Welcome to the MaxPreps Professional Photographers Network! Here are some frequently asked questions you may have.

What is the MaxPreps Professional Photographers Network?

The MaxPreps Professional Photographers Network is an association of freelance photographers and photography copyright holders who have applied and been accepted to supply photos of high school sporting events for display and sale of digital images on the MaxPreps.com site. All photographers shooting for the network are freelance. MaxPreps is owned by ViacomCBS and is headquartered in El Dorado Hills, California.

Who is Jim Redman?

Jim Redman is our Photo Editor, located in central Texas. Jim is in charge of reviewing all applications that are submitted to the professional photographers network, as well as reviewing and publishing galleries.

He also works with photographers on quality issues and covers games/events on a regular basis.  

You can contact Jim at jim.redman@viacomcbs.com.

Who is Chelsea Johnson?

Chelsea Johnson is our associate project manager stationed out in central Texas, originally from our California office. She assist the photography department. 

You can reach Chelsea at chelsea.johnson@viacomcbs.com. 

Who is Amber Montoya?

Amber Montoya is our Office Manager in California. She handles all invoice, commission payments as well as account setup. A signed W-9 and direct deposit form must be filled out before any payments will be issued. 

Amber will handle all banking or address changes, as well as missing payments. Please CC Chelsea Johnson on all emails.

You can reach Amber at amber.montoya@viacomcbs.com. 

Getting Started as a MaxPreps Photographer

What do I need to do first to get started?

After you have sent your W-9 and direct deposit paperwork to Amber Montoya, you should get familiar with the photographers 'admin pages' which is available by signing into your photographer account.

From your photographer account you will be able to track your sale commissions, update your public bio page with text and picture and update your contact information including professional headshot for press credentials.  

How do I get started posting galleries to the MaxPreps site?

Before your first official gallery is published on MaxPreps you will need to compose a test gallery. A test gallery must include sport images from a high school event, with 25 images total. Please follow all quality requirements noted below. To upload a test gallery from your photography account, select 'Create Gallery' from your homepage. Follow the dropdowns with the appropriate school year, sport, team level, season & gender.  Browse for your 25 images and upload to temp gallery. Again, test galleries need to follow all quality requirements including focus, cropping standards, zero noise & tact sharp images etc. PRO TIP: view your images at 100% full resolution on your monitor, fill your monitor with a face. 

What is the next step?

After you have successfully uploaded a test gallery, send Jim Redman an e-mail at jim.redman@viacomcbs.com and please indicate the gallery name, added "test gallery" to the gallery name is recommended, but not required. Do not assume that we’ll know that the test gallery has been submitted. We will check the test gallery to verify that your images meet the quality requirements set by MaxPreps and respond back with any issues we may find.

After your test gallery has been reviewed and you received an email approval, as a freelance photographer you will be responsible for picking which games/events you want to cover and post galleries from. MaxPreps covers high school sports nationwide involving all levels and sports. 

MaxPreps has multiple partnerships for schedule uploads on our site, as well as relaying on the coaches and fans for schedules, but it’s always good to confirm your game/event and the site/start time before you go by reaching out to the host school prior to arriving for the event.

As a national media site, we do not show bias towards one team over another so please cover both teams equally as possibly. If one team is too dominant in a gallery, that gallery may not be published on the site. This is especially important for team photographers to remember, MaxPreps is not a vehicle to promote only your team/school.

What are MaxPreps quality image requirements?

MaxPreps employees, customers and photographers alike are proud of our strict quality image requirement that are allowed to be published in a gallery. We insist on high-quality digital images only, your images must be able to make a high-quality 16x20 print. Images deemed "good enough" to be printed in a newspaper does not guarantee they are high-quality.

MaxPreps will NOT publish galleries in which the images are out-of-focus, noisy, underexposed, excessive cropping etc. It is normal for new photographers to have some quality issues with their first few galleries that are posted. Images must be shot tightly in the camera. 

