Good Clear Pictures make the Wiki shine.

Good pictures of items help the Wiki better than almost anything. A picture is worth a thousand words--and the better the picture, the easier the words.

No Pic? Problem!

Several articles on the AG Wiki do not have pictures--likely because they came out and were retired before AG had a dedicated website, and so we must rely on catalog scans and/or personal pictures. And we want pictures. We want them bad. Use {{PictureNeeded}} at the top of a page to alert everyone that there's no picture, and it will drop into a category called "Picture Needed" so editors can know that a good picture is needed.

And don't forget to take it off once a picture has been added.

General Guidelines

Filenames should be descriptive and relevant to the contents of the picture, i.e. File:KitTypewriter.jpg. A randomly-named file or a file with gibberish/checksum/word salad characters, like File:727f2a590028b2bcd20de972d99b1d3a.gif, File:Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 2.16.26 PM.png and File:Image1.jpg (for some examples) makes it too much of a hassle for administrators and other users to locate an image, as it leaves them guessing for what the image looks like and increases the probability of duplicates. Furthermore, do not write long details for the file name or use anything other than simple dashes in titles for spacing and capitals to differentiate; spaces and other punctuation lead to hard-to-find files. (eg. do not name a file Kit's Typewriter (new version with no holly and ribbon).jpg; a better name is KitTypewriter-2014.jpg.")

Images need to have minimal .jpg artifacts, pixelation, or blur; they should be as clear and neat as possible. A compressed blurry image is a waste of time and resources.

Pictures need to be large enough so as to be used on articles, which is generally about 300px on the shortest side. Bigger may not always be better; images should not be too large, or they will load slowly on pages.

Crop or trim images with large amounts of white space.

Pictures should ideally have no watermarks; this is evaluated on a case by case basis, but generally do not put watermarks on images.

Pictures need to be categorized and described; descriptions at minimal need to link to the article for the image. Images without both are subject to deletion.

Non-catalog images that are traceable back to any website--both personal and widely used like eBay/Google searching for images--is insufficient. This includes story illustrations from other sites. Unless there has been explicit permission from the site master, images taken and uploaded here are theft.

Don't even think of uploading leaked images. We don't want any legal trouble from American Girl for having images of unreleased, beta or prototype items on the wiki, especially if there are images about an upcoming character/dolls. The only exceptions are if American Girl decides to release images for upcoming products in any capacity - on their official social media, or attached with a press release - or through online merchants (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) for any unreleased books and other media.

Catalog for the Win

Online catalog pics are likely going to win out.

A Catalog--or in this day and age, website--picture is almost always going to trump any other picture around. They're clean, crisp, and with only the data needed. Most items released after this Wiki started will get online catalog pictures, and older ones may be able to be located using such resources as Google Image Search or the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, where it's possible to pull up older catalog pictures.

The main thing with catalog pictures is that they must be large enough to display on pages.

Pictures should have few if any artifacts (messy little bits in the background) and of high quality. A small blurry picture is not better than no picture.

It is possible, if a catalog picture of older products is poorer than a personal picture, that the admins will determine that the personal picture is better used.

Clear Scans

Catalog scans are good too.

If a catalog pic can't be found, and you have old catalogs, scan them in! Scans are a little trickier than Catalog pictures. Scans are also the best bet for all book illustrations and covers if needed, since pictures can be reduced down to just the scan. Don't take photographic pictures of book illustrations. They often come out terrible.

Try and clean up the scanned image as much as possible. Remove any background bleed through using photo editors. GIMP and Paint.NET are two open source/freeware photo editing programs that can help in cleaning up scanned images.

Scans of catalog pictures need to focus on one product at a time if at all possible; illustrations should only have one illustration at a time. Pictures of white backed pictures--much like a catalog picture--are best.

Pictures should have few if any artifacts (messy little bits) and of high quality. A small blurry picture is not better than no picture.

It is possible, if a scanned picture of older products is poorer than a personal picture, that the admins will determine that the personal picture is better used.

Personal Touch

Personal pictures, personal touch.

Sometimes, the only thing we have are personal images to get good closeups and information. This isn't bad--but it means that the pics have to be very, very on point, and the quality must be almost at the best you can give it.

The main thing is that personal images need to be the Three Cs:

  • Clean.
  • Clear
  • preCise.

Pictures should only be of the item or doll discussed. This means no pictures of yourself (including hands and feet holding dolls) extraneous dolls, dolls holding items or standing near them if not needed, extraneous accessories, etc.

Exception: If a doll has pierced ears, hearing aids, or other permanent modifications, these do not have to be removed; however, they must not be overly distracting from the image. Glasses are allowed if not obtrusive.

The doll should be facing forward as much as possible, not in profile or with their head turned too far. The doll should be standing up if at all possible to show off the full outfit in a clean and straight line. Do not take images from extremely high angles ("bird") or extremely low ones ("ant"). Don't take pictures from a far distance.

Dolls should have neat, clean hair--brush before you shoot!

Outfits need to be displayed on dolls. Not on dress forms, laying flat on the floor, hanging loose on hangers, etc. There are very few reasons to display an outfit off a doll; find someone and dress them up.

Exception: Accessory sets, by nature, are best shown off a doll and neatly arraigned unless they are supposed to be matched with a specific outfit, and then only as much as needed and only with the outfit they are matched to.

