How much do you know about copyright and how to credit a photographer? This is an important question for photographers, as well as those who use their images.
In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of giving credit to your photographer, what to include in the caption when posting photos on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, and other things that can help protect your rights if someone decides they want to steal your image.
It is not enough to simply take the photo, you should always credit the photographer. There may be instances where others will create some of your graphics or other images without your direct input.
What are Photo Credits?
When you post a photo to social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, the sites will include the name of the site where you uploaded your photo.
For example, if I upload a photo to my Facebook page from my computer hard drive, the name of that folder I created for that shoot will appear below the image. You can credit by saying, "Photo by: full name" or "Image courtesy of:"
This is similar to the captions that appear under the images you see throughout this blog. You can find out who took each photo by clicking on the title above each one. Photo credits are an essential gesture to appreciate the photographer's work.
Credit Your Photographer
It is important to always credit your photographer when you use the photos they take. This is more than just good manners, it is required by law. You can include a caption that says "Photo by full name" or "Image courtesy of full name."
This applies even if you've entered into some sort of agreement with the photographer where they do not own the copyright to the images.
This is true even if you create new, unique images by editing or changing elements of their photos. For example, you would give them credit if you overlay an image on top of another one so that your family is sitting in front of a famous painting. You just need to give them credit for the original photo.
Using someone's images without giving them credit is illegal and this includes photos that have been altered or manipulated in any way.
Plagiarism is also a concern, as it is when you lift an entire sentence from a website or book without giving proper credit to the author.
Just because you changed a few words or took some artistic license with the material does not make it okay to use without giving credit.
What Is Proper Photo Credit?
A common mistake people make is simply crediting a photographer by including their name in the photo caption, but nothing more specific. For example, "Photo courtesy of Bob Freelance Photographer."
This may seem like enough information, but some websites allow people to post images for free. These sites often don't want their users to only upload copyrighted material, so they make certain requirements about how credit must be given.
To prevent someone from uploading an image taken by another photographer without permission, some of these websites will not accept photos if the photo credit only includes the name of who took the photo.
What are some things you should know?
- If someone steals your image, you have legal rights. However, if you do not know this person, you will have a more difficult time convincing them to take down the photo. In some cases, it is helpful to be able to show that the image was watermarked.
- If someone steals your image and photographs something illegal or offensive with it, you could get in trouble for having the image on your site/page even though you did not take the image.
- If someone commits a crime using one of the images that you posted on social media, it is possible to get in trouble for failure to supervise or negligent supervision if you continue to have the image available for viewing after being told that the person committed a crime with it.
- If you publish a photo of a person on social media, make sure they are happy with it. This means if you take a photo of someone and post it on your Facebook page, they need to know about it first.
- You do not have copyright ownership of photos that you shoot at work. Your employer does. However, this does not give them the right to use those images without your permission or knowledge.
You own any images taken outside of work hours or during lunch breaks as long as they were taken on personal equipment and no company equipment was used in their creation.
How to Give Photo Credit to a Photographer
In most cases, you will be the photographer for your images. However, if someone else took your photo and they did not give themselves credit in their post of this image then it is a good idea to ask them personally how they would like to be credited so that you can edit it when sharing on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.
- If it's a photo you took and just want to make sure they get credit, then ask them how to give photographer credit or artist credit.
- If the person who took your image is not someone you know personally on social media (or if their account has been deleted) but there are other clues such as "Bob" or "friend" in the image's file name, then you can ask them how they would like to be credited by sending a private message on Facebook or Twitter.
- If it's an old photo and the original photographer is not identifiable, but there are other clues such as "grandpa" or "great-grandma," then try looking for an old family album and finding out who the photographer was.
- If you can't find any clues at all, then try to research the image on Google Images or Flickr so that you can identify possible copyright holders.
What is Giving Photo Credit on Instagram & Social Media?
Portrait photographer, many clients have asked me if they could post the photos I took of them to social media and how to give photo credit on Instagram.
