PREACH: Credit Your Creative

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Photo by Leigh Travers

I feel like it is time to lay some truths down on y'all. Mainly because I had a tweet get a LOT of responses. A lot of positive feedback, but also a lot of people not understanding, and a lot of people not sure how to react in such a situation!! So, I need to spell it out for you and I decided to write a blog post to explain it all

This is the tweet that started it all:

Now I am a photographer, so I guess what I may explain applies to me mainly. BUT let me start out by saying that you need to credit all creatives. Hair, MUA, Styling, Writers, artists, painters, designers, retouchers, etc etc. ANY creative. Yes you have paid us, but that body of work still belongs to us and it is our statutory right to have that credit alongside our work. So even if you pay me, the photographs I give you are still legally mine and always will be mine (the only thing that changes this is the licensing I provide that states you don't need to credit me, but my fee will be higher to counteract this and the copyright still belongs to me)

Even if you are a friend of mine I still expect that credit and I will ask you to put it in if you haven't. This is my livelihood. I take this seriously. A lot of my clients are very good with crediting and I applaud you all for it! Some aren't so I have to give them a little nudge. But I am writing this for the benefit of you all. Credit. Your. Creative.

So, why?
Well, like I said. Those images still belong to me. Yes, you have paid me, but those images will always belong to me and they are my property. If I start seeing them used by other people I will slap those other people with an invoice as they are using my images without my permission and they most definitely aren't giving me my credit!! I have seen so many companies steal my images from bloggers and this really riles me up! Companies and brands need to know better! You may have the bloggers permission but you do not have my permission or the images creators permission
The same goes with all you bloggers who have your images used without permission. They should not be doing this and as you are the creative behind those images you are well within your right to ask them to cease and desist, OR you can slap them with an invoice for the image use. If they choose to ignore your cease and desist and your invoice then you can start legal proceedings with the small claims court to get that money due to them stealing your creative work

You don't expect writers to write a piece and then not have a byline. So why should I create images for you and then not have my name be seen for potential future clients? Your blog posts, you would hate to have them stolen and not credited to you, so please think about the same. It makes no difference if you have paid for the images or not, the photographer will always own that copyright

Copyright islegal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. 

When you are paying me or talking to me about wanting images I will ask where they are for. My blogger flat rate is dependent on the fact you will only be using the images on social media and your blog, and for no financial gain of your own. As soon as you want to pass them on elsewhere then my fee has to go up to factor in this distribution. This is why I can charge corporate companies I work with far higher than you bloggers because my images can end up in magazines, distributed around journalists and other bloggers and I lose control over where my images do actually go and they are being used for advertising and financial gain purposes. Half the time without a credit so I need to charge higher to factor this in! A contract will also get made to designate how far the usage of the photos can actually go etc etc it becomes a whole new kettle of fish

Had a MUA work with you? Cool. Credit them too. Makeup artists are creatives too and work just as hard as the photographer who makes the image. They deserve and are entitled to a mention also so don't think the credit can stop with the sole image maker. Tag them in the image, mention them, it doesn't matter how you do it, just do it! It's a way of word of mouth advertising but also it's a statutory right

Another little note:
Copyright in a photograph lasts for 70 years from the end of the year in which the photographer dies

Now social media does blur the lines also, but also, just because an image is on the internet with no credit does not mean that you can also steal it. Like with Pinterest etc. It doesn't take long to find out who the original poster is of a pin to be able to credit them accordingly. But you should be asking for permission first as a courtesy if you want to share it elsewhere, such as your blog. Posting on social media tends to claim that that social media network then owns the copyright of the image and bla bla bla, but be a courteous human please and don't steal. Free stock websites are a thing and photographers are posting to them to allow you to use their work because there are some nice people out there who just like creating images for no reward at all

So, to end, like I said at the beginning and in the title of this post and just about all over this blog post. Credit your creatives, even if you have paid them

Any questions? Please leave them in the comments or tweet me on @fordtography

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