Some time ago I wrote this blog post called ‘All you have to do is ask‘. It was about giving credit and asking permission before you just ‘take’ images from photographers. Lately I’ve picked up a lot of negativity coming from photographers and artist online, about and how Pinterest gives online users the opportunity to share content online, that they have no license for. This upsets a lot of photographers and rightfully so. But that does not mean Pinterest is a bad thing. In my opinion Pinterest amongst other online sharing, like people blogging your images, is a very good thing. Because the more people see my images, the better for me, but it just has to be done in the right way. So I’ve come up with a few basic principles, that will help all of us.

Let me start out by saying, when you are new to the internet, blogging or Pinterest (or any other social network), it’s like visiting someone’s house for the first time, without knowing about their un-written rules. In my parent’s home, you always put something back where you found it. It’s one of their un-written rules. And even though it’s not on a poster somewhere in the house, that’s just how it works. Period.

The internet also has some ‘un-written rules’. These rules are the right way to do things. And if you don’t apply them, you might have to learn the hard way. (and by that, I mean a nasty lawyer’s letter…and I’m sure none of us like that!)

So, when you use the internet for inspiration, make sure you are aware of the following:

  1. Always credit the original source, in other words the photographers/artist. (Credit, means a link to their site, as well as the mention of his/her full name, if you’re not sure how to add a link to your blog post, google it :)
  2. Make sure you have permission from the photographer/artist to blog/ use the images.
  3. If you are using Pinterest, make sure you link back to the photographer or at least mention their names in the notes/credit area or alternatively use a watermarked image with their name/logo on.
  4. If you would like to blog about someone’s images e.g. a full wedding or parts of it, make sure the photographer is aware of it and that you have written permission. (ps most photographers love their work to be blogged/shared, we’re not monsters. We just don’t like it, if you take something without giving love back. It’s just a nasty thing to do!)
  5. If you’re saving images from the internet as inspiration for later use. Make sure you have a good filing system to credit later. So either change the file name to photographer’s name_website001.jpg or make a folder per photographer you collect inspiration from. Alternatively just use Pinterest to pin all your images, that way you can save the origin of the photo, which if it was not the photographer’s site, will hopefully link you back to the photographer’s site.

If you need a visual way to explain what I just said, this is the best poster I’ve ever come across. I wish all wedding service providers will stick this up in their offices and use it, so that we can all work together for a better industry. Please feel free to share this! Love it soooo much. Read more about this poster and link love here on Link With Love.

GIVING CREDIT / STORM CLOUD poster created by erin loechner and pia bijkerk (with yvette‘s awesome handmade fonts!)– view larger format here ] BUY yourself a print here.

If you ‘link love’ and give credit where credit is due, photographers will actually love you, embrace your company and probably send some link love your way too! Which in the long run means business.

ps. my view on Pinterest in short: I think it’s an amazing concept. A real revolution! It surely does inspire people and the more my work get’s pinned, the happier I am. But as long as the pinning is directly from my site or if the images have been distributed in another way, that the original source links back. For example, if people pin from, the link will show, but in the original post it links to, we link to the photographer, as well as other service providers. And as extra courtesy to our photographers, we add a banner at the bottom of each photo that mentions them on each shoot. And in this way, we love photographers and hopefully they love us. Love both ways. Happy people!

Love this poster too…found it on



  1. 20/03/2012 , 10:10 am

    Hallo Christine.
    Ek hoop ek doen dan die regte ding. Elke keer wat ek nog geblog het oor jou fotos of The Pretty Blog, het ek seker gemaak dat ek dit noem.
    Die stellings wat jy maak is wel grondig. Die internet maak plagiaat maklik.

  2. 20/03/2012 , 10:45 am

    Great post thank you!x

  3. 20/03/2012 , 10:53 am

    Thanks Tunet! That sounds perfect! Thanks! x

  4. 20/03/2012 , 1:19 pm

    This is great but where do you stand if you have paid a photographer to take photos for you/your products? Whose property are they then?

  5. 20/03/2012 , 4:28 pm

    Thank you, Christine!! Such an important message!!!

  6. 20/03/2012 , 5:30 pm

    Thank you for the post, much appreciated!

  7. 22/03/2012 , 8:48 am

    Thanks so much for this post Christine. I’ve been wondering what a professional photographer’s opinion was on Pinterest. I’ve recently started using Pinterest but with all the controversy over copyright I wasn’t sure whether to keep my account or not, even though I love Pinterest! This post shows that we can find a middle groud to keep everyone happy.

  8. 26/03/2012 , 12:05 am

    Hoop ons almal leer iets heir vandag – dankie vir die artikel!

  9. 26/03/2012 , 11:21 am

    Hi Danielle,

    With South African copyright, the person paying owns the copyright. Unless the photographer’s contract states that he/she owns the copyright, then it can be transferred to the photographer. So it all depends on the agreement. With all my clients, I own the copyright. hope that helps.