A letter to all wedding suppliers ...
You'll likely find most of us wedding photographers are more than happy to share our work with suppliers, for free, on the basis our couples are also happy for us to do so. However, there are a few things you may wish to know about the big dos and dont's of sharing professional images online.
I know when I started working in this field, it was a bit of a crazy ride trying to understand how to accredit people correctly, how to share images in a way they didn't have a horrible crop or quality. It's certainly not something we enter the industry knowing! So I thought it might help to jot down all I've learnt over the years so you can share photographer's images correctly, and in the process ensure your work being featured in the image, looks it's very best!
The number one rule for sharing photography is correctly tagging the right people. For our couples there is no expectation for them to do this (though it is nice when they do) as in booking us as their tog, they are also paying for a personal use license to use the images. For suppliers, we (usually) gift our images for free so tagging is a baseline requirement as we do own the copyright. To do this, you must tag in TWO ways. The first, tag the photographer in the image itself (see below) and also tag them in the caption of the image. This allows people viewing your post to correctly identify them.
Download the high-res version
When you load up a wedding gallery, you will be given the option to download the high res and web version of an image. The web versions are primarily for social media as they're a slightly lower res version, but you can use either for socials. The key thing is you DO NOT SCREENSHOT AN IMAGE. This drastically compromises the quality of the image being shared and can cause it to be blurred, pixelated or affect the colours. See below an example of a screenshotted image vs the actual version. The bottom right image is pixelated and the colours, compromised. It looks crap, basically. :P
Check your instagram settings
There are a few things you can do in Instagram to ensure the images you share are coming out properly. To do this, go to Settings, Account and Data Usage. You'll see a toggle you can switch on and off called 'Upload at highest quality' - just ensure that's turned on.
When sharing an image you also have the option to avoid that dreaded Instagram crop by pressing the arrows in the bottom left corner when uploading your image, this turns the image into a landscape/ portrait image. Alternatively, you can use an amazing app called SCRL which is fab for carousel posts (only works on iPhone mind).
So this one is pretty simple, don't add filters. On Instagram and some other platforms, you do have the ability to add a filter to our work. You can also adjust the light, texture, tint - anything really. Do not do this. Us photographers can see immediately when our work has been edited and we will insist it is taken down. The colours, crop and textures we use are all a huge part of our artform. They are what set us apart. For us, you adding a filter to our work would be like us pulling certain florals out of the bouquet you lovingly made, or adding extra eyeliner to a face you've just beautifully worked on. We do understand some accounts have certain aesthetics they're after, and that's totally cool. But if our images don't work with yours, please just don't use the image.
I think that's pretty much everything you need to know! But if you're ever unsure, us togs always really appreciate when suppliers take the time to ask us, rather that post something up incorrectly. It's always the biggest compliment when we see suppliers share our images correctly, but please just make sure you're looking after the images we worked so hard to create. We are giving them to you for free after all. ;)