Over the past few months I’ve begun to notice that people aren’t sure how how to credit photographers on social media.
I use Instagram daily to invite people into my work and personal life and it is my favourite form of social media. I get a lot of referrals from Instagram and honestly love when my clients tag and mention me in their instagrams because I truly feel like that is what their wedding photographs are for – to be shared.
The fact is that photographers don’t have to share their work online, or share them with other vendors but I personally do it in my business. The copyright belongs to the photographer and photographers have different ways that they will share them with their clients and with other creatives on the wedding day. Some offer a limited copyright for businesses to use images in their business for a limited time for a fee determined by the photographer while other photographers will provide images with watermarks. Either way, the goal is the same of ensuring that the photographer receives credit for an image that is copyrighted to them and their intellectual property.
My position on this is that I want to give permission for my clients and other creatives to use images I have created not for a fee or with a watermark, but always for a credit to ensure their audience knows who took the image. Here we go with 5 tips to credit photographers on social media.
The single best way to credit photographers (or any other creatives in an image) is to ensure you have their handle in the description of your post – whether its Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Too often I see people only “tag” the photographer in the photo or add a comment with the credit but if it isn’t in the caption, the chances are people will not look elsewhere for it. Here is a great example of a post Blonde Baking Mama shared of an image I took of her beautiful cakes, with a clear credit in the caption.
Here is another great example of a credit in the caption from De La Rosa Cakes. I didn’t take all these images but she made sure to credit me in the caption clearly for the one I did capture, which is just perfect!
This is interesting because I feel like most accounts have things around backwards. A mention in the caption is essential but tagging an image is optional. I will often tag myself in some images I post on Instagram/Facebook because I want them to appear when people click on the little “images of me” button in my profile but again, not everyone will go here so it can’t be considered as tagging for credit (tap for tags is a no-no).
Just the same, if you know your photographer has a hashtag they use for their business you could also include this in your post too but if you don’t know about it, they probably don’t have a specific one they use so don’t stress.
This is a biggie. As a photographer, capturing a photograph is one step and how we choose to edit it is the finishing touches. When you add filters to an image on instagram, it is no longer a representation of your photographers work so by rights, you shouldn’t alter it in any way. A general rule if you are re-gramming, is to keep the image at the same cropping too. If you want a black and white version of a colour image to share on social media, ask your photographer and they will be more than willing to help you out!
It can get overwhelming when you think of how many people were involved in your wedding and you may not know if what the “rules” are with crediting them. My contract with my clients stipulates that when they share images online, a credit must be given to my business so whenever a client shares an image from their wedding they need to be putting in a credit in the caption.
Other creatives will not request this typically however it is considered correct etiquette to mention your creative team mainly as a way of saying, “Hey friends! These are the awesome people that made our wedding day even awesomer”. In my opinion, it is polite to tag on the image the person/business that is relevant in the image, ie, if its a photo of your cake, credit the cake maker but you don’t need to credit your makeup artist as a rule.
For example, the below image was a preview I shared the day after Laura and Adam’s wedding so I mentioned all the relevant team in the caption but I only tagged those people that were standouts in the image itself.
This last one is more for creative vendors than for my clients but my personal opinion is that in me putting my images on the internet, I am inviting people to reshare them and for this reason I do not expect everyone to contact me for permission to share on social media but this is not standard. Resharing in a blog is a different scenario as a different image size is often needed and when someone approaches me about reblogging a wedding or just a few images, I’ll give them larger images than what you can get off social media to ensure the image is perfect and a great representation of my work.
So no, in my opinion asking permission in today’s culture you should ask permission and you should credit appropriately. There is nothing worse than seeing an image online that has no credit or mention of its origin.
That’s it! I’m getting off my soap box – I’m never a fan of blog posts that constantly tell you what to do and what not to do but this was something that I feel needed to be addressed as we share more and more images online on social media. Please let me know if this was useful to you!