I debated how sassy I wanted to get with this because it’s a frustrating topic! Needless to say, I had to tone it down a couple times. 😛
We’re going to talk specifically about styled shoots here for a second. Imagine this: you decide to collaborate on a styled shoot with a group of other wedding vendors. The goals being #communityovercompetition, marketing content or experimenting with new design ideas/techniques. You take a day(s) away from work, you donate services and physical materials, you drive (often 3+ hours, if you’ve ever collaborated with me) to put together this shoot…Fast-forward. Shoots over. You get the photos back and several months later, you stumble upon something that looks familiar. It’s that bouquet you made or that cake you baked–front and center and only the Photographer is credited. Now, if it’s posted on one of those wedding inspiration accounts where there was the potential for a ton of exposure, it’s even more infuriating. Sure, you can DM the admin of the account (which you should do) and they’ll sometimes fix it but it’s usually too late. Who else is tired of commenting “Thanks for sharing our photo…”, in the off chance that people see your comment?!
This post is meant to serve as a friendly reminder to ALL vendors rather than a call out. I don’t know if it’s a matter of not knowing better or laziness or whatever but it’s a bad habit that we all need to break.
In my opinion, if their work is shown in the photo, they should be credited IN THE CAPTION. Not just tagged. Bottom line, period, no questions asked. Everyone else should be tagged. Note: Photographers should always be credited in the caption. If you don’t credit the person who created the image, you’re stealing! If you don’t know whose work it is, ask. At least do your due diligence. And when/IF one of those aforementioned inspiration accounts asks if they can share your work say, “Of course, as long as you credit everyone appropriately!”. If they don’t ask, they often will repost the caption so make sure yours is accurate. If they credit/tag just you, correct them. If people reach out to you to add them/correct something, do it. UGH! I know, social media is already so much work…For shoots and now weddings, I make it SO easy–I create a spreadsheet with all the vendor categories, company names, contact names, emails, websites, IG & FB handles. There really isn’t an excuse.
Most wedding vendors are small business owners. We work hard to build our brand and get our names out there. For a majority of us, word of mouth and social media are our main marketing sources. Properly crediting is not only the right (and legal) thing to do but it’s good for business. It points brides in the direction of vendors they might need, creates relationships with other vendors–it is HUGE for networking, increases exposure, engagement and followers for everyone. Your followers see them, their followers see you. This all has the potential to lead to new business and future collaborations. No epic shoot or Pinterest-worthy wedding ever came together with just the Wedding Planner or just the Florist or just the Baker or just the Photographer.
The new Golden Rule: Credit other wedding vendors, the way you want to be credited.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Cheers & happy planning!