Recently, within a matter of days, I had to contact four third-parties who were using images I’ve taken for a client, without permission and without attributing credit.
That doesn’t feel good.
What is a proper photo credit?
Clearly and distinctly noting the photographer and copyright holder. On social media, this is via a mention (“@VoyageAndHeart") in the caption. A tag in the photo itself is also appreciated, but does not suffice on its own; and it’s not okay to hide it among the comments or hashtags, source Pinterest, or leave it out completely. For articles online, this typically means a small notation on the bottom corner of the image, with a link back to their website (“Photo Credit: Voyage + Heart” or “© Voyage + Heart”).
When you post an image that is not your own without permission or credit, you’re stealing and in violation of copyright law. Please be careful not to do this — I truly wouldn’t want you on the receiving end of an unexpected invoice (or worse!). Don’t ignore messages that have been thoughtfully and respectfully crafted, kindly asking you to make the needed adjustments. Don’t respond saying crediting the owner of the image is not how you operate (what?!).
I don’t know why being upfront about attributing credit is such a begrudging task for some. It doesn’t make you look less professional. It doesn’t take away from your post, caption, or message. If anything, it benefits you — when you tag a brand in the photo, you’ll be seen by their audience, expanding your reach and driving more traffic to your platform(s)!
What it really comes down to, is being a decent person and respecting the hard work of the small business owner who put in copious amounts of time, thought, skill, and creativity.
Take a moment to reflect on how much effort and passion you’ve put into running a business. How would you feel if you weren’t given the credit you deserve?
I understand that honest mistakes happen! However, if you’ve neglected to credit a photo you’ve shared, please fix it. Do the right thing. Give credit where credit is due.
We are all professionals, we are all business owners, and we are all in this together.
Let’s support each other.