How to Credit and Why It Matters - Jenna Kutcher

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PERSONAL

How to Credit and Why It Matters

Jenna Kutcher 

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I never understood crediting artists and why it mattered…

Until I became one, myself. I thought that posting photos from Pinterest sans credit was okay and sharing photos of cute quotes was just the name of the internet game. I am guilty, let me put that out there, but the deeper I get into the creative world, the more I realize how much crediting sources can matter.

Every once in awhile I’ll post a simple status on Facebook about crediting sources and how it gives us the warm and fuzzy feeling and people come out of the woodwork asking how they can credit a photo I took or a painting I made ( I love you people, I promise my statuses are never geared at a single person, more so the general population. ) Even my mom forgets to credit ( sorry mom, you know it’s true ) so I know it’s never an intentional act, only something that isn’t talked about or taught nearly often enough.

As a photographer who creates images for a living

…and documents the moments in peoples lives, it only makes sense that my clients and their friends and family want to share said photos. I love when people share my work, when they love it enough to make it a profile photo or use it to celebrate a birthday or anniversary! In fact, it makes my heart soar to see my newsfeed filled with images that I have taken! My clients are rockstars at crediting me, in fact, they are some of the best of the best. ( I love you all! ) They genuinely want to share my work and my creativity with the world and to me, that is the biggest blessing in this industry.

Crediting is saying, “Maybe you should hire them, too!”

You see, crediting a source isn’t just saying “hey world, this person made / designed / created this” it’s also saying “if you like this, maybe you should hire this person, too!” At the end of my wedding blog posts, I always share the vendors who played a role in the big day. While they were the ones of planned, prepped, decorated, and dressed my clients, I am simply the one who took the images of their services! Giving credit across the board is something that should happen far more often than it does in our industry!

Sharing our work is our way of advertising:

As a small business owner with multiple creative ventures and zero paid advertisements, you guys are my eyes and ears. My clients are walking billboards and their Facebook / Twitter / Instagram accounts are my way of advertising. I don’t spend thousands every month to be featured on websites or listed in directories, I don’t think I need to… but what happens when you post a photo with zero credit? People look at it, think it’s gorgeous, “like” it and move on. They don’t take the time to dig, they won’t look through your archives to see the artist behind it, time is limited and they will move on to more easily accessible information.

There have been so many times when I’m clicking through my feed and I see a photo I love and I want to know who created it, I want to check them out, but with zero credit I have no clue who was behind it and I forget about it.  People ask why I don’t watermark – it just isn’t my thing. It’s distracting and ugly and is far too easy to crop out. I like my images clean and neat and yes, it’s a risk I continue to take but it’s part of my brand and part of my belief in humanity! (Come on guys, prove me right here!)

So how do you credit?

It’s super simple and there are a million ways to help credit your sources. 

1.) When you post a status with a photos/blog post/link from your day, add a location and type in the business.

2.) When you change your profile photo, add a caption and tag the business and/or include their website (kudos if you do both!)

3.) Leave your vendor a review. Whether on Facebook, through email, on theknot.com, or your personal page, spread the good news!

4.) Encourage your friends/family to credit the artist behind your photos when they share them or use them! They can do it too!

5.) If you have a question on how to do it, just ask. We would be more than happy to help you credit properly and are honored you care!

Help us pursue our passions:

Nothing makes my heart drop more than seeing an image of mine remain without credit and followed with an astronomical number of likes and “this is so cute” comments. ( Ahem, Victoria’s Secret Supermodel, Miranda Kerr, I’m talking to you. ) Truly, it’s like a little dagger to my heart. Maybe it’s because I put my heart into my work, maybe because I have worked so hard to refine my craft, maybe because I know I don’t want to spend hundreds advertising on websites, or maybe it’s because I know that my clients care enough to actually do this.

Let’s make a change with a simple shout out:

Regardless if we are guilty or not ( I know I am! ) we can slowly make a change and start sharing the creative industry in a way that not only supports artists but also encourages us to continue sharing our work! As artists we aren’t asking you APA cite your sources or write a full on paragraph singing praises every time you post an image from your wedding day, we are simply asking that you care enough to somehow give us a little shout out in hopes of spreading our business and supporting our place in the industry! Now get out and credit those artists who gave you pretty pictures/artwork/videos/music and more!

 

 

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  1. […] gets the word out about my little business (explained very well by wedding photographer Jenna Leigh here).  Enjoy the four foots and I hope to see you next […]

  2. Nicole says:

    A thousand times amen girl!! Credits are warm and fuzzies! As well as a thousand times a higher rated referral!!

  3. Gail Forsberg says:

    Thank you so much for writing these instructions on how to share professional photos, while giving credit to the artists! I did not know! I appreciate having this information! Much success to you in all that you do! Sincerely, Gail Forsberg

  4. Morgan says:

    So well said Jenna, thank you for taking the time to write this!

  5. Someone had to say it! For the most part, my clients give me proper credit. It’s the vendors that I see not sharing properly!

  6. This is great! I send my clients a little “social media etiquette” note with some kind suggestions with their images and it seems to have helped.

  7. Great info Jenna. You and the rest of us work hard for our money. Nice to receive credit .xo

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