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A simple guide for crediting photographers when using images

Occasionally I offer my services FOC, such as my Free Shoots For Charities Scheme, or occasionally for Portfolio Building work (such as styled shoots), and when I do, I do ask that I am given credit as the photographer. This isn’t unique to me, most photographers will ask this, so this guide can be useful for anyone who needs to give credit for a photographer’s work.


Crediting photographers when using their images is not only ethical practice (more about copyright in the last section), but it helps to build positive relationships. Tagging a photographer, for example, in a social media post also increases they likelihood they’ll share it making your post reach further (a bit more relevant to businesses, who are generally keen to get seen by a more eyes). So if you've worked with any photographer on a styled shoot (this is pretty common in the wedding industry for example) this guide might be handy for you.


I’ve written this guide primarily to share with those who I do Pro Bono work for, where part of the agreement for using the images is to credit me as the photographer, but it might be useful for other people, and anyone who has worked with me on any type of shoot is of course very welcome to credit me as the photographer too (I always welcome it!).


In this guide, I have included:

· Crediting or ‘Tagging’ on Social Media

· Crediting on a Website or Blog

· Crediting in Press articles

· Crediting in print (leaflets, brochures)

· About Copyright


While most people know how to do many of the things mentioned in this article already (I think most social media users know how to tag someone these days), there are still some who don’t so I’ve written it as a simple step by step guide so that everyone is covered. For those familiar with tagging on social media, you might still find other sections useful.



Giving Credit on Social Media


Tagging someone on social media is a way to mention or link to their profile on your post, comment or photo. This then notifies that person that you’ve ‘tagged’ them and allows other people who see it to click on the tag to visit their profile.

When sharing an image from your shoot on social media, you can mention the photographer in the comment saying something along the lines of “Photography by Fran Minifie Photography”.

To turn the name into a clickable ‘tag’ of their profile, do the following:


On Facebook:

To tag my business page on facebook, start typing your post or comment (for example “photography by…”)

To do the clickable name bit, type the “@” symbol followed by “FranMinifiePhotography” – a drop down menu should appear with a list of suggested profiles. I’m the only person called “Fran Minifie Photography” out there at the moment, so mine should be the only one that comes up.


On Instagram

I have two profiles on Instagram:

@FranMinifiePhotography (which is for family photography)

And

@FranMinifieBrandPhotography (which is the one for businesses/commercial photography)


To tag either of my profiles on Instagram, start typing your post, caption or comment (for example “photography by…”)

To do the clickable name bit, type the “@” symbol followed by the correct profile of mine that you need to tag.

So if you’re a business tagging me, type “@FranMinifieBrandPhotography” (or @franminifiephotography to tag my family photography profile)

A list of matching names should appear with a list of suggested profiles. I’m the only Fran Minifie out there at the moment, so it should only suggest my profiles. Just select the correct profile depending on if you're a business or had a family photoshoot.


LinkedIn

To tag me on a LinkedIn post, start typing your post or comment (for example “photography by…”)

To do the clickable name bit, type the “@” symbol followed by “Fran Minifie” – a drop down menu should appear with a list of suggested profiles. There is no one else on LinkedIn with my name at present, so I should pop right up.


Pinterest

Create a Pin or comment on a Pin, and type @franminifiephotography and click on the correct profile from the suggestions.


Currently my business is only on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn so I have only included guides for tagging me on these social networks. If you need guidance for tagging someone in any other social networks, a quick google comes up with lots of other guides.

I only generally require credit where I have done the photos as a freebie, but it is really lovely to be credited anytime photos I’ve taken are used on social media (and I really appreciate it!), as I then get a notification and I’ll usually share the post for you. It’s all about sharing the love!



Giving Credit on a Website or Blog


If you’re using the images on your website, it’s super easy to credit the photographer. All you really need to do is write something like “Photography by Fran Minifie Photography” and make sure the text is hyperlinked, and link it to the photographer’s website (which in my case means you make it into a link to www.franminifiephotography.co.uk). It’s best to position this close to the photo if you can, but that’s not always possible.


If your website has been built by a professional website designer, they’ll be used to doing things like this, and will know of a good spot to put it, so you won’t need to worry, but if you’ve built the website yourself, or adding images in to a website you manage, this section has suggestions that should be useful for you.


There are a few ‘standard’ places people tend to do this. You do not need to do all of them at all, just choose what is most suitable solution for the website or page.


Alongside the image in a caption

Sometimes images have little captions or image descriptions underneath them, and this is a great place to write a photo credit, for example “photography by Fran Minifie Photography”


Mention the Photographer’s Name

If you don’t have captions on any images, you can always mention the photographer’s name in the text on the page.


For example, if you talk about the images featured on the page, you can always add something in brackets, such as:

“We’ve got a fantastic team (pictured above, photo credit: Fran Minifie Photography) who work hard to ensure care is given 24 hours a day”


At the end of the Article or Page

At the end of the blog, article, or page, simply add something like “Photography Credit: Fran Minifie Photography” and make this text a hyperlink to the photographer’s website. This is usually plenty enough and a great solution if your photos don’t have captions.


