Instagram Etiquette for Sharing a Photographer's Work

Social media is something that many photographers rely on regardless if its to showcase their work or to bring in clients or subjects to work with. For many, there are some downsides on how social media is changing how photos are respected, so what is the proper etiquette for Instagram? 

With regards to Facebook and Twitter, there are easy methods for others to share your work with a simple click of a button for shares or retweets. With Instagram, there isn't an option to share someone's work to show up on your feed. What ends up happening is other accounts save your work and then post on their wall usually without asking or even crediting the photographer. Some may be ok with this but many are not and it's no proper etiquette for artists. In this video, Chelsea Northrup from Tony & Chelsea Northrup shares her pet peeves which touches on these issues while discussing what she believes is the proper way to go about sharing others works. 

I tend to agree with Chelsea on many of these issues but understand many might not. Do you happen to agree with Chelsea? What are some other pet peeves you have with social media regarding your work?

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I wonder if Vermeer would be pissed at everyone ripping off his painting? ;)

I always wonders though. We take so much inspiration from classic photos, which obviously lack copyright now. But jump down the throat of anyone that takes clear inspiration from our own shots.

I’m not for copying at all, I just find it an interesting respective shift...

And obviously I’m definitely against taking others work for yourself.

Michael Rapp's picture

imho, it has a lot to do wheter said copyright holder is still alive / his heirs and able/ need to live off his work.
In case of Vermeer, it may be safe to assume: no ;-)
And also, I'd like to differentiate "copying" and "re- enacting".
Re- enacting, or re- staging (like a play) might give a new take on an existing work of art, or simply might help you hone your craft. Like any high school band doing "A whole lotta love", there is no question of originality, but rather a test of whether the kids measure up to Plant/ Page/ Bonham/ Jones.
I draw the line at "copying" with the innuendo of it being your own work of art.

Absolutely, it’s not a bad thing and keeps the artwork in plain sight. If I get take inspiration, which has only knowingly happened once or twice, I always make it clear on the post.

Agree that dissecting good work is an excellent learning tool too.

Except she isn't talking about taking inspiration from others work, she is talking about taking & often editing then reposting other people's work without permission or appropriate crediting of the original creator. That is a significant difference.

In any case, I accept anything I post online could be reused without my permission & chasing it up for proper crediting is a waste of time. It ain't fair, but that's life.

I'm also not on Instagram, so...

No, I get that, but I’m British, I appreciate the irony of using a replica of Vermeers work to highlight people taking your original shots... ;)

Wes Jones's picture

My guess is that the majority of people think (falsely) that if it is on the internet it is free.

Simon Patterson's picture

I don't really post on Instagram but the suggestions in the video seemed very reasonable. I did enjoy the little thought bubbles coming out of the dog and the other text that popped up. That was very funny!

Bill Wells's picture

I tend to agree with what the article is about. Most of the people doing the sharing are young people. They don't see it as stealing. Okay, maybe some do but just don't care. I like to think most are pretty honest.

A lot of this stems from the large number of new photographers who just post and say have at it. So the people who are using the images think it is fine since Tom at work is a photographer on the weekends and he doesn't care. Maybe it's a cousin that is a photographer and she doesn't care.

Many of the these same "leaders" are the first to tell people, "New photographers have no affect on photography" or "They are not your market, just get better" and the classic "It was that way 30 years ago when I started, just work harder like I did"

Yes the value of photographers has been devalued because of the numbers of new photographers. Could this just be a by-product?

Many of our leaders that told everyone to "get over it" are quick to fire off when they are impacted.

Just something to think about.

Jon Premosch's picture

lol these internet savages don't give a fuck about ETIQUETTE.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Yeah, a pet peeve of mine is when people don't give credit. At least put their name down.

Another is those damn photo-stealers that create an account to showcase, let's say, "Babes in LA". They don't give the original credits. They just take the photo and post as if it were their own. Fuckers. I'd just block 'em.

Instagram etiquette? If you post it, you've lost it. I know a photographer who had her whole instagram portfolio copied by another person, no alterations made at all! And FB, Instagram, and Twitter have it in their terms of service that they can use any work you post on their feeds, without any remuneration to you.