreciates photographers with a unique outlook of New England.

Additionally, IGBoston promotes a collaborative environment. It’s easier for members to work together and attend IGBoston events if they live in the region.

Lastly, and most importantly, the membership process will require submitting a photo taken in New England recently. Residency outside New England compromises your ability to complete the membership process.

How does the “Gallery Review” determine my candidacy?

We consider many aspects of your photography work before determining your candidacy for IGBoston membership, including:

1.) Do you post content in a format suitable for IGBoston features?

We do not feature any photos with watermarks or borders on them. Galleries with an overwhelming amount of these types of photos will likely not be considered for membership.

2.) Does your gallery have any aesthetic “theme” to it?

We consider if and how your feed establishes its photographic style through your editing, photo composition, and subject matter.

3.) Is your gallery primarily centered around New England?

The IGBoston moderators attempt to confirm you took most of your photos in New England by recognizing the areas depicted in your photos.

4.) Would you be an active member of the IGBoston organization?

We look at your posting frequency, use of hashtags (particularly #igboston), and engagement with other photographers to determine how you might interact with the IGBoston community.

5.) Does your gallery indicate a genuine interest in photography as an art form?

We review if or how your gallery's theme has evolved to assess if you are truly interested in improving your photography work.

IGBoston does not feature photos considered personal or explicitly promote a business. So feeds that are too “personal” or “influencer” oriented are not eligible for membership.

Why are “personal” or “influencer” feeds not eligible for membership?

The answer for both feeds is the same reason: the overall objective of these feeds generally conflicts with IGBoston’s organizational goal.

“Personal” feeds are galleries mostly comprised of personal photos. This description includes selfies and pictures of the photographer themselves (taken by other people), pictures of family, significant others, close friends, and posts of a person’s random interests.

“Influencer” feeds are galleries comprised of posts explicitly promoting a product, service, blog, other photographers' photos, or even themselves as a personality figure.

Since IGBoston does not feature personal or influencer photos, the support offered to those feeds will be limited. This aspect makes membership less beneficial.

What if the Gallery Review determines that I will not benefit from IGBoston membership?

Your gallery review is placed on "Hold," and you will receive a “constructive feedback” email reply detailing the mod team's decision. The moderators will also list tips and suggestions to make your gallery suitable for IGBoston features.

Please keep in mind this does not mean your gallery is objectively “bad.” "Hold" status means IGBoston membership may not currently help you improve your photography.

If my submission is on "Hold" can I still re-apply?

Of course!! The mods encourage it! In fact, many IGBoston members were offered memberships after multiple Gallery Reviews. Resubmissions are always accepted, and the mod team is happy to continue supporting you throughout the process.

What happens if the Gallery Review determines I'll benefit from membership?

You'll receive an email invite to join IGBoston by completing a personalized “New Member Challenge.” The email will detail instructions on how to complete the challenge.

The Challenge Review

What is this “New Member Challenge” exactly?

Fundamentally, the moderators will challenge you to take a picture that is different from the images you usually post in your gallery to get you out of your comfort zone. For example, if you typically take architectural shots, the mods may ask you to take a nature-themed shot or vice versa.

What do I do with my challenge photo?

Post it to your Instagram feed, hashtag #igboston in the caption, geotag the location and tag IGBoston’s account as a person in the photo. Then reply to the new member challenge email with a link to the shot.

How much time do I have to take the challenge shot?

There’s no explicit time limit, but preferably sooner rather than later. Ideally, you’d do your challenge within two weeks, as some challenge assignments can be affected by specific environmental factors.

If you'll have difficulty completing the assignment, email team@igboston.com, and you'll be assigned a different challenge if deemed appropriate.

Is it possible that the moderators won’t approve my initial challenge shot?

Yes, it can happen. If your challenge photo isn’t approved, you may be asked to try again or offered a different challenge. You’re always given another chance. Or two. Or six. Many current IGBoston members have repeated their challenge shots.

Repeat attempts do not indicate a lack of photography talent. The ultimate goal is to help you get the best reception possible from IGBoston’s followers, so the IGBoston moderators want to agree that our audience will appreciate your challenge photo.

Sounds like a hazing initiation.

Not at all. The challenge photo is to bring out your creativity and create opportunities for feedback, not to frustrate you. The IGBoston moderators do not see themselves as photography experts, but your fellow photography peers. Hopefully, this aspect will help you receive the mods' advice as honest, supportive, and valuable.

The Membership

How will I know if I’ve earned IGBoston membership?

If the moderators decide that your challenge photo answer your “New Member Challenge” assignment, and is an excellent photo in its own right, you will receive an email informing you of such.

The mod team will then feature your challenge photo on the IGBoston feed and follow your account to confirm your membership.

Once I’m welcomed into IGBoston, what do I have to do?

Tell your friends and followers! Tag #igboston on your photos to be considered for features. Continue to follow the @IGBoston feed and support your fellow members with your likes and comments.

Should I put something in my Instagram profile about being a member of IGBoston?

Not necessarily, but many members do include “Member: @IGBoston” in their profiles, as it’s a great way to identify yourself as a member. IGBoston membership is a distinctive designation in the New England photography community, so we hope you consider adding it to your profile!

If I become a member, does that mean my pictures will automatically be featured?

While your probability for IGBoston features is much higher than the typical community feed, there's no guarantee that pictures other than the New Member Challenge shot will be featured.

That said, many of our members have had their pictures featured on our feed more any other community-moderated feed. As long as you consistently use one of IGBoston's official hashtags in your New England photos, you should have ample opportunities for features on IGBoston's feed.

The IGBoston moderators are committed to keeping the feature selection process impartial, ethical and equitable. No in-crowd, no playing favorites, and no special treatment for anyone.

