WEDDING INDUSTRY: Stop stealing other professionals work
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Wedding Industry Marketing

WEDDING INDUSTRY: Stop stealing other professionals work

January 26, 2016

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{ photography by carla ten eyck // table design by jubilee events // floral design by diane gaudett // paper by coral pheasant // fashion styling by beth chapman styling // rentals by luxe event rentals & party rentals ltd // chandeliers by ryan designs // hair by catie & amy // makeup by jennie fresa beauty }

 

I need to stand up here on my soapbox for just a second and talk about using images without permission. But first, let me set up an all too familiar scenario that I find myself in on a weekly basis when I scroll through Instagram or Facebook.

I'm happily scrolling through my feed, double tapping hearts on pretty pictures that my friends and colleagues have posted, and then I see another company using an image I helped create with no credit, in a misleading way where the viewer would assume that they were responsible for the creation of that image.

And that, folks, FIRES ME UP.

First of all, you don't have the photographers permission to post their image, and without permission, that can cost you a lot of money in damages. Just because you see something on Pinterest doesn't mean you are given carte blanche to share that image outside of its social network.

Every image you see, as you scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiration, is the result and effort of many. In the most simplest of contexts, a photographer and prop stylist helped to compose the image you copied and pasted. However, more than likely it was a photographer, designer, florist, stylist, beauty team, paper artist, rental companies and several other businesses that helped to create that image.

Imagine how much time, effort, money and creative energy went into creating ONE image by all those people? I know what you are thinking– a lot– and you would be correct! So, why is it that you can't take the time to do 15 minutes of research on those involved in the creation of that image and give them a nod, a shout out, and most importantly the credit they deserve for their efforts? If you can't take 15 minutes to do the research, when it took that team weeks to conceptualize, plan and execute that one image, then you shouldn't be posting it.

Stop.

Stop posting other creatives' work in an ambiguous way that makes the viewer think you were responsible for it.

If you love the image so much, assemble your own creative team and create content by what has inspired you.

And then, be prepared for the same thing to happen to you and your team.

One lesson I've learned is that people just want to be acknowledged for their hard work. We all just want to be appreciated for what we do. We want others to see that we played a part in creating that beautiful wedding! It's so simple yet often times, we don't take the time to recognize people for what they do. But here is a secret: when we acknowledge the work of others something amazing happens– it makes them feel good. They remember you. They like you. They appreciate you, too, for taking the time. They say, “Oh yes, I know Karen! She reposted one of our images and said the nicest things about our work.”

But what happens when you post images that don't belong to you and further, you had no part in the creative process that made that image? People remember you, all right, but not for the reasons you want them to.

If you are reading this post and this has happened to you– do me a favor and share this with your colleagues. If someone posted your image and didn't give you credit, link them to this post (http://blog.candicecoppola.com/stopstealingmywork). Let's spread the word that this practice is NOT cool and as creatives, we are no longer going to tolerate the misuse and misrepresentation of our work!

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  1. Stacie Shea says:

    Amen Sister! Thanks for speaking up because this is hands down one of the main reasons Instagram is starting to drive me nuts.

    • Candice says:

      Thank you for your comment girl! We all have to stick together and encourage and require better practices from others. IG is totally OOC!

    • I have combatted this by putting a white strip (or blog matching color) at the bottom of the image with the credits embedded at the bottom of the image on the white strip. Yes it can be cropped out, but like you said most of this stuff is done to go viral but without the credits all that time and work is wasted. The average person moving ideas around a Pinterest board doesn’t mean to cause any malice, they just liked your idea.

  2. jacin says:

    It’s not even just other new planners/designers, etc. , it’s the blogs and publications themselves too!

  3. PREACH! It has been getting absolutely ridiculous lately and I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one who gets enraged by this. There are Instagram accounts who have gained literally hundreds of thousands by posting stolen content with zero credits (i.e. making it look like it’s theirs). Everyone just needs to learn how to play nice on the Internet playground.

  4. Hi everyone,

    Love the article but I have an important question? What about planners? When I post a wedding on my site, I make all of he vendors the same way blogs do. I was told by other planners that this is incorrect because I am providing my clients with vendors who I use and trust and this is hirting my business as a planner as well as other planners business. They have told me to only give credit to the photographers who provide me with the photos. Any thoughts? Should I continue to do what I’m doing or should I only give credit to the photographers? Would love your feed back.

  5. Shalana says:

    PREACH x1000!!! I too believe as wedding professionals we need to have integrity in business and stop stealing the work of others to promote ourselves. Case in point, my company designed a wedding last year at http://www.sweetfieldmanor.net. The venue manager there hired a photographer to photograph our work, we admire the integrity this photographer as she credited our work on her website http://stephaniekothdiwala.wix.com/skphotography#!sweetfield-manor-events/cdeo.
    What has us FIRED UP to say the least, is that the venue manager there is using ONLY the images of our design to attract weddings and promotions to her business via their official website http://www.sweetfieldmanor.net/photos.htm#3189241.
    When an official letter was sent by our company to her requesting that we be credited for our design work her reply was and I quote
    “there was no agreement(verbal or otherwise) made directly
    with you as it relates to Sweetfield Manor on the date stated, as a result I will be utilising my photos.”

    When we reached out to the venue owner again requesting to be credited for our design work, his reply was “The photos on Sweetfield Manor’s website have been placed there with the appropriate permissions.”

    We have also come to find out that when brides specifically query as to the designer of the photos on their website they are being directed to an alternate designer.

    Until this is resolved we will remain FIRED UP….

  6. Jules Bower says:

    I was very happy to share this article as I know people who have built their entire business using my images without permission , they even put their logo on them!

  7. Ginny Bales says:

    Thanks for pointing out this issue, Candice! Many of us who are responding to it are vendors of one sort or another who have had our work used without credit being given. In some cases there is no malicious intent, just ignorance and unawareness of the work that has gone into creating images (or sounds). It is also sometimes difficult for people who don’t have strong computer image skills to know how to include credits in what they post. I like your practice of embedding the credits in the image! I’d like to see that happen for sound recordings as well. Methods of giving credit should become industry standards. Thanks for writing about this!

  8. Bethanne Arthur says:

    Preach it girl! It is so tough to see that someone doesn’t have the courtesy to let others where that image originated from!

  9. Holly Patton says:

    This is spot on! Thank you for posting this!!!

  10. Amanda says:

    Well said! It’s not only frustrating but illegal!

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