Outfits need to be displayed properly. The skirt of the Plaid Skirt and Sweater has the zipper on the side, not the back. Samantha's Play Dress and Pinafore should have the collar of the dress underneath the pinafore when shown together.

Outfits cannot be chopped, disassembled, or modified. If you hacked Julie's meet pants into shorts or cut a deep V in a shirt and turned it into a crop top, then it's clearly not what the product looked liked at purchase and we can't use this image.

No mix and match. If you are taking pictures of say, the First Day Outfit, only take pictures of it.

Exceptions: Shirts or articles that didn't come with complete sets, such as shoes, socks, and t-shirts need to be taken on a doll that is fully dressed. Try to make the item the focus e.g. simple, plain, on-brand jeans and shoes are best to compliment t-shirts. Stand alone robes should be shown over pajamas, preferably with a set of pajamas released near the same time that the item was released (e.g. the Fleece Robe and Slippers should be shown over a set such as the AG PJs I, as this is how it would have been in the catalog). Jackets should be shown over outfits or bottoms.

Items need to be extremely complete. A picture of just a jacket doesn't show the whole outfit. Hats, jackets, socks, shoes, all of the items need to be included.

Exception: If you don't have tiny books or small accessories (earrings, hair clips, necklaces) that came with an outfit set, then that's okay.

Pictures of full outfits need to be head to toe. A shot from the waist up is not enough.

Exception: If the item is just a shirt, then take a picture of just the shirt if possible.

Dolls need to be fully dressed--no naked from the waist down or up e.g. if you're taking a picture of a skirt, have a simple shirt with it; if it's a shirt, have some simple jeans.

Time periods/lines need to stay lined up. Kirsten might look cute to you in a modern outfit, or a modern in Maryellen's Birthday Outfit, or Bitty Baby Clothing on Bitty Twins. But we only want modern dolls in modern clothes, historical dolls in historical clothing, and lines on lines.

Exceptions: A slightly modified/customized doll may display modern clothing and only modern clothing. (This does not include a Historical Character that has been customized into a modern in a personal collection.) Girls of the Year, Create Your Own Dolls, and Contemporary Characters may display clothing for the modern line (categorized here as "Just Like You") but not Historical Clothing. Full shots of outfits for Girls of the Year/Contemporary characters must be on the character they were released for only. Dolls with extreme modifications and styles such as patterned/"anime" eyes, extreme face paint additions/repaints, dyed customs, and/or other customization are not to be used. The evaluation of an extreme or undesirable customization is final as cited by the admins.

No off brand items--no Our Generation, My Life As, Gotz Little Sister, Etsy, homemade replicas, etc. Only AG released dolls and items are allowed.

Make sure that images are crisp. No blurry messes. Digital cameras--especially in cellphones--have an auto-focus feature, so use it!

Make sure that images are very well lit, but not washed out.

Make sure backgrounds are clear, non distracting and uncluttered. A solid color wall/drop cloth/lightbox is the best option. Pictures should focus primarily on the item, not on anything else.

Don't remove backgrounds or backdrops with photo editors--in fact, don't digitally edit article personal pictures other than to remove something like personal information or data--which, if you're taking a picture right, shouldn't show up!

Personal images should be labeled as owned/taken by the photographer or sourced in the description, not on the picture itself.

Do not take any pictures from alternate sources such as eBay Auctions, sale websites, or message board posts. Pictures must be taken by the uploader or clearly approved for use and sourced. Images found to be sourced to non-personal means or not taken by the uploader will be removed. The only noted exception is the image on the American Girl 25th Anniversary Shirt as the item was given only to employees and so is quite rare.

Pictures taken of dolls on display at an American Girl Place are subject to all the same rules.

If a good, crisp catalog image is located for a personal image, it will be removed as unneeded. It is possible, if a catalog or website picture of older products is poorer than a well done personal picture, that the admins will determine that the personal picture is better used.

Closeup Shots: The Devil's in the Details

Closeup details show the goods.

Closeups of items not seen in catalog pictures (linings, shoes, necklaces, fabric prints, individual items, interiors, unshown angles, fine beaded detail, etc.) are super appreciated.

Make sure shots are clear, non distracting and uncluttered. A solid color wall/drop cloth/lightbox is the best option. Pictures should focus on the details, not on anything else.

Don't remove backgrounds or backdrops with photo editors--in fact, don't digitally edit article personal pictures other than to remove something like personal information or data--which, if you're taking a picture right, shouldn't show up!

Personal images should be labeled as owned/taken by the photographer or sourced in the description, not on the picture itself.

Do not take any pictures from alternate sources such as eBay Auctions, sale websites, or message board posts. Pictures must be taken by the uploader or clearly approved for use and sourced. Images found to be sourced to non-personal means or not taken by the uploader will be removed.

Bad and Improper Pictures

Improper, blurry, mislabled, clearly stolen or any and all other violating images will be removed without warning from any page they're on, including personal pages.

After multiple improper images by a user, they will be warned and/or given a block relative to the time to do correction or remove errors; should a lack of self-correction or continued issues arise such as further poor edits/counter productive edit wars/poorly created articles, blocks will escalate and can mean permanent removal.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.