So I know the big thing these days is Pinterest. Bigger than big. Everyone is doing it. Pinning photos that inspire, put ideas in your head and hope in your heart and throw your biggest dreams out into cyberspace. I see awe inspiring portraits, gorgeous homes, beautiful locales and succulent food all on one page. The first thing I think of every single time I log in is “Oh, who photographed that!” Immediately, I want to know the photographer, their background, their personal interests. But I know that’s not what everyone else is thinking.
Seriously, this runs through my mind every time I log on. I am really particular and not every photo is an inspiration and an immediate pin for me-especially directly from my Pinterest feed. The way I like to do it is to visit the sites that intrigue me and pin from there with the pinmarklet. I am also very concerned about crediting all photographers whose work in pin to my boards on Pinterest. I am sometimes tempted to just pin and go but am now taking the time to credit every photographic image.
I encourage all of you to do your best to credit the artist for everything you pin (or the site source if no credit is available-for the most part, this is automatically done by Pinterest but not every pin you pin comes from a valid source). I don’t completely understand Tumbler but it seems that a lot of images come from these sites and many of those images are sourced from somewhere else without credit. I actually had to link through five sites to figure out who the photographer was on one pin I made and then I still had to Google her name to find her site.
On the other side, as an artist, once you put your photographs out there on your blog or other sharing site like Flickr or deviantArt, you really need to be okay with them getting passed around. I have been told that this is the way certain photographers have become so well known in the industry and I do like the idea of my work being seen and getting shared by others. Before the internet the only way that was done was in galleries, magazines, books and direct mail. It had to be printed somehow.
I do think that the key is to watermark your image. I absolutely hate those huge gaudy flourished overlays on images with the name so big I can’t interpret the image, so I think you should at least create a simple watermark with your name or web address for a permanent credit. I don’t always do it because I don’t like having words typed all over my images.
Every image was created by someone. Whether it’s a photograph, a painting, a drawing on computer or a hand-drawn illustration, time and thought went into it. Let’s just all watch out for each other and give credit where credit is due.
For more on Pinterest etiquette read here.
And for another more eloquent write-up on ‘attribution Neighborhood Watch’ read photographer, Amy Stein’s take on this same subject.