Terms of Service 2017-03-20T10:23:59+00:00

Terms of Service

These Terms of Service (hereafter, “TOS”) serve as the terms, conditions, and code of conduct for all participation in PhotoFern. By becoming a member of the PhotoFern community, you have agreed to abide by these TOS. By registering, you affirm that you are 13 years of age or older.

PhotoFern may modify these TOS at any time and without notifying our members of any such changes. Your continued membership to PhotoFern constitutes your assent to such modified terms. You may cancel your membership at any time, but no refunds will be issued for payments previously made.

1. Group Participation and Decorum Guidelines
2. Forum Etiquette
3. Forum Subjects
4. Intellectual Property and Use of Content
5. Soliciting Business Information and Ideas
6. Distributed Materials
7. Discussion Moderation
8. Disciplinary Action
9. Vendors
10. Affiliate Program
11. PhotoFern App
12. Miscellaneous

1. Group Participation and Decorum Guidelines

PhotoFern is meant to be a positive environment for personal and business development. Group participation and discussion is meant to be encouraging and supportive of fellow members.

Please be relevant and respectful in all of your posts and comments. Before submitting a post, we ask that you please consider the feelings of others in the group. If your post can be considered offensive, obscene, disrespectful or otherwise inappropriate in any way, please reconsider posting such information. Inappropriate behavior of any kind will not be tolerated and will result in the revocation of your membership. Remember, you are responsible for all content posted by your account.

All information provided within the member profile or elsewhere within the PhotoFern website or Facebook group must be accurate to the best of the member’s knowledge. Account sharing, false identities and any kind of deception are grounds for immediate account termination.

We ask any complaints about PhotoFern guidelines please be brought to the attention of the PhotoFern staff (support@photofern.com) instead of being posted in the group discussions. This also includes “Grand Exit Posts”, or any other public announcements about an impending membership cancellation.

Advertising or spam of any kind is prohibited and will be promptly deleted. This may result in a revocation of your membership.

Linking to your own photography blog or photography business site for noncommercial purposes is permissible. You may include links to such sites in your signature, profile, and in posts, so long as it is relevant to the topic discussion. Repeated links may be construed as an attempt to generate site traffic, and therefore a form of advertising.

Sharing information or links to outside information that you may think will be valuable to members is permissible and also encouraged, so long as you have no direct personal or financial benefit from generating site traffic to a particular link.

Because discussions are somewhat public between members, please refrain from posting any private information about yourself.

Please be courteous of business materials posted by other members. If someone wishes to share their contracts or pricing information within the group, this is clearly not meant to be public information outside the group. Saving and sharing member materials outside the site is strictly forbidden.

2. Forum Etiquette

The PhotoFern Forum Moderators will adhere to these TOS when supervising the forum activity. Moderators oversee the boards to ensure a positive and cohesive environment. PhotoFern coaches will occasionally act as moderators in the forums. You’ll be able to recognize moderators by the badge next to their avatar.

When posting, please choose the appropriate forum and sub-forum and include a descriptive subject line. Choose the most relevant thread to post in. Posting the same content is multiple threads is prohibited. Duplicate posts will be deleted, as will posts with non-descriptive or inappropriate subject lines.

Please adhere to the rules of each individual forum (when applicable). The individual rules will be pinned at the top of the forum.

All posts are considered permanent unless they fall into specific time sensitive categories such as workshop information or PhotoFern Focus discussion. In these cases the posts will eventually be removed and the boards updated to reflect the most recent workshop/conference experiences. Members have the ability to edit and delete their own posts, as do moderators in cases where a post violates the PhotoFern TOS.

A member may bump a thread from time to time but constant post bumping is highly discouraged. Please wait a reasonable amount of time for your post to be answered before bumping the thread. The best way to facilitate discussion on a non-interactive thread is to post more information about the issue, or attempt to rephrase the original question.

We would prefer to keep private messaging to a minimum. The answers to most questions are often beneficial to the community as a whole and allows us to provide better content for members in the future. If you are uncomfortable sharing a particular piece of information, please send a private message yourself instead of requesting on a public board for an individual to send you a private message.

Please search existing posts and threads before posting a new question. Many questions have already been answered in a separate thread.

Whenever possible, we request all members welcome new members with open arms. We are all here to learn and we want this to be the most inclusive, helpful community possible.

3. Forum Subjects

If you are confused about which forum to search or open a thread in, consider the resources below:

PhotoFern Watering Hole: This area contains all PhotoFern announcements and Help Desk/Contact information.

