HI fellow artists!
I believe every photographer can agree that most of the hard labor in this business comes from post process/ delivery. From the uploading, the color corrections, fixing skin tones, extracting unwanted objects, making them cohesive, you name it! Not to mention, the over-snacking, and the late nights .. Yes? It can be tedious, and frustrating and coincidentally, be extremely rewarding. However, I think every photographer across the board whether ametuer or Pro can agree that the #1 pet peeve of the business is when the client re-edits a photo on social media. Seriously, what makes them think that a poorly crafted Instagram filter will compete with a VSCO or Mastin Labs preset?! Am I right? Not only does it discredit and waste the time you put into the artistry of the photograph, but it more so misrepresents you to a great degree. Lets be honest, although Instagram is constantly updating their filters and more editing features become available, MOST people do not know how to edit shadows, highlights, or use tilt-shift correctly. Instagram filters are not made for high quality JEG and Raw files. Photographers, I am here to help. Here are some ways to put an end to this, in your client base:
- Put it in the Contract/ Agreement: Probably the most important out of them all really. In my contract and in my experience, stating that all edits are final and that the client may not edit the photo whatsoever is the most effective way to put an end to this. Not only does it let the client know that it isn't permitted, it is also a safe haven for them to refer to should they violate boundaries of the contract. You have it in writing should things go astray (worst case scenario).
- State it to them again on Client Gallery: Lets behonest, although it may be stated in your contract, no one really reads anything these days. People skim and find things that are relevant to them at the moment, sign , and send the contract back to you. If they read the contract in step #1, things would be different. However, upon delivering the photos to my clients in their online galleries, I put a little message in the middle before they can view the photos, telling them what a wonderful time I had (which I always do ) and I mention that if they post on social media of any kind, proper credit must be given as stated in the contract, and that no photos may be edited with ANY outside editing software under no circumstances. This way, they are reminded again, in case they skimmed the contract.
- If you see it, say something: I think this may be the one that we all struggle with. Could I potentially lose this client? Could they write a bad review? Unfortunately yes. However, you are a Brand. A brand built by your artistry and your vision. Social media is a HUGE marketing platform for us photographers and being misrepresented by over saturated Instagram filters is NOT something that is conducive to attracting new clients. If you see it on IG, Facebook, or Tumbler, then say something politely and professionally. Maybe commenting on the post for everyone to see isn't the best way. Try sending a sending a message and explaining why re-editing is bad, and to please take it down. This should work in your favor. Most times, clients aren't aware of this.
Your Business is YOU, embrace your art and NEVER COMPROMISE !
Hope this helps. :)