  1. Imperative: Tack Sharp Images only. This does take viewing
    your images much more than fit screen. Please view them all at 100% on
    your monitor.
  2. Great even color. This does mean all images should be color
    corrected. Auto Color and Auto Levels work great in Photoshop. We
    cannot have color cast images, orange or yellow sunset images should
    corrected as well.
  3. Great even exposures in all images. This means sometimes
    having to adjust them in post processing if you did not get them perfect
    during shooting. Adjusting curves in Photoshop can make them better if
    they are a bit dark and under exposed. All images in a gallery need to the
    same. Some can’t be perfect and others dark. Consistency is very
    important.
  4. Correct all red eye. This does have to very good repairs, should not
    see any evidence of red eye when opening an image at full res. If you
    can’t fix it, it has to be deleted. People buy full res images, and we cannot
    sell bad images.
  5. Extremely Important: NO Backs, NO blurry obstructed
    images. We only want good action images of players coming at you,
    never running away from you. Please leave out all score board images.
    These are not action images.
  6. Imperative: Shoot tight, fill the frame in the camera, we need
    all images shot tight, you have to fill the frame in your view finder with a
    body before you press the shutter button. It is best to do this in the
    camera. We do not want images shot loose and cropped tight. This
    degrades and pixelates images. It really ruins them. There is a bit more
    wiggle room in low ISO images, but high ISO, have no room, need to be
    shot tight.
  7. Link both schools and your state. All Varsity games typically auto
    fills this for you. JV and freshman, you will need to link both schools
    manually and link your state. Then, you have to re name your gallery to
    indicate the contest.
  8. Extremely Important: Please NEVER batch process color corrections,
    sharpening etc. Images are not created equal and all need individual
    attention to keep consistency. Lightroom users, you have to get our crops,
    many users have images at inconsistent something is lost during your
    export. It is very important for everyone to scroll through your images just
    after you link. Image dimensions are under each and every image. Verify
    you have all images at 3000 x 2216 pixels.
  9. We do have a minimum gallery of 25 images. These have to be 25 great
    images that meet these guidelines. We do not really hold to a maximum of
    250. But try not to over board, remember people have to scroll through
    them all and don’t want them to get bored and quit.
  10. We do require all images to be cropped to exactly 2216 x 3000 or 3000 x
    2216 pixels at 300 DPI.
  11. Extremely Important: All galleries require at least one
    vertical image to serve as the gallery thumbnail. Right now our system
    can only use a vertical image as your gallery preview image. If you have
    many, you can choose which vertical image to use as your gallery preview.
    Pick one that best represents and highlights your work. There is a radiotype
    link under the verticals. This is how you choose your best vertical
    image. If you don't choose, the system will select the first one it comes to
    by default. If your gallery does not have any vertical image, it cannot be
    published. No one will see it without the gallery preview image.
  12. Extremely Important: Please shoot jpg fine only. Please do not
    shoot RAW. Think about shooting RAW, you are only capturing the RAW
    image from the sensor. Nothing is done to that image in the camera. No
    sharpening, no noise reduction, no custom function settings. There is so
    much engineering that goes on in the firmware, of the camera for jpg
    processing, all of your custom functions, your internal noise reduction and
    your internal sharpening. This is all for jpg.
I have uploaded a gallery to be published; when does it get posted "live" on the site?

After you have posted a gallery, it will then be reviewed by the photography department for image quality. If there are no issues with the images, the gallery is normally published "live" within 24 hours, but PLEASE be patient during this process.

We know the faster the gallery is published the better the chance for sales! If there are quality issues, then you will receive an e-mail ASAP stating what those issues are.

How do I get access to publish my own galleries?

Photographers are given access to publish their own galleries when they have shown they can meet MaxPreps’ quality standards on a regular basis. There is no timetable for getting access to publish your own galleries. Consistency on quality is the key to getting access to publish your own galleries.

When do I receive my MaxPreps credential and other gear?

Photographers are issued media credentials from MaxPreps after they have successfully had ten (10) galleries published on the site AND after you have shown that you will be shooting for us regularly throughout the sports year.

We MUST have a photo (a head and shoulders mug shot) on file from you in order to issue you a credential. You can upload your photo to the "press pass photo" link on your "admin system" page.

MaxPreps credentials and gear (polo shirts, hats, etc.) are ONLY to be worn when you are shooting a varsity high school event for us − meaning you will be posting a gallery for sure. There are NO exceptions and we will strictly enforce this policy

How do I get a credential to cover state playoffs/championships?

Getting access to state playoffs/championships is different in EVERY state and we do our best to secure media credentials to as many of these events as possible for our photographers. Besides California, New York and North Carolina, it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis as far as putting in a request for a postseason credential with us.

We will only request credentials for state playoffs for you if you have been shooting regularly for us during that sport season. We can only request and receive so many of these passes to each event and sometimes we’re denied access.

All requests made for state credentials must come through the Director of Photography at MaxPreps. In NO case are freelance photographers permitted to use the MaxPreps name on credential requests without getting permission from the Director of Photography first.

When do I get paid?

