To the client who edits & crops my images without my permission,
I’m so glad you love your images enough to share them on social media. Really I am. I absolutely love photographing people for a living and my images are my best marketing tools for my business. Social media is such a great tool for sharing images and it’s been incredible for my word-of-mouth referrals.
So I'm really glad you wanted to share your images on Facebook and Instagram. But here's the problem. When you crop out my logo, you make it impossible for other people to know that I'm the photographer who took those photos.... which makes it a lot harder for me to get hired.
I try really hard not to get upset when I see my images online with my logo cropped out. But this exact thing is mentioned in my portrait contract, which you signed, so it’s really hard for me to imagine that you accidentally cropped out my logo. Which begs the question… why did you crop my logo out?!
Maybe you didn’t realize it was a big deal. Maybe you thought I wouldn’t care. But it is a big deal and I do care. You see, I want to shoot more weddings like yours and to be honest, your friends are the perfect people to market to. I want them to think of me every time they see your wedding images because I want them to think of me when they get engaged. Which won’t happen if you crop out my logo! Did I mention I don’t like it when you crop out my logo?
And don’t even get me started on editing and Instagram filters. Your images looked beautiful when I delivered them to you. So please tell me why… why why WHY would you add that neon blue-green cross-processed Instagram filter to the gorgeous image of you and your husband before sharing it online? You might as well stab me in the heart, because that’s what it feels like when I see my photos edited like that.
Have you ever wondered why I take the time to edit every single photo I give to my clients? It's because every image is a marketing piece for my business. When you show my images to your friends and family or share them on Instagram and Facebook, you let other people connect with my art, which helps me grow my business. But when you destroy my art with terrible editing and filters, you make it harder for me to get new business.
So listen. You hired me to photograph your wedding because of my artistic vision and that includes not only the photos I take, but the way that I edit them. So share my images. Please! But share them exactly as I send them. Leave my logo intact and my editing perfect as is. And save the wild Instagram filters for those adorable photos you take of your dog.
The photographer who takes their art seriously
Letters From a Photographer is an original series by Design Aglow. Articles are meant to spark thought and conversation and be shared within our industry.
P.S. While the above reply may be the stuff of our wildest dreams, as we all know, a more appropriate response would be to reeducate your client about respecting the images you create and what is (and is not) allowed per your contract.
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.