The Right Way To Credit Instagram Images

See this pretty picture above? I love it. Erin McGinn and I created it on a hot summer day a few years back (pre-frosé craze), and trust me, keeping those rosé ice cubes from melting was not an easy task. We shot this for Style Me Pretty Living, and we were thrilled how it came out.

Do you want to know something else about this image? It has been shared ONE MILLION times (ok a little big of an exaggeration) and was properly credited about 20 (also a bit of exaggeration). But the point is, there is an obvious need for some Instagram Crediting 101 going on in the world right now. And perhaps I'm the gal for the job. 

I love creating images that resonate with people so much they want to share it. You have no idea how happy it makes me when someone re-posts a snap I styled or took with proper credits. Most people feel the same way. Jacin and I do it every day on Travel Insiders, and that little account has really taken off. So I want to share some tips on how to share the love in a proper fashion. Here they are in all their glory: 

1. CREDITING THE SOURCE IS NOT ENOUGH: You found a pretty picture on Pinterest with zero credits? If you love that image enough, go down that internet rabbit hole and find the original creators. Don't just credit the source (ie: Style Me Pretty Living in the case of the image above), credit the folks who made the magic happen. They will be thrilled. Reverse google image search is your friend, you can almost always find the rightful owner with a little bit of effort. 

2. CREDIT ALL VENDORS INVOLVED: I think my time at Style Me Pretty really engrained this one in me. SO much work goes into every image you see. Let's use weddings as an example. If you snap a picture of a Bride with a stunning bouquet and only credit the photographer you are basically saying they are responsible for all the prettiness in the photo. Think how heartbreaking that would be for the florist who slaved over all those blooms or the planner / designer who helped dream up the entire day. Over crediting always wins. And bonus? It gets more eyes on your image. 

3. DON'T CHANGE THE IMAGE: If you do decide to repost an image, pretty please with a cherry on top don't add a filter to the image. Particularly if you are reposting something from an actual photographer - but really this should just be a rule across the board. You know how you aren't supposed to add steak sauce to a steak at a nice restaurant? That's kind of what filters are. Leave well and good alone. Keep the image as you found it. 

4. DON'T JUST TAG THE IMAGE: Just tagging the image is another thing I see all the time, but you simply must credit in the caption as well. Tagging is lovely and should be done, but most people don't spend enough time on the image to even see the tags. Give people credit where credit is due. Share the love, as they say.

5. ASK FOR PERMISSION: Now, if you properly credit everyone and don't add filters, etc - people will generally be excited to see their image on your feed. But asking for permission never hurts. It's good manners, and your mother will be proud. 

Also, don't be offended if the photographer or creator of the image asks for compensation for usage, especially if you are asking to use to promote a large brand. That is industry standard.

What did I miss? Do you disagree? I  would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this ever-changing world of social media. 

Abby Capalbo8 Comments