MaxPreps/CBS will mail out a check for royalty fees owed by the 25th day of each month for photography products sold (prints/digital downloads) and shipped during the prior month. Royalty fees owed on images that are commercially licensed through MaxPreps are paid AFTER we have collected payment for use of licensed images from client.

Tips & Tricks to Maximize your Photography Experience

Tip 1

After you have signed and returned a W9 tax form, you should FIRST get familiar with the photographers’ "admin page" which is available by signing in with your password.

Everything you need to know about the MaxPreps Professional Photographers’ Network − including tracking your own print/digital sales and the "Digital Image Requirements" − is located on this page. Please review the "Digital Image Requirements" and "Photo Gallery Rules" BEFORE uploading your first test gallery.

Tip 1.5

The first thing you need to do is take up to 25 images from any sporting event you have covered (preferably from high school) and upload them to the MaxPreps site. Please do NOT upload more than 25 images for your test gallery. The test gallery will let you see how to create a gallery under a sports season in the photo system and you will be able to tell if you have any issues uploading your images to the site. Test galleries should be treated as a regular gallery with proper cropping, etc.

Tip 2

After you have successfully uploaded a test gallery, send Jim Redman an e-mail at jredman@maxpreps.com and please indicate where you have put the test gallery (season, sport, gender). Do not assume that we’ll know that the test gallery is there, you need to send an e-mail letting us know it’s been uploaded for review. You can also add "test gallery" to the name of the gallery, which is recommended. We will check the gallery to see if the images meet the "Digital Image Requirements" set by MaxPreps and respond back with any issues we may find.

After your test gallery has been reviewed, it’s UP TO YOU to pick which games/events you want to cover and post galleries from. We cover high school sports nationwide involving VARSITY teams/individuals. Since you are freelance it’s up to you which games you cover and how far you travel for them.

We will pass on requests/suggestions for covering certain games/events but it’s your choice if you cover it. You can check the MaxPreps site for schedules but it’s ALWAYS good to confirm your game/event and the site/start time before you go by calling the host school first.

As a national media site, we do not show bias towards one team over another so please cover both teams equally as possibly. If one team is too dominant in a gallery, that gallery may not be published on the site. This is especially important for team photographers to remember, MaxPreps is not a vehicle to promote only your team/school.

Tip 3

MaxPreps is VERY strict on the quality of images that are allowed to be posted in the galleries. We insist on high-quality digital images only! Just because your images might be "good enough" to be printed in a newspaper does not mean they will make a high-quality 8x10 print.

MaxPreps will NOT publish galleries in which the images are blurry, out-of-focus, noisy, dark, overexposed, etc! It is normal for new photographers to have some quality issues with their first few galleries that are posted.

Tip 4

After you have posted a gallery, it will then be reviewed by the photography department for image quality. If there are no issues with the images, the gallery is normally published "live" within 24 hours, but PLEASE be patient during this process.

We know the faster the gallery is published the better the chance for sales! If there are quality issues, then you will receive an e-mail ASAP stating what those issues are.

Tip 5

Photographers are given access to publish their own galleries when they have shown they can meet MaxPreps’ quality standards on a regular basis. There is no timetable for getting access to publish your own galleries. Consistency on quality is the key to getting access to publish your own galleries.

Tip 6

Photographers are issued media credentials from MaxPreps after they have successfully had ten (10) galleries published on the site AND after you have shown that you will be shooting for us regularly throughout the sports year.

We MUST have a photo (a head and shoulders mug shot) on file from you in order to issue you a credential. You can upload your photo to the "press pass photo" link on your "admin system" page.

MaxPreps credentials and gear (polo shirts, hats, etc.) are ONLY to be worn when you are shooting a varsity high school event for us − meaning you will be posting a gallery for sure. There are NO exceptions and we will strictly enforce this policy

Tip 7

Getting access to state playoffs/championships is different in EVERY state and we do our best to secure media credentials to as many of these events as possible for our photographers. Besides California, New York and North Carolina, it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis as far as putting in a request for a postseason credential with us.

We will only request credentials for state playoffs for you if you have been shooting regularly for us during that sport season. We can only request and receive so many of these passes to each event and sometimes we’re denied access.

All requests made for state credentials must come through the Director of Photography at MaxPreps. In NO case are freelance photographers permitted to use the MaxPreps name on credential requests without getting permission from the Director of Photography first.

Tip 8

MaxPreps/CBS will mail out a check for royalty fees owed by the 25th day of each month for photography products sold (prints/digital downloads) and shipped during the prior month. Royalty fees owed on images that are commercially licensed through MaxPreps are paid AFTER we have collected payment for use of licensed images from client.

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