When I first started photography and started my photography Instagram, I was not sure what “giving photo credits” was or the importance of giving photo credit on Instagram.
Photo credit means that someone else has taken your picture for you. It does not mean that you are paying anyone money to take pictures of you.
It just means that you permitted someone to use your images as long as they follow certain guidelines.
How to Give Photo Credit on Instagram & Social Media
I was looking for a way to give credit to the photographers who take my Instagram photos, without sounding like I'm bragging about it. What can I do?
- Use the “@” symbol followed by their username in your caption or post description. The @ sign is called an "at" symbol and works as a text shortcut for "at" followed by a space and then the username.
- When you post your photo to Instagram, add the photographer's @username in the caption or description of your photo so they get credit. For example, if I took a picture with my phone it would look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As the owner of your media, you have control over how it is used. You might want to talk with other people before publishing a photo so they are aware that their name will be attached to it. If someone in the picture doesn't agree with this, then don't post that photo!
- Never use anyone's logo or trademark without their permission.
- To find the Instagram username, open up your photo on Instagram and then click “@” in the top right corner of the app to reveal a list of people who have been tagged in this photo. Find out if you are one of them! If not, scroll down until you see "Linked Accounts." Here you can find the Instagram username.
- You will need to use an app like InstaQuote or PutItOnTheMap if your phone doesn't have this feature built-in. These apps allow you to add a caption, phrase, or logo on top of your photo and then go back into Instagram or Facebook as needed for editing.
- Don’t forget to check the #hashtag and geotag section below, as this can also help you give credit!
- If you want to tag someone in your photo or comment, then that person needs to be added as a friend or follower on Instagram.
- You cannot tag friends who are not following you back. You will need to send them a private message first, if they still don't follow you back then give up trying!
- Geotags help gives credit because it allows other people on Instagram to see how many likes your photo got in different locations.
- Other photographers can also manually type in the geotag location information into their photos so that they are tagged with yours when they are uploaded at that same location!
- The #hashtag section is simple. Just add hashtags of popular locations or places where this photo was taken. It's not necessary but some people do enjoy seeing insight about the place where their images were shot before adding their photos.
Why Should We Give Photo Credits?
Crediting is one of the ways to give your favorite photographers the recognition they deserve is by adding photo captions on Facebook this helps others who see our posts know where we found these great shots before sharing them like crazy themselves.
On Instagram too, there’s an option under "Details" when posting photos from other accounts so that followers can be sure to find them on the photographer’s profile.
Here are some other great examples of how to give photo credit:
- When you're sharing photos from a Flickr account, make sure to click "Share" and then add your caption in the message box that pops up (see screenshot below).
- Also, when we share blog posts or videos with our friends on Pinterest, we can include their name under the title so they get recognition for their work as well!
Photo Credit Options
Here are ways on how to credit photos on the most popular image sharing platforms on the web.
If you're posting a photo someone else has taken on social media, there's an option to add their name as the owner of this image.
Scroll through your timeline and click "Add Photo/Video" at the top left corner of any post from another account (see screenshot below). When viewing the picture that pops up next, look for a text box just under it labeled "Share." You can simply type in who took this shot before uploading!
This platform also allows users to give credit by clicking over into “Details” when adding photos or videos with other accounts - it will take you directly to their profile page so followers know where they'll find more images like these.
Underneath the post-it will say "You might also like" and if you click on that it will take you to their profile page (see screenshot below).
When sharing a photo from this social network, make sure to add the photographer’s name in the message box that pops up. Simply type over into “share with the description” and then enter their name there before posting! If they are not following your account yet, we can include their username too so they get credit for all of these beautiful images :)
We can include people's names under our blog posts or videos when pinning them onto other platforms - simply right-click select "Share," choose who the content is being shared with, then type their name in the box that pops up (see screenshot below).
This social network also allows users to give credit by clicking over into “Details” when adding photos or videos with other accounts - it will take you directly to their profile page so followers know where they'll find more images like these. Underneath the post-it will say "You might also like" and if you click on that it will take you to their profile page (see screenshot below).
