MHI's Guide to Instagram Credit Etiquette
At Mary Hannah Interiors, we love to give credit where credit is due because we know that there's a vast team of people (like you and me - builders, contractors, architects, designers, stagers, stylists and photographers) who have poured their heart and soul into the photo we are about to post. It's what we do everyday, and we too want to celebrate the creatives, tradesmen and tradeswomen who are making the world more beautiful, livable and excellent! Cue that golden rule - treat others how you'd like to be treated.
Have we always gotten it right? Heavens no. Early on, we were kindly corrected by two people when we first launched Mary Hannah Interiors nearly two years ago. We have learned from experience and want to perpetuate professionalism and consideration (aka don't make the mistakes we made!).
A caution of kindness: let's be courteous and considerate of everyone involved. Credit those who earned it; after all, this is their career. Many folks may not know this, but the photographer has ownership of that image you're about to post. Or, that photographer has sold the rights to that image to someone who paid a big chunk of change. We can certainly take the time to be thoughtful.
DON'T: Find a photo, slap on a filter and post it, giving no credit to anyone.
DON'T: Post a photo and say it's from Pinterest. How would you feel if someone left you out of the caption and untagged from a project photo that you spent 7 months working on? Honey child, that wouldn't be considerate or cool at all. Pinterest didn't create that stunning home.
DO: If you find something on Pinterest that speaks to you, take ten minutes to do some digging for the true source(s). Google Search and TinEye.com are great resources for scouring the internet, and you could always re-search on Pinterest where the credit may be found elsewhere.
After hunting for sources, you may only find one individual like the photographer for instance. Then follow these steps:
First, tag the photographer in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
Secondly, simply say something like, "If anyone knows who the creatives (designer/architect/builder/etc.) are, please let me know so I can give them credit!" Chances are someone will let you know and likely the photographer who you tagged.
Lastly, once someone has informed you on the remaining sources, tag them in the photo and credit them in your caption.
DO: It truly takes a village in the construction and design world so ask yourself, "Did you use your time, gifts and gear to take the image you're about to post?" If no, please follow these steps in proper Instagram etiquette:
1. Tag the photographer in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
2. Tag the stylist and/or producer in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
3. Tag the designer in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
4. Tag the architect in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
5. Tag the builder/remodeler in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
6. Tag the source in the image AND credit them in the main comment.
You may be thinking, "That is SO many people to credit that it'll make my caption look like an endless paragraph." My response is simple. Someone created whatever you are inspired by so let's give them the credit they earned! Let's celebrate them and their work! Community over ignorance or laziness, and I say this from a place of love.
For a more in-depth list of copyright laws, Instagram etiquette and more, check out Alyssa Rosenheck's post A GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA ETIQUETTE PART TWO: Q'S AND A'S PLUS THE DO’S AND DON’TS
I love what she writes here:
Y’all — ignorance is not a defense. Designer’s put so much work into designing a space. We collaborate for months leading up to a shoot, and then my team and I spend countless hours editing and prepping an image.
This poster helps explain the thinking behind Instagram Credit (and Copyright) Etiqueete... Poster: ©Pia Jane Bijkerk & Erin Loechner for Street Cred 2011. Handmade fonts by Yvette Van Boven and Grace Bonney of Design Sponge.