As a photographer, I am a lover of moments. Duh. It’s what I spend my weekends and weeknights capturing, and my weekdays editing. In capturing your moments, the actual time spent with my camera in my hand is a small fraction of the time and effort I spend ensuring you receive the best possible reflection of my work. So, when I occasionally see my images (or those of any other creative professional) posted without any credit whatsoever, it’s frustrating.

How to Credit, When to Credit, and Why You Should

Does that sound petty? It shouldn’t. We photographers, along with every other creative professional, spend hours honing our skills, perfecting our craft, and building our businesses so we can best serve you, our client. We spend hours on each project, and sometimes on a single image.

What that means is that for a single, one-hour session, we spend an average of 10 to 15 hours (sometimes more) communicating with our client, culling, editing and retouching images, creating galleries and any other products our client may have requested, and prepping social media and blog posts. Guys, that’s 10 to 15 hours for one client, and we’re usually working with multiple clients and on multiple projects at the same time. While it may seem that your favorite photog pushed a button, and you suddenly have fabulous photographs, it’s not the camera, it’s not the editing software, and it’s certainly not an online platform that produced those beautiful images for you – it’s the photographer.

Why It Matters

You should credit your photographer or creative professional, because of all the time the spent working so hard for you? Yes. Yes, but there’s more. You should credit your photographer because it’s their livelihood. You should credit your photographer because it’s their work. Not crediting a photographer is akin to plagiarizing a paper. You wouldn’t plagiarize a paper, so why don’t you credit whoever created your photographs?  Unfortunately, whether you intended to or not, when you post a photo you didn’t take, share a hand-lettered quote you didn’t write, or post a photo of that beautiful bouquet delivered to your doorstep, you are effectively accepting credit for said photo, hand-lettering, and bouquet (borrowed from Bailey Aro Photography).

I fully understand that every single person who forgets to credit is not exactly trying to claim ownership of the image, and I understand you want to share the photos from your session with friends and family via social media. I want you to! When clients, friends or companies share my work, I am immensely grateful, flattered, and yea, I get a little [read: very] excited. It’s a virtual high-five, “You’re awesome! I love this, and I want all of my family and friends to know!” however, referrals and word-of-mouth are a huge source of business for any creative entrepreneur. Getting credit for our work is not only gratifying but a boost to our business.

All of the above brings me to this:

Why should you be crediting your photographer every single time you post any image from any session they’ve ever done for you, even if it’s years later?

Your photog created those images, you didn’t. So, give them a virtual high-five, tag them in their images. If you love your images enough to continue to post them, then I would hope you appreciate the photographer who made them enough to tag their work. I still tag my wedding photographer, despite the fact that my wedding was well over a year ago. (Yes, we work in the same industry. Yes, she could be seen as my competition, but she’s not. We are different people, attract different clientele, and I want everyone to know how wonderful she is. Valerie Denise Photos, check her out.)

When should you credit your photographer or other creative professionals?

Every. Single. Time. you post any of their work. Doesn’t matter what it is, how far removed from when they did the work for you or the circumstances under which you post their work. Credit them. You’ll also get major kudos from us.

Okay, I get it. I need to credit my photographer every single time I post or repost anything they’ve ever created. How do I do that?

You’re my favorite. Really. You are. Look below for step-by-step instructions on how to credit. Thank you.

How to Credit Your Photographer or Any Other Creative Professional

Video Instructions

The best way to credit your photographer is to type their website address into the caption box and to tag them in the photo or location.

Facebook

  1. In the caption box, type, “www.lauraglenphotography.com”
  2. Boom! All done! Thank you!

If that doesn’t work…

  1. In the bottom of the caption box after your own words, (if you choose not to include a caption, this would be the only thing in the box) begin typing, “@laura glen photography.” Again, my business should pop up in the list.
  2. Click on my business.
  3. Boom! All done! Thank you!

And, if that still doesn’t work…

  1. In the ‘Location’ box, start typing “Laura Glen Photography.” My business should pop up in the list.
  2. Click on my business.
  3. Boom! All done! Thank you!

Instagram

*If you tag on Instagram, and then post to Facebook, you still need to go through the tagging process on Facebook.

In the caption…

  1. Type @lauraglenphotography.
  2. That’s it! 🙂

Tag me in the photo…

  1. Before clicking ‘Share,’ tap ‘People,’ type, “laura glen photography.”
  2. Make sure my name appears in a slightly translucent gray box.
  3. Tap ‘Done.’
  4. Share your image!
  5. Done! Thank you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to credit me whenever you post my images. I am so grateful for your support.


For other perspectives on these crediting shenanigans, check out these posts from two photographers I greatly respect and admire.

Bailey Aro Hutchence – Bailey Aro Photography 

Jenna Kutcher

How to Credit, When to Credit and Why You Should