Link to the Photographer’s Website

Wherever possible, when mentioning the photographer who took the pictures, include a hyperlink to the photographer’s website or online portfolio. That's the bit we most care about.


In the website footer

If the website has photos done by the same photographer across the whole website, it’s common to put ‘photography by xxxx’ in the website footer. Often you’ll find at the bottom of the website is a bit that says ‘website by XXX’. Popping the photographer in alongside this when all the photos are done by the same person is an easy solution.


A watermark

You sometimes see (particularly in newspaper/press photos online) that images get watermarked in the bottom corner with something along the lines of a copyright symbol then the photographer’s name. It’s not a great solution for websites as it ruins the picture, but some do choose to do it this way.


Write a blog post about the photos

Failing that, if there’s no suitable place for the photo credit to go on any pages using the photos, one brilliant option is to write a blog post about them. It might just be describing that you’ve had your photos done by the photographer with a link to their website, or it could be a whole blog post about what the shoot day was like to make it a bit more interesting to read if anyone comes across it, but either way, it does mean there is a reference to who the photographer was somewhere on your website with a link. Most photographers will be happy with this, as the link from the blog post about the shoot is valuable for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).


I only generally require credit where I have done the photos as a freebie, but it is really nice to be credited anytime photos I’ve taken are used by paying clients too and I’m very grateful anytime anyone does. When I use pictures of businesses I’ve worked with, I do try to include links to their websites anyway (often I write a blog about our shoot) because ‘backlinks’ (links to your website) are so valuable for all of us small businesses and our SEO strategy, and if I can support you with that, I will!



Crediting In Press/Articles


If someone else is publishing it (such as a newspaper or magazine) it can be pretty tricky to control how the photo credit is done and it is usually up to the person publishing it (and how they usually do it).


Just be sure to tell them when you send over any photos that the photos used need to be credited with the Photographer’s Name (if you're using photos I've taken, obviously that'll be Fran Minifie Photography), and if possible, to include their website address (www.franminifiephotography.co.uk). Include this in your press release or when having a conversation with the person or company doing the article. And if you’re sent a copy to proofread, make sure this has been included. Sometimes they forget, and it’s your job to make sure this happens if you've agreed to this with the photographer.


If you do get something published in the press, please do share it with me! I love to share things where photos I took have been used, and I’ll usually write a social media post or a blog about it, which will hopefully get it seen by more people (and that’s the point of getting press! The more people who see it, the better).


Giving Credit In Print (Leaflets, Brochures etc)


You don’t usually credit the photographer on leaflets and print marketing that you produce, but if the photographer has done your shoot FOC in exchange for photo crediting, it’s appropriate to credit them if you can as that's what you agreed to do.


Where you can put credit for print items depends hugely on the item in question, and how it’s been designed. If you’re working with a designer to create the leaflet/brochure or whatever it is, speak to them about finding a nice way to include photo credit on the item (ideally a website address). They're Pros at this sort of thing. It can be tiny, as long as it can be read.


If you’re designing it yourself, take a look at the tips for including credit on a website page or blog and choose an option that will work with what you’re creating. For a leaflet you could pop it in small print right at the bottom.


If you do get something like a leaflet or brochure (or similar) created using images from a shoot you've had with me, I’d love to see a copy! Just like with images I’ve taken being used in press, it gives me something to share on social media or my blog, and that will hopefully get it seen by more people!



A little note about Copyright


It’s worth noting, as not many people realise this, but Photographers always hold the intellectual Property rights to their images unless they have specifically sold the copyright (which is very unusual), or some other agreement was reached for joint ownership.


The same goes for images you create yourself. If you take a photo using a camera or your phone, you (as the “creator”), own the copyright. An image doesn’t have to have a copyright symbol on it for it to be protected by Copyright. Any image (including images you’ve found on google) will be owned by someone.


Generally, when you’ve had a photoshoot with a photographer (whether it’s for business use, a family photoshoot, event photos or whatever) what you’re actually getting is a license to use the images, rather than owning the copyright. Which basically means the photographer has given you permission to use them in return for payment or under certain conditions. This may mean you’re allowed to print them, share them on social media etc depending on your contract or agreement. And if you’re a business, you may have a commercial use license (so you’re allowed to use them on websites, for advertising products etc).


Commercial licenses tend to be more expensive than images for private use only, as you would expect. And selling copyright to images tends to be A LOT more expensive, which is why it’s normal practice for it to be a license to use the images that you’re paying for, instead of copyright ownership.


It’s worth checking any terms and conditions or any contracts you might sign to be clear on the usage rights of images, or just ask the photographer.


This is standard practice (and UK Law). You can read more about this on the .Gov.UK website, as well as lots of other legal guides found easily online. But here’s a link to a really straightforward article on the GOV website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/copyright-notice-digital-images-photographs-and-the-internet/copyright-notice-digital-images-photographs-and-the-internet


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