When we answer questions from this platform, make sure to include a link back to our website or blog so people can see how incredible our work is and read some of what else we have written here!
It would be great if you could include some of our captions as well so that we can give credit to ourselves and those who have inspired us :)
If the content is freely available on your blog post or website then it should not be necessary to add photo credits.
However, when reblogging a photo from someone else’s site make sure to provide them with appropriate attribution by adding their name in the message box before posting (see screenshot below). This will help others know where this image came from.
When adding a video from this website, there will be an option to enter the person’s name in the “Description” section under “Post Options.”
Type their name into this text box before uploading (see screenshot below). If they are not following your account yet, we can include their username too so they get credit for all of these beautiful images.
Benefits of Crediting a Photographer
- It's the right thing to do! A photographer deserves credit for their work.
- Attract more followers: Giving photo credits is a great way to get people following your account and engaging with it, increasing exposure for both you and the person who took the image in question.
- Build credibility as an influencer: If you're looking to build up your reputation as a social media influencer by posting images of various things that are relevant to what you write about then crediting them will help make sure others know they can find out more from where those photos came from which may lead them back into reading your blog or checking out one of your other accounts on Instagram or Facebook etc.
- Helps to grow your network: There's nothing better than networking with other people in the industry and this shows that you're willing to give back to those who have done something for you. This could be an opportunity for a photographer to get more exposure from being seen on your account, perhaps getting some of their work featured in images you publish, etc!
- Awareness For Yourself: It's good practice to credit photographers if we share their content - often they don't know where or how it ends up on social media (we can't imagine many people are checking out @gettyimages ) so crediting them, helps us keep track of our image sources too.
- Credit a photographer if you use one of their photos without crediting them. Let's credit our sources!
- Sharing credit is a good way to build up your network of contributors - they'll be more likely to trust you with their content, tell others about how they are being credited, etc. It's also just the right thing to do so don't forget!
Tips for Crediting a Photographer
- When it comes to sharing images from other accounts, consider what purpose this will serve and how the person who took the photo might benefit from it. If the image is going to be used as a form of advertisement (i.e. you're contacting them about their work to get in touch with them) then make sure the caption/post tells your followers where it's from and who took it!
- When sharing images on social media try to keep an eye on how they are being used if possible, which can be determined by looking at the image description. If you see that an image is being used as a profile picture, consider giving credit to the person who took this photo if they haven't been tagged in it - sometimes we can't tag them unless we have their username!
- Credit people whenever possible by tagging their social media handle or name in a post/comment. This can be done when using a photo from another website or something that wasn't taken by yourself.
- Doing this not only lets the photographer know that you've shared their work but gives them a chance to engage with your post and possibly even build a relationship! Don't feel like you need to wait until someone asks before crediting someone - go ahead and tag them in images from their profile when it's relevant!
- Keep an eye on hashtags that are more specific to the photo. If you're sharing a wedding image of a couple who had recently gotten married, chances are they'll be using the hashtag #married so it would be helpful if you can tag them in your caption or comment section!
- The correct way to credit a photographer is in the caption or a comment if it's a photo from another website.
- When crediting a photographer in a post/comment, always tag in their handle (username) on social media. This lets them know you've shared their work and gives them the chance to like your post!
- If you can't tag them in the image description, make sure to tag them in the caption or comment section!
- Sharing images of your work jokingly with friends on social media is one thing but when it comes to showing off your work for a more professional look, you'll need to credit the photographer.
- This will let people know who took that particular image and where they can find more of their work. Make sure that you credit the photographer in the caption or comment section if it wasn't you who took them!
If you're going to use a photographer's work for your blog post, make sure that they are credited. You may not take any of the credit for their hard work and skill.
Giving them proper attribution is just one way of showing gratitude and respect towards another person's creativity. The least we can do in return is give them some appreciation for their work.
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