Columnist Lauren Bacho discusses the importance of copyright and making sure photographers get credit for their work.
One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing my photos, or my friends’ photos, posted somewhere online without credit. Being a photographer is hard work and I’m always very proud of the images I create. When someone takes my photo and tweets it out without tagging me, it’s really upsetting because I probably worked really hard for that photo and now it’s out in the Internet world without my name.
I own the copyright to all of my images and I can actually sue someone for using my photos without my permission. Obviously I’m not going to go after every person that tweets or Instagrams one of my photos because that would take up way too much time and effort for nothing, but I would appreciate credit where it’s due.
I personally have not experienced one of my photos going extremely viral without credit, but my close friend, Patrick Connolly, a staff photographer for The Post, has. I’m sure you all remember the photo of Zak Roe dressed as Anna from the Disney movie Frozen from last winter. That photo went viral as soon as it was published online on thepostathens.com, without Connolly’s name, however. One of the tweets that included Connolly’s image was an OU Meme that got over 300 retweets. Nowhere in the tweet does it mention that one of Connolly’s photos is used. The photo was also really popular on reddit, without credit, I might add.
Becoming famous off of your pictures is a photographer’s dream. When you don’t put our name with the photo, you’re literally crushing our dreams. All we want is for people to be able to recognize our work and be able to know the photographer. When you post our photos all over your social media because you like them, please give us credit. We like them too, and we would like people to know that we made those photos.
One place I’ve noticed my photos showing up without credit is Tumblr. I know y’all want your blog to be aesthetically pleasing, but I created those aesthetically pleasing photos and I would like credit for it. If you don’t want to ruin the captions of your photos with annoying bylines, then take your own photos. You have an iPhone with a pretty high quality camera on it, so take some photos and post them on your 10 social media accounts. I guarantee you’ll get just as many likes or retweets or reblogs with your own photos. You don’t need other people’s work to be popular. If you feel that you do, then give those people credit.
I want to be a famous photographer someday, and unfortunately people who think that credit isn’t important are keeping me from that dream. So save me the trouble of replying to tweets and commenting on your Instagram posts and just give photo credit where it’s due.
Lauren Bacho is a sophomore studying photojournalism and a photo editor for The Post. Do you think photographers deserve credit on all of their photos? Tweet her @Visual_Bacho or email her at email@example.com.