Member Clubhouse: Introduce yourself, welcome new members, find members in your region and engage in miscellaneous conversation.

Photography Chat by Type: Question regarding photography related issues in a specific photography genre.

Gear, Accessories & Technology: Any specific gear or technical questions related but not limited to cameras, camera settings, lenses, lighting, accessories, calibration, hardware, editing software, and more should be posted in this forum category.

Business & Marketing: Pricing, marketing strategies, promotional materials, questions about legal issues, networking, client relations and additional like-minded subjects are discussed in this category.

Post-Processing, Photo Share & Critique: This category is specifically for post-processing questions and members looking for feedback on their work. Critique in this category will be positive and constructive. Please keep in mind the best feedback is usually difficult to hear. Do not get offended or defensive if a critique seems particularly negative. Rude, inappropriate or non-helpful critique should be reported to the forum moderator. Negative comments or threads mocking photographers’ work (whether or not the work is done by a member) will not be tolerated. By posting your photo in the “Edit My Photo” thread you are openly consenting to this photo being edited by other members of the group in the spirit of demonstration. All photo copyright remains with the member who posted the original photograph.

Creativity, Inspiration & Motivation: This forum is for members looking to engage in creativity and motivational exercises, personal artistic development, charitable photography work and participate in our 52 Week Challenge.

PhotoFern Focus: Questions and social posts regarding PhotoFern Focus will be displayed here until the next year’s conference has taken place.

Products & Services: This forum is a gathering place for members and vendors to connect. Vendors may post discounts and offer codes for members to use outside the site.

4. Intellectual Property and Use of Content

By posting content in the Facebook group or discussions, you warrant that you own the rights or are authorized to share all content you post, including (but not limited to), text, images, files, etc.

You retain the copyright to all of the content that you post in the PhotoFern discussions, including text and images, subject to the following:

• Photographs are the property of the photographer. You may not copy, use, or alter images unless explicitly authorized by the photographer.

• Members may not duplicate or distribute any content (including text or images) posted in the PhotoFern groups or discussions without the express permission of the copyright holder. Re-posting or otherwise sharing group content with non-members is grounds for the immediate revocation of the PhotoFern membership.

• Members who choose to participate in official PhotoFern contests, challenges, or designated threads consent to having their entries displayed on the PhotoFern blog and elsewhere for promotional purposes.

• Members who participate in PhotoFern workshops consent to having assignments or other images posted in the workshop forum, used as examples in future workshops for instructional purposes, and as examples in workshop promotions. Workshop participants may request that their images NOT be used for these purposes by contacting Photofern at support@photofern.com.

PhotoFern may make other limited use of posted content in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine under Federal Copyright Law.

Copyright infringement will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.

5. Soliciting Business Information and Ideas

Please use professional courtesy and good judgment before appropriating the ideas of others (such as poses, locations, price lists, promos, and educational content), especially if you are located in the same city/region or utilizing the ideas online. When in doubt, please contact the original photographer to discuss your intentions.

PhotoFern reserves the right to terminate the membership of any owner, operator, employee, or independent contractor of any other commercial photography entity on the grounds of conflicting interest.

6. Distributed Materials

PhotoFern offers a variety of materials, both educational and distributed. These materials are meant for PhotoFern members alone. The sharing of these materials with non-members is strictly forbidden. As a professional courtesy, please do not utilize PhotoFern materials (whether video, text, images, etc.) in the development of your own educational workshops, classes or similar programs. PhotoFern reserves the right to terminate or revoke any membership of any member found to be offering PhotoFern materials to non-members.

Since we have no way of knowing your individual location laws and regulations, our downloadable materials are meant as templates for you to use and adjust to your business needs. PhotoFern is not liable for damages of any kind arising from the use of any of our downloaded materials. You agree to indemnify PhotoFern its moderators, agents, and affiliates against any and all damages (including but not limited to attorneys’ fees) resulting from any claim brought by a third party arising from or relating to your conduct or the use of downloaded materials on this site.

Copyright infringement will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law.

7. Discussion Moderation

Moderators do not pre-screen posted content. Moderators may – but are under no obligation to – review posts, edit posts, lock posts, or delete posts or threads at their discretion. Moderation is not intended to censor or promote certain points of view or otherwise stifle open discourse. The goal of moderation is to uphold our policies and keep discussion positive and encouraging for all members.

