The 3 Worst Photo Mistakes on Social Media| Damion Hamilton

One of our main responsibilities here at DHP is surprisingly…education.  Almost every client that comes to us is getting engaged and married for the first time! Along with that comes a responsibility to teach them about the challenges and joys that come along with the world of professional photography, what they can expect and how to cruise through the process smoothly.

One thing that we haven’t talked about recently is social media etiquette with pictures.  It’s crazy how much the introduction of social media has affected the “protocol” for photography and how it has impacted photographers (and consumers).  This post is a guide for how to navigate the waters of professional photography successfully on social media.

Here are the three worst things you can do with photos on social media:

1) Forget to give photo credit.  Anytime you post a picture that a professional photographer took, you need to credit the artist.  Period.  Many times we’ll be credited on an image and then someone will post a screen shot of same image because they liked it, but leave off the credit.  I am sure it’s not on purpose, but this is our livelihood. If you like it enough to share, that means there was thought, creativity, and skill put into capturing that picture. That photo credit isn’t just about the fraction of a second that it took to snap the shutter, it’s about the years of work & learning that have given us the ability to create that final product.  If you like it, the possibility is that your friends will like it and we want them to know about us too! Heck, it might even go viral and then no one would ever know who took it if it has no photo credit! 😉 Giving credit is as simple as typing Credit: Damion Hamilton in the subject line or description OR tagging the artist in the photo. If the photo already has a watermark with the studio logo, then you don’t need to credit the photog additionally.

Also, if you had other vendors who helped make your pictures awesome like a makeup or hair artist who made you look stunning, we recommend that you credit them as well.  It is likely that their business also depends on word of mouth and photos are the best evidence of a job well done! We try to be very consistent in crediting all vendors and artists associated with our photos.  It’s a great way to honor them and their skill.

2) Chop the picture into a square. Many artists give specific disclaimers about not cropping or re-sizing their images.  They had a particular result in mind when they took the picture, whether it was capturing context or creating interesting dimensions in their composition! If it gets cropped, those who are looking at your picture are not seeing the original intent or skill of the photographer.  I know it’s hard, particularly on Instagram where everything gets chopped into a square. Apps like Pic Tap Go or Rhonna Designs offer full-size instagram options that allow you to include the entire picture in the square frame.  I use them every single day to make sure our pictures look like they’re supposed to! Below is an example of what the full picture would look like in IG form using the apps I mentioned here. Also please note that the compression had made them appear a tiny bit blurry as they are larger on this page than you would see them on social media, but in reality, they are tack sharp!

This sneak peek of Chris & Veronica’s wedding is a perfect opportunity to explain. There is a major difference between this concept:

image 5

and this one:

image 2

Here’s another example! Which shows the more complete concept–picture #1..

image 7

or picture #2?


3) For the love of God, please don’t add a filter……It literally pains me to see people use an IG filter on their pro photos! I wince in agony every time! Filters are great for personal snapshots (we use them all the time), but if it’s a professional photo, that artist has worked hard on his or her color calibrated monitor to make sure that your picture looks just right! Putting a filter on it is just like sending pictures to print at Costco or Walgreen’s and wondering why the skin looks green or gray in the pictures that you get back. It completely negates all the time they spent in post production on your image.  It was a waste of time for them.

If you captured & created this beautiful picture with gorgeous skin tones & lighting:


Would you like to see this on social media as a reflection of your skill & ability?

image 6

Probably not!

I hope these little tips have been helpful! We are on your side & love to be be able to keep you up to date on the latest etiquette.  It’s all a learning process!

Have you been in any sticky situations with photos on social media?? Not sure what to do?? Drop us a line at julie[at] with your question and we will do a Q & A to try to help you come up with creative solutions for those tough photo questions.

Don’t miss our our “Detail of the Day” photos on our FB fan page, or twitter/IG at @damionhamilton





  • Damion said:

    Chris you are so right! I use that one too! Thank you for bring that one to our attention!!

  • Chris T said:

    Great stuff, Damion! In addition to the two apps you mentioned that allow for correctly sizing photos for Instagram (both of which sell for $1.99), there's also InstaSize, which has some of the same features but also has a free ad-supported version.

  • Damion said:

    Thank you Lynda!

  • Lynda Kennedy said:

    Love this post. :o)

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