The American Portrait project encourages Americans from all walks of life to tell their stories in their own unique way, contributing to an ever-changing patchwork exploring our shared ideals and challenges, our hopes and fears, and our evolving sense of community.

We are thrilled that you want to participate. This project is intended to be an honest reflection of our communities, and we want it to be a safe and authentic place for expression.

By contributing to the American Portrait, you agree to the Guidelines below and our full Terms of Use, which provide additional detail on the American Portrait project. All submissions go through a moderation process by our staff, and any overstepping of these Guidelines may result in deleted content or disabled accounts. These Guidelines are based in part on the PBS Editorial Standards & Practices, which you can read in full here . We reserve the right to decline or unpublish content submissions based on these standards, and we will inform you if that is the case.

If you come across a submission that seems to violate these Guidelines, you can use the flag button and/or report it to us directly.

Be creative. Be honest. Be respectful. 

Share Your Own Content

Only share content that you’ve created yourself, or that you own the rights to share. Content copied or collected from the Internet is generally prohibited. Please refer to the Terms of Use for additional information about ownership and license grant.

Avoid Gratuitously Offensive or Objectionable Material

American Portrait is intended for a very diverse audience. While we want your submissions to be genuine and uninhibited, gratuitously offensive material (e.g., violence, racial epithets, sexism, graphic language, or nudity) should not be included unless it is absolutely essential to understanding the matter at hand and does not include obscene, indecent, or profane content.

Do Not Advertise

American Portrait is about telling real stories of real people across the country. This is not a platform to solicit buying or selling of any goods or services in any way. Also, please do not include links to other websites or platforms in your submissions.

Respect the Community and Be Responsible

We encourage diverse views and perspectives, and we expect participants to be respectful of one another. We strictly prohibit content that supports hate speech, violence, or threats toward any specific individual or group of people for any reason.

Please be truthful. Don’t share content that impersonates someone else, and don’t submit misleading images or captions that aren’t representative of your story.

Don’t include personal contact details in the publicly viewable fields of your submission (the last name and email address you use to create your account will never be displayed publicly).

We will work with law enforcement if we believe there’s a threat to individual or public safety.