If a thread, post, or part of a post is deleted by Moderators, and a member attempts to re-post the deleted content (or anything similar to the deleted content), that member’s posting privileges may be suspended or revoked.

If you have a question about administrative action taken in a post or thread, please email support@photofern.com to discuss it. Publicly posting questions or complaints about moderation is not appropriate discussion conduct.

Reporting Posts: If you have experienced or observed in appropriate posts or other inappropriate behavior by a PhotoFern member, please report the post to our moderators by clicking the arrow in the top right corner of the post and selecting “Report to Admin”.

Examples of Posts that should be reported:
1) Advertising or promotional posts by non-vendors
2) Personal attacks or otherwise rude/malicious posts (especially about fellow photographers or PhotoFern members)
3) Posts that are obscene, offensive, or inflammatory
4) Posts that encourage pirating/copyright infringement

A few tips for Reporting Posts:

1) If you are uncertain about whether to report a post, report it anyway. Moderators will decide whether action needs to be taken.
2) You will not receive a reply to a Post Report, but Moderators review every report. If you require a reply, please submit your report by emailing support@photofern.com.

8. Disciplinary Action

While we hate to see a member go, we remain committed to making PhotoFern a positive and encouraging environment.

The rules for appropriate and inappropriate conduct apply to all activity within the site and on it’s counterparts (such as the group Facebook page and the mobile app) . Private interactions between members (including private messages and off-board activity) may be taken into consideration if such correspondence or conduct is brought to the attention of moderators.

Moderators are generally forgiving of isolated minor violations.

The most common administrative actions are to edit, move, or delete posts or threads. The second most common actions are the issuance of reminders or warnings.

More serious violations – or repeated minor violations – may result in immediate membership suspension or revocation. Serious violations include (but are not limited to):

1) Direct personal insults, attacks, or harassment
2) Spam or deliberate post count inflation
3) Advertising, Referrals, Self-Promotion, or Solicitation (one warning is generally given)
4) Sharing of PhotoFern materials with non-members
5) Copyright Infringement or Stealing Member Materials without expressed permission
6) Permitting account access by anyone other than the registered account holder

The above guidelines notwithstanding, PhotoFern reserves the right to suspend, revoke or deny a member’s membership and/or privilege to post content on our site at any time and for any reason. Members who are suspended or banned are entitled to no refund of their membership payment.

9. Vendors

Approved vendors are permitted to promote their businesses and business products to PhotoFern members. If you have a product or service you would like promote on our site please fill out the Vendor Application Form or email marketing@photofern.com.

Vendors are entitled to the following:

1) Vendor badge to be used on forums
2) Authorization for use of your signature as a hyperlink advertisement
3) Unlimited access to post discounts, coupons, offer codes and similar information in the “Products & Services” forum.
4) Access to all forums for general discussion and product mentions.

Vendors are NOT entitled to the following:

1) Unsolicited private messaging to members about specific products or discounts. If members wish to speak to a vendor they can do so in the “Exclusive Discounts & Offers” forum. Private messaging of members by vendors will be considered harassment and are grounds for immediate cancellation of vendor membership account without refund.

2) Promotion of more than one business. If you own more than one business you must submit a vendor application for each business you are interested in promoting.

PhotoFern reserves the right to refuse vendor applications or revoke vendor membership accounts at any time for any reason.

10. Affiliate Program

Members can become a PhotoFern affiliate by signing up here. Members earn 20% of all new member signups using your unique referral code. Commissions are based on member payment price after coupon codes and any additional discounts. Commissions on payments refunded for any reason will be deducted from affiliate balance.

Payments are distributed via Paypal on the 15th of every month for every account holding more than $100. Accounts holding less than $100 will roll over the balance to the following month. You must complete the payment method section and have a W-9 on file in order to receive payment.

11. PhotoFern App

(Coming Soon)

12. Miscellaneous

Technical support, billing questions, discussion questions or any additional website issues should be sought by contacting our support team at support@photofern.com.

Please do not contact group moderators by seeking out their personal or business email addresses, phone numbers or social media contacts. Contact via these areas may be grounds for membership suspension or revocation.

If you wish to cancel your membership, you can do so here by logging into your account and clicking “Member Cancelation”. Cancelation requests are processed within 24 hours and include a confirmation email as proof of cancelation. Maximum refunds are limited to all payments made within 60 days of support contact.

If you have any questions or suggestions relating to these TOS, please contact us at support@photofern.com.