This post is aimed at those who don’t shoot and produce their own content on Instagram and prefer to grab someone else’s work. If you’re a photographer or content creator, share this in your blog, page or wherever you like. If you don’t create your content but work with photographers, that’s great, keep supporting your favourite photographer. If you don’t shoot your content and no one else does it for you, this might interest you.
Instagram is a funny virtual place with very funny rules. Photographers are also funny and like to make their own rules. People on Instagram can be funny too and don’t know about any of these rules. In fact, they’re hidden somewhere very deep on the app so when it comes to sharing other photographer’s work, there is nothing clear on how to go on about it.
That’s why I’ve done a bit of research for you on the etiquette to follow when you don’t create your own content and you have to rely on someone else’s work to embellish your Instagram wall. Sit back and enjoy these 5 simple rules to Instagram good manners.
Can’t produce it, don’t use it
Don’t! Plain and simple. It’s not cool to use someone else’s work to promote your own.
Think twice before doing that screengrab or downloading that picture. Instead, hire a photographer or get yourself a photography course.
Why do you think there is no sharing button on Instagram? So you create your own content which is one of the app’s community guidelines. They encourage people to create their own content. In addition to this, you might want to read Instagram’s copyright infringement FAQ.
Use it when it’s agreed only
ALL of my clients and collaborators are allowed to post my content in any way they want, they know the etiquette because we’ve discussed it.
Now, let’s say you MUST share someone else’s work. Make sure you are doing it for a good reason like a shout out to the author saying how awesome their work is and why everyone seeing the post should go follow them.
But what if you like the photo because it is in someone’s wall but you don’t know where the photo comes from? ASK!! Trace the source of the photo or ask who the author or copyright holder is.
Once you know the source, you ask the author for permission to share the content and only post when you have that permission granted.
Use apps like Regram where the source of the content is automatically tagged and use the #regram or #repost tag on your post.
But ideally, you would like to create your own content. Get a camera and learn how to use one. Get a photo editing app and play around with your photos. Become a photographer and a content creator, it’s so satisfying and incredibly rewarding (at a personal level, not financially). Remember, this Instagram game is a win-win game.
Never make changes to the original content
You’re still not creating your content but you’re getting a photographer to create it for you, that’s great, keep supporting your local photographer! When it’s time to share the content, NEVER, EVER crop and add filters to the photograph without checking with the photographer first.
It is incredibly rude to manipulate a photograph that wasn’t created by you!
The gentle art of giving credit
So now you have the content you wanted and you’re ready to post it, don’t forget to credit the photographer on your post and your story and add a tag in the picture as well.
This is the most unspoken rule and the one that unleashes the freaking fury on photographers when ignored.
Here’s an exercise:
You have an account that features the local gossip of your town and you can’t create your own content so you ask a business to share some content for your next gossip post. What do you do?
You ask who should you be giving credit to for the photography. That content wasn’t created for you, it was created to serve a purpose for the business!
Say please and thank you
Don’t forget your manners, they will get you far.
Like and share this post if you think someone needs to learn some Instagram manners.