Advocacy

Social Media

This section is devoted to best practices when using Social Media. Take the time to get educated about protecting work product assets while leveraging your Social Media presence.

APA Social Media White Paper

The allure of social media sites is undeniable: the ability to reach billions of people, to communicate efficiently with business prospects, and to create an accessible channel to the photographer’s work for whatever professional or personal aspiration they may have. This APA white paper is designed to help APA alert photographers who may be unable to resist the attraction of social media opportunities to the possible consequences of participation in social media platforms. What are the consequences of their post?

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Tips for Protecting Your Work

While social media sites provide a vast network of marketing opportunities with little or no outlay of cash from users, as you'll see from our Social Media White Paper they are not without costs of a different kind. Consequently, APA recommends that if you choose to post images to social media sites, you do so with full awareness of the potential consequences:

  1. Terms of Service (ToS) and User Agreements are binding legal documents that apply to you whether you read and fully understand them, or not. 
  2. Most of these documents dictate ways in which the services can use, share, even sell your images without any further permission from you. 
  3. Images you post may escape your control and may not ever be completely removable from the internet, even in cases where you may be legally liable. 
  4. Even if your images never leave the site, you may forfeit future licensing opportunities because clients may want exclusivity that you cannot guarantee. 
  5. You may be liable for others' use, or misuse, of your own images that you post. 

If you choose to post images to social media sites: 

  1. Consider limiting your postings to a small, finite group of images you're willing to devote to a marketing or business plan. 
  2. Consider watermarking your images to limit their commercial viability and to prevent your images from becoming separated, or "orphaned" from you, their creator. 
  3. Consider linking to your images from your blog or website, rather than posting new files. 
  4. Check your insurance policy to be sure you're covered for the potential liabilities you assume when posting to social media. 

Know your rights. Take a few minutes to read the ToS for wherever you choose to post your work, then decide. And if you don't understand or you're unsure, don't rely on readings on the internet. Consult your own attorney for legal advice.

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