This blog post is a LONG time coming. It is a culmination of my friends and family asking me what the “proper” way to share professional photos is on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets, as well as my own observations this past year scrolling through my newsfeed. As someone who uses social media as my primary marketing tool for the business, I depend on others to have a knowledge of proper sharing techniques. It may sound absolutely ridiculous, but there really is a right and not-so-right way to share your photos on social media. All too often, I’m scrolling through, see someone’s STUNNING photos of their wedding/ engagement/ family portrait session, and I’m like, “wait, who was the artist behind these? I want to know them and check out more of their work!” But I can’t, because credit wasn’t given where credit was due. Many of you know that I practice law in my day job, and one of the most important things when writing a law review article is citing correctly to the author. Why should photographs be any different? Someone poured hours into this photo you just posted. They studied hard to get the light, the subjects and the aperture perfect. They planned for your shoot. They took classes, worked with a mentor, and studied how to post-process in such a way that they attracted you as a client. So without further ado, here are some helpful tips that I think would be helpful.
1. Tag your photographer’s business page when you post their work.
This first one sounds like it should be obvious, but I cannot tell you how many times I have seen gorgeous photos on my social media and have no clue who took them. Many of us use the Shoot & Share model of photography to allow you to share photos from your photo session with the world, but PLEASE do your photog the justice of crediting them. You are not only crediting the artist, but you may be helping them gain future business. If you liked your photos enough to share them, it means you respect your photographer’s work. Go the extra step and tag them. Caveat: Facebook mobile is basically terrible; if you can’t tag your photog from your phone, be SURE to log onto a computer and do it. Still not working? Try putting the “@” symbol and then typing in their business page. That always works.
2. Stop cropping your profile pictures. Seriously. Stop.
Another Facebook fail is when people crop their profile pictures to squares. Believe it or not, the crop that your photographer chooses is part of their art. I know, mind blown. Now listen up: Facebook profile photos will ALWAYS display as squares, but you need to skip the “crop” feature when it prompts you to do so. Trust me on this one. Facebook mobile won’t let you? Be a doll and wait until you can sign on to a computer. Or, use the browser from your Safari/ internet app and sign into Facebook that way.
3. Those Instagram filters? JUST NO.
If you take anything away from this blog post, please remember this one. In my photographer groups, it’s the number one thing that people get truly upset about. Altering someone’s art through your own edits, no matter how well-intentioned, is an infringement on that photographer’s copyright. It’s also just awful. You chose your photographer based on their photographic style, so why change that? (Side note: I’m pleased to announce that this has not happened to me yet, as my clients are just unbelievably awesome. Shout out to you guys!)
4. Do NOT crop out their logo.
In the instance where there IS a logo within someone’s photo, don’t even think about cropping it out. I’ve seen WAY too many photos with half a logo missing because someone didn’t follow rule #2 above. This one should be so obvious, but apparently it’s not. Did you know that branding takes hours and maybe MONTHS to put together? And, side note, half a logo makes your photo look a little bit silly.
The takeaway from all of these? Be mindful. This is someone’s artwork. They’ve poured their soul into it and want you to have the most gorgeous outcome. In this moment, I want to thank all of my clients who have continued to be diligent and thoughtful about what they share on social media. That kind of mindfulness is what has drawn me to you in my business and I so appreciate it! And lastly, I hope this helps at least one person navigate through the ever-changing world of social media.
(The photograph below is from a recent day off I had; so glad I was able to spend it with people I love!)