This is a blog post I have been meaning to write more times than I care to remember, but have never sat down calmly after the hundreds of times I've gone on a rant about someone not crediting my work on Facebook.
So here it is the guide to keep your Music Photographer friends happy :)
Why is it important?
Music Photographers are lovely people, and as shocking as this may be 95% of us are not paid. This means that we are at your show for your support acts, your set, editing at midnight for 3 hours and submitting images to editors on ridiculously tight deadlines, because we love what we do.
Think of it this way -
- if you write a song you are listed in the liner notes of an Album/EP
- if you write a novel, you are listed on the front cover as the author
- if you paint/draw/sculpt you are listed in a gallery catalouge as the Artist
- if you create moving images or films you are listed in the end credits
I create Photographs just like pieces of music, writing, art or film.
It takes time, preparation, skills and effort to execute and I deserve to be credited for the work I create.
Besides actually paying a music photographer the only other way they generate interest in their work and potential jobs (that may or may not pay) is by word of mouth, exposure and crediting.
Intellectual Property & Copyright
lets talk legal mumbo jumbo for a second!
What is Intellectual property?
Intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as patents, copyrights, etc.
What is Copyright?
The exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material."he issued a writ for breach of copyright"
What this means Because I am the creator of a photograph it is my intellectual property, and therefore I own Copyright of that image unless I sign it over to someone else (which is sometimes asked). So how do you credit?
So you like an image a photographer has taken of you, that's great!? here are the right steps to go about using the image. 1. Offer to pay them for the image for online /print use - they have to pay for rent, food, bills, new gear etc just like you do ;)
1. Email/Facebook message / Call / Comment / Send carrier pigeon - make contact somehow with the person who created the image -
tell them that you love the image and you would like to share the image on your socials with their approval.
2. They approve you using the image but the stipulation is that you must leave the watermark in place & Credit them for the work 3. Do a quick search of the creator of image - their website most likely will have all their social media handles for you to tag. 4. Share image on social media and tag appropriate handles.
Emojis make it really easy these days -
eg. 📸 @lucindagoodwinphotography Here are some examples of Credits done the right way :)
What not to do
- Share an image without tagging the photographer - Photographers are pretty savvy in reverse searching their images, Images also have information called Metadata that can be searchable on the web (I have a google alert set up every time my images are shared on the internet). So they will probably catch you red handed. Better still they might send you an invoice just for the sheer fact of you not asking to use it.
- Crop a watermark out - There is probably a reason why there is a watermark on the image, normally its so that the photographer can keep a track of images or maybe they have had issues with people ripping off their images in the past.
The way someone has framed an image is also a very deliberate act, the photographer has chosen to include or not include certain elements in the frame on purpose, it doesn't seem like a big deal to you to take 2cm off the edge of a photo, but for them it could ruin the whole balance and framing of a shot.
-Put some Instagram filter over an image or "tweak" it in vsco cam - Photographers spend hours editing images as well as years creating a style to their work, so when you "adjust" an image to suit yourself not only are you appropriating someone else's art, you are also jeopardizing a look and style we aim to market. If you want a black and white copy just ask, most photographers would prefer to have to tweak it for you than to have it look like a dogs breakfast.
- Try to send the image to print - Most of us sneaky photographers do this thing where we resize images when exporting them. This means that if you try and send an image to print (without paying for it or without our knowledge) its going to be blurry as F*%K. So if you need a shot for print, best ask the photographer how to go about obtaining a copy for print. At the end of the day, We all just want to be recognized for the work we produce, Crediting a Photographer on social media these days is no different to flicking through the newspaper and reading the by line's in the caption of an image or article.
Besides, The more you credit the photographers snapping your shows, the more likely it is that they will continue to make cool images of you and continue to make you look good :)
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