How to Give Photo Credit
(And Why You Have To)
There are many careers around the globe, and photography is one of them. Although majorly taken lightly, it takes a decent amount of skill to capture a great image. To capture all that accurately and create memorable photos is an art, worthy of acknowledgement.
Why You Have to Credit Photographers
This is simple. Someone laboured to take that beautiful photo, planned and created that perfect setting to create that fantastic end product that you have used for personal gain. That is someone’s work you want to take so lightly by not giving due picture credit. Also, remember, that visitors to your website may require photography services and you giving credit is building a network that may turn around and benefit you directly.
Having the mindset that you’ll share the photographer’s details when one of your website visitors pays particular interest in it is a fallacy. Who’s to tell, one year later, where you got the photo from? Also, failing to credit photographers can have your social media accounts blocked. It could also put you in some serious trouble if those who have the rights decide to report your account to the authorities.
A lot of work is taken into account when creating photos and those responsible deserve to be commended for their handy work. After all, you are sharing their images because you love their work, right?!
Consider this: You are a wedding photographer who puts out a shot of a bride preparing for her wedding. She’s done with her hair and makeup and wears a lovely Oscar De la Renta wedding dress, carrying a bottle of champagne. The optimum credit goes to the bride, the hair designer, the makeup artist, and the Oscar De la Renta robe seller. You might say, “This is so much effort!” While it might be, it took a group of people to make this photograph stunning and so the others are deserving of credit too.
Sometimes, there are scrupulous people out there who take material and attempt to pass it off as theirs. (As a photographer you can read our blogpost about “Find Stolen Images & Enforce Copyright with Copytrack“.)
This job is rough, hence why you ought to give the necessary credit to the relevant parties. Other times it is not a case about people being morons – they genuinely do not know the details of how the internet operates. You can post content, but you should still offer respect to the credits, and this can be as simple as adding a photo credit emoji.
Giving Photo Credit
Our lives have become, in most part, virtual; with posts and photos and statuses being uploaded on various social media platforms every minute globally. Many a time, a picture is attached to a post. The writer of the post is likely not the original owner of the photo. This, therefore, means that the photographer deserves to get photo credit. You may be a blogger and mistakenly think that by indicating links to elsewhere you’ll be driving website traffic away from your website. While that may happen, it builds trust to your viewers as it is indicative that you give due credit. As a matter of fact, outbound links may benefit your search engine optimization and boost your website in Google standings. Plus, it’s a decent courtesy to accredit the creator of something. Wouldn’t you appreciate being credited for works you’ve done yourself?
How to Give Photo Credit Appropriately
Any time you upload an image on any platform, you ought to make sure you give the creator credit. Legally, it is unlawful to use photos that are not your creation without giving picture credit. Suppose photographers were to follow up on all the images used without permission. In that case, you could possibly be faced with several lawsuits. Sufficient photo credit ensures all members involved in the creation of a picture are mentioned in the comments. For different organizations and circumstances, that can mean different things. If you are unsure about who needs to be credited, dig further or ask someone who ought to know. Here’s the appropriate way to give photo credit.
Depending on the source of the photo, you may sometimes need to contact the owner and request permission to use it. If it has a watermark, use it as is without cropping out the watermark to give picture credit. When permissions are required, having communication in a written format like email comes in handy in case of a dispute in future.
If picture usage is on a website or blog, put a link to the creator’s website and indicate their name or the source of the image underneath it. This could be something like “photo by” or “image by” followed by the photographer’s name and a hyperlink to their website.
Social Media Citations
Social media citations are dependent on the platform in question. If using Facebook, it’s pretty easy as there is a share button that shows the original source and content writer. Or you tag the person with “Photo by @username“.
If using Twitter, tagging the username will suffice. This means you indicate “via @username” in your tweet.
If using Pinterest, the platform offers a re-pin button.
In some cases, the original creator of the work includes a URL. It would be best if you shared the URL in its purest form without editing. If using Google+, you should indicate the company or person whose content you are sharing. To do this, add a “+” or “@” which will generate their Google+ name. If using LinkedIn, you simply share the link to shared content and mention the responsible company or person behind the original work.
Benefits of Indicating Photo Credits
Sharing images without indicating photo credits is stealing. Period! Whether you name the website, brand, or person who created the picture, that’s credit enough. Networking is the most significant gain of tagging as many users as possible. For networking, photo crediting has massive benefits. Here’s how it works. You tag them, and they’re going to tag you, they’re going to see you and your fans see them. That couples find their wedding vendors on social media is an odd and wonderful reality. This is possible because someone credited vendors and service providers on images they shared. The networking opportunities, though, go too much further. You never know who is following your posts, and how much value addition you are adding unknowingly.
Like visualizations and infographics, how you quote photographs and pictures on your blog or website all depends on your source. It is license-free when you purchase stock pictures so you may want to consider this option so you can do with them as you wish.
Many marketers and advertisers are continuously searching for content photos for their blog posts. They don’t want to pay for each image. It’s possible to go to Google Images and find a photo you want. However, all these pictures have different amounts of permissions. While many of them can be included on your forum or website, that is not uniformly true of them all. Some filters allow you to use photographs and modify, adapt, or expand them for commercial use.” Unfortunately, these filters cannot always be trusted. People are comfortable with sharing photos and images, which they have licenses for but you may not. Free stock picture sources (like Unsplash) are available though it is advisable that you buy a license for a stock picture website (like Photocase) if you want to be secure.
It’s Not Always All Rosy
There are some incidences where you may share images and indicate the necessary credits but, for whatever reason, the original owners are upset about your share. They may contact you directly requesting you to pull it down from your platform, or worse even, use legal means to get you to do so.
(You can read our blogpost about “Copytrack” to learn how to handle this situation)
Sometimes, this could be due to your website or blog content. Perhaps they do not endorse it or do not want any association with it whatsoever, which citing their images does indirectly. After all, as an original creator, it is your legal right to determine where you want your work shared. Respectfully, it is recommended you heed to their requests and pull down their images. Fighting it isn’t worth it.
No matter your production, ensure you respect other people work in the best way you possibly can. That way, you gain respect from your followers and fellow authors without creating uncalled for bad vibes within the industry. Remember, networking can happen in different ways, whether intended or not, and the last thing that’s good for your business is negative publicity. It is always best to conduct your affairs in legal ways and avoid lawsuits that will not only be time-consuming but financially engaging too. It’s pretty simple: credit photographers when images are not your original pieces even if it is as simple as including a photo credit emoji. This will show your readers how genuine and transparent you are; increasing the trust levels that people will associate you with.
What do you think? Do you credit the photographer when you share pictures? Are your pictures been used without credit? Let us know in the comments!