Mark asks,

I was hoping you could explain the etiquette for posting photos on your Website, Facebook and Instagram account when supplied by a professional photographer please.

Great question Mark, if only because the photos we all take on our phones are no-where near as nice (usually) as the ones the pro is taking on the day.

Posting professional photos, over phone photos, on your social media is another way to set yourself apart and create a professional brand.

There are three angles to think about here:

  1. Sharing a photo already shared on social media
  2. Requesting photos to share on social media
  3. Sharing photos of people on social media
  4. How to post a photo correctly without causing offence and without breaking the law

1. Sharing a photo already shared on social media

If the professional photographer has already shared a photo on their business’ social media profiles, it is totally acceptable to share that post using the built-in means to share a post.

Facebook: On Facebook this means clicking the share button beneath the photographer’s post from their public Facebook Page, named like ‘Josh Withers Wedding Photography’ but not from their personal profile page which might be named ‘Joshua Withers’, if I was a wedding photographer. Tapping the share button means you are sharing their original post with credit given to them already. You can then add an additional caption and you’re welcome to credit them again.

Just make sure that as you share, you share the post to your public business page, not your personal profile.

Instagram: On Instagram this means sharing a photographers posted photo to your story – this does not mean making a screenshot of an image.

To share a post to your story, tap the folded airplane icon beneath a post, choose ‘Add to story’ and then add a remark or caption in your story.

2. Requesting photos to share on social media

Before you learn how to do it, its important to know that

  • no-one owes you an image, even if you are in the image or your worked the same wedding, no photographer owes you an image
  • if someone gives you permission to share an image they made, and thus they own, you do not have the right to change that image, to apply a filter, or to crop, or add words or logos on top, without their explicit permission
  • if someone asks for you to pay for that image, they are within their rights to do that
  • taking a screenshot of an image creates a low quality blurry version of an originally great photo – screenshotting is of the devil

The easiest way to ask a photographer to use one or more of their images is to simply ask them. The devil is in the details.

  • most photographers will have the images ready to be viewed and shared about three to ten weeks after the wedding, depending on their contracts and processes.
  • everyone has their favourite way of being contacted, and their least favourite way, for example, if you want me to do something for you do not call me, do not direct message me, email me, but each photographer will have a favourite form of communication

So about four to six weeks after the wedding, contact the photographer and ask for permission to share some images from that wedding you worked on together. Reference the date and couple name so they know who you are talking about, and offer to download them from the online gallery or dropbox link the photographer has no doubt supplied to the couple.

If you direct message them, ask if they’d rather you email them so they don’t forget.

When they give you the photos, or access to the gallery, figure out how to save an image in its original quality – do not ever screenshot an image.

3. Sharing photos of people on social media

I ask each of my couples if they are ok with me sharing about their wedding online. Don’t be weird about it, and explain in great detail how you’ll do it, just a simple request and consent is all that is required.

If their are photos of infants, children, teenagers, I would check specifically if they are ok to share, or I probably wouldn’t share them, and if there are photos that are unflattering, use your better judgement.

4. How to post a photo correctly without causing offence and without breaking the law

If you have sought consent to share from the owner of the photo (the photographer) and the people in the photos, then share away – in high resolution – the photos as the photographer sent them without your edits, crops, filters, or logos, in this fashion:

Simply post with your caption and somewhere appropriate mention that the photo is “by XYZ Photography”. If it’s on Facebook or Instagram, @mention them so they get a link to their business page. If it’s on your website or blog, a name is sufficient and a link to their website is a blessing.

Always remember

  1. Do not crop, stretch, or change the aspect ratio of the image
  2. Do not add filters, change colours, brightness, or contrast of the image
  3. Do not add words on top of the image, or add a logo or branding
  4. Do not screenshot an image, tap and hold to save the original
  5. If you don’t know how to do any of these things, ask and learn 🙂