What makes the IGBoston moderators qualified to determine what photos are featured?

The IGBoston moderators represent diverse backgrounds and photographic styles. They are committed to keeping the feature selection process impartial and equitable. No in-crowd, no playing favorites, and no special treatment for anyone.

Moreover, mods do not nominate photographs by close friends, colleagues, family members, significant others or an IGBoston member that took a photo in the moderator's presence. Most importantly, the mods themselves are not eligible for IGBoston features.

However, ultimately, the opinions of the moderator team are just that: opinions.

Are there any requirements to maintain IGBoston membership?

IGBoston supports every member for the lifetime of their Instagram account, but they reserve the right to revoke membership for any reason. The five main reasons to revoke membership are listed as follows.

1) Your account must remain public

If you make your account private, we will temporarily revoke your membership until it becomes public again. Feel free to inform the mod team if you need to make your account private for a particular reason. IGBoston may continue to follow you if the situation warrants it.

2) Your account must remain generally active

Sometimes, a hiatus from Instagram (and social media in general) is necessary. However, if your Instagram account is considered “abandoned” (no activity from your page for over a year), IGBoston may unfollow your account until you resume activity.

3) You must continue to follow @IGBoston

Unfollowing the IGBoston account after you become a member could permanently revoke your membership status. If you wish to unfollow due to dissatisfaction with our support, please feel free to email team@igboston.com to present your concerns.

4) Your Instagram page must not participate in unethical activity

If IGBoston discovers evidence that you participated in unethical activity, such as stealing photos, IGBoston will permanently revoke your membership status. This ban will apply to all your Instagram accounts.

5) Zero Tolerance Policy

IGBoston has a “zero-tolerance” policy toward any harassment from/of our members, which includes the moderators. Evidence of harassment may result in permanent revocation of your membership, blocking your account from viewing the IGBoston’s feed, as well as removing your featured photos from IGBoston’s feed.

What if I move away from New England? Will I lose membership?

Not at all! Since we already verified your distinct knowledge and affection for the region during the Gallery Review and New Member Challenge, IGBoston will still consider you a member and will continue to follow your account.

We also created the #igbostontravelers hashtag to promote photography from IGBoston members taken outside New England.

Moreover, we'll still consider featuring photos you post of the New England area if you return. The IGBoston moderators are also happy to promote your current photography work at any special events IGBoston hosts.

What if I want to switch my membership status to another account? Do I need to complete a new membership challenge to regain membership status?

Nope! Just email us informing us of your old & new IG accounts. IGBoston will follow your new account as soon as we verify your previous membership. We attribute Membership status to only one Instagram account per photographer.

The Benefits

How does being an IGBoston member benefit me?

One of the many primary perks of membership is the potential to be featured on IGBoston’s account. Since only photos from IGBoston members are featured, it is very likely we'll consistently feature your work in front of a broad and passionate audience.

Also, membership is an opportunity to work with other talented local photographers. The New Member Challenge will provide you with objective feedback from your peers. Many IGBoston members became close collaborators from that experience, inspiring each other to further experiment with their photography.

Additionally, IGBoston members can contribute blogs and events relevant to our community on this website. Our website experiences high traffic, so you have a great way to gain exposure for your blogs and events!

Furthermore, IGBoston hosts “social photography events” to promote the IGBoston members’ photography work to the general public. The IGBoston team considers these events excellent ways to gain exposure and networking opportunities for your photography work.

But ultimately, what you get out of IGBoston is what you put into it. If you are a passionate New England photographer interested in refining your photography alongside a group of like-minded peers, then you should be able to contribute to, and benefit from, IGBoston.

Can you tell me more which blogs and events I can contribute to the IGBoston website?

In short, IGBoston wants to help our community support their community. So we post relevant blogs and events from our members on this very website.

Check out the Content section if you're interested in the adventures our members are involved in. Check our Contacts section if you'd like to learn about how we'll promote your own adventures.

What are the "photography events"?

IGBoston organizes photography events with one of two different types of designations.

Flagship events (Public) - These events are directly organized by the IGBoston organization to promote the photography work of every single current @IGBoston member.

Every member is strongly encouraged to participate in these events .

One example of a Flagship IGBoston Event is the GallerySpace Photography Galas. These events are extremely popular with the general public and featured members gain a considerable amount of recognition for their work.

Exclusive Events (Private) - Events organized by an IGBoston sponsor. Due to expected logistical limitations, members participate on an invite-only basis. Due to their exclusivity, the events are great opportunities to collaborate and meet many of your IGBoston peers.

The Decision

What should I do if I’m still unsure if I’ll benefit from IGBoston membership?

Please feel free to email your gallery information to team@igboston.com! Many factors about membership are subjective, so the IGBoston moderators will be happy to provide a more personalized answer for you.

What if I don't want to be a member? can I still be involved in the community?

Absolutely!! Although non-members are ineligible for #igboston and #igbostontravelers features, IGBoston strives for other ways to involve the community.

1) You are welcome to attend any pubic IGBoston event, regardless if you're a member of not! We love to meet our community in person, so remember to introduce yourself to the moderators if you ever decide to attend an IGBoston function.

2) Pictures from non-members tagged #igbostonhoods are eligible for features. Please visit our Initiatives Page for the requirements of #igbostonhoods features.

3) We still acknowledge all great photo tagged #igboston. Please feel free to continue using the #igboston, #igbostonhoods or #igbostontravelers tag regardless of what you decide. We review the pictures in the Instagram feed every night, so we'll see if you tagged it.

What if I have other questions about applying?

Email us! membership@igboston.com! We receive numerous emails on any given day, so it may be some time before we respond. However, we'll do our best to respond to questions in a timely fashion.