This morning, I woke up to find that yet another one of my photographs was reposted by a major company on Instagram.
So let's be real - when my photographs are resposted, I'm flattered. Truly. But as more and more of my photographs are reposted, often times with no credit to me at all, I find myself becoming, errrr.... irritated... to say the least.
I love Instagram.
It's a place to express myself, become inspired, and showcase my work. What I don't love is how large companies are taking advantage of the content we work so hard to create.
Before platforms such as Instagram, companies had to create all of their own content. That means they had a budget and had to spend money, time, and other resources on creating advertising campaigns. Now, they can (and do) steal content right off of Instagram, effectively maintaining a very influential social media marketing campaign with little to no cost at all.
On the one hand, we see a #repost as a compliment and oftentimes a goal. On the other hand, we tend to forget that this is our content; we (and by we, I mean every single one of us that takes a picture, whether professional or not, and whether with a DSLR or an iPhone) hold a copyright to it and that copyright has value.
But, in reality, companies are benefiting from your hard work in a way that is unlike any other time in the history of photography. They have free content because we let them steal it. They have more to gain from your hard work than you do from their repost. So start protecting your creativity and hard work, because in a past life, it was worth a lot. In this life, it still can be.
Think about that.