Instagram Etiquette: The Do’s & Dont’s Of Sharing Other Designer’s Work

Photo: Unsplash

Now more than ever we are looking for a little bit of inspiration to get us through all of this and here at Bobby Berk, we’re big proponents of sharing and promoting the work of other designers. We believe it fosters a sense of community and allows us to introduce our audience to new designers and projects that we love. With that being said, it’s important to take into account a few factors when sharing work that belongs to someone else.  

With so many beautiful and inspiring designs out there, it’s natural to want to share it with others. It’s a daily occurrence on websites (ours included), blogs and Instagram. But while sharing work that we love, we need to take into consideration the creators- the photographers, designers and stylists – who brought those images to fruition. These talented individuals rely on people seeing their work in order to grow their businesses and get new clients. So whether it’s an image of an interior, product, or place, there are a few easy tips we always implement to make sure we are giving credit where it’s due, while still being able to utilize images and content.

 

Keep scrolling to see our 6 tips for how to considerately share content and images.

GIVE Credit

First and foremost, giving credit to the creator is essential when posting content that’s not your own. You’ll not only be showing them you respect their work and talent, but you’ll also be providing exposure and allowing other people to discover them. If you’re sharing an image of an interior, you should share the designer and photographer, who both had a hand in bringing the project to life. If the stylist credit is also given on the original source then you should also credit them when you repost.

When posting on Instagram:

Be sure to @ the designer, photographer, and stylist in the copy as well as tag them in the photo so that it is clear where the photo came from. Just tagging them in the photo is not enough.

When posting online:

Link to their websites under each photo or at the top of the post. If they don’t have one then you can link to their Instagram profile.

When responding to comments:

If someone leaves a complimentary comment on your post, be sure to re-iterate the designer, not yourself, are deserving of the praise.

Don’t Alter IMAGES

Changing or altering someone else’s photograph takes away from the intention and artistic quality of the work. Whether you’re adding a filter or changing the color to go better with your feed, any change is like defacing someone’s art. Think of it this way- would you alter a famous piece of art, like the Mona Lisa,  before posting it? The same rules should apply to any image. Photographers work hard to create and edit images that encapsulate a look and feel, and it’s important and respect and honor their work by leaving it un-edited when you choose to repost.

FIND THE Original Source

We’ve all found images we love, whether on Pinterest, a blog, or a website, that may not be fully attributed to a creator. While it’s certainly easy to share them while crediting where you found them, it’s important that you credit the original source. Crediting to a larger online source vs the individual designer should be avoided. If you’re having trouble locating a photographer or designer for a certain image, try doing a reverse image search through images.google.com. Just drag the image into the search bar, and all the places the images is located online will appear.  You can then track down the original source and credit them before sharing. (You can also do a reverse search from your phone. Learn how by clicking here.)

GET THE Highest Quality Image

In addition to tracking down the original source, you should also look for a high resolution photo when you share other’s work. (Because who wants to see a pixelated image of a beautiful space anyway?) A high quality image will not only look lovely, but it will also ensure you’re showing the work at its absolute best when you share it with your audience. 

Stay POSITIVE

While this one does not fall into the “what to do when posting others work” category, it does fall into etiquette and should be followed. When it comes to commenting on other people’s content, it’s also important to be considerate and think about all the effort that went into creating that piece of work. Designers spend A LOT of time, energy, resources and money on projects (trust us) and so many factors go into making the design decisions that are represented in a single photo. So while it’s tempting to offer your honest opinion on something you see, first think about the hard work and how your words could be received in a negative way. Keeping your comments positive, while asking questions or inquiring about where a piece came from, is the best policy for giving digital feedback.

Check out this Instagram story by Designer Jenny Komenda for her perspective on how to comment in a constructive way.

MIX IN Original Content

While there are some sites and accounts that only share images created by others, it’s a good idea to mix in your own original content with images you may be re-posting from elsewhere. Not only is it more interesting to see your own personal viewpoint, but it’s also totally original! Anyone can post a pretty image, but combining that image with other content that is unique to you is what makes your perspective special.

 

Have your own thoughts on sharing other’s work? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

  1. Hi Bobby!

    I totally agree with all your tips on this! However, in my opinion, if you are a designer yourself and marketing your services using your instagram page, then I believe the majority of the work you post should be your own. Otherwise, you create the illusion (whether intentionally or not) that the work you are posting is your own. When people first come to an insta, they take in the whole visual of the feed to form an impression, and when the majority of the work is reposted, you are benefiting from other’s work. I mean think about it: would you fill your professional website with photos of other people’s work? And while it’s fine to sprinkle in a few inspiration posts from time to time, it’s also important to give credit AT THE BEGINNING of the caption. Most people don’t read all the way to the bottom to see the designer linked at the end. That’s my two cents as a designer myself!

    XOXO,
    Kelsey

    1. Thanks for your comment Kelsey. You make a very good point about including the credit at the beginning of the caption. -B