Etiquette is defined as the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group. In photography, this polite behavior includes refraining from cropping logos out of photos, giving credit where credit is due, and, on social media, sharing and linking what is shared to the photographer’s page.
I know that some people can find the logo on a photograph pesky, but it’s the equivalent of an artist signing their painting. For this reason, you shouldn’t crop the photographer’s logo from a photo anymore than you would crop Leonardo da Vinci’s signature from the Mona Lisa. At Crystal Clear Photography, I try to be discreet with the logo so as not to disrupt the images, but I include it on the pictures because they’re my livelihood and I’m proud to take ownership of each photograph that I work hard to create.
When talking about “giving credit where credit is due,” I don’t simply mean to say “don’t plagiarize.” In any business, networking is valuable; professional photography, and specifically Crystal Clear Photography, is a small business like any other. This is why it’s important to give credit, because when doing so, you’re extending the network of your photographer. When you receive your images from a shoot and use them on your website, business card, etc, you don’t have to say “this was taken by,” but it is proper etiquette to inform your audience of whom the photo credit belongs.
Finally, there’s the popularly used social media. This is perhaps the most efficient and favored method of sharing and networking available. This kind of ties in with giving credit where it is due; except in this case, linking a post back to the photographer’s page. For example, for majority, if not all, of my shoots at Crystal Clear Photography, I tend to post “previews” of my sessions. If a preview happens to be of you, or someone you know, and you want to share it, it’s more polite etiquette to directly share it from my page rather than download it and re-upload it in a whole new post on your own page. Sharing something directly from a photographer’s page automatically provides a link back; this not only yields credit, but it allows for anyone you’ve shared with to contact the photographer if they’re interested: networking.
Photography etiquette is important because it allows for opportunities of networking, credit and exposure, and like any other small business, growth. Please remember your photographer works hard to make great and personalized photographs to meet your needs and use proper photography etiquette when sharing your photos!