PetaPixel

Photographers Upset at Wedding Blog for Offering Paid Facebook and Pinterest Posts

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The popular wedding blog The Wedding Chicks has become the focus of much of the photo community’s ire today after an article on the popular photography blog Fstoppers brought attention to one of their business practices. Namely: that they offer “social media packages” in which photographers can pay the blog to have their work featured on the Wedding Chicks Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

The issue was first brought to Fstoppers blogger Rebecca Britt’s attention through Facebook by LA wedding photographer Dina Douglass. Apparently, you can pay the blog $100 for 3 pins, $150 for 5 pins, or $200 for 2 pins, 1 Facebook post and 1 Tweet (among other options).

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This is a problem for two reasons. For one, it’s strictly against both Facebook and Pinterest’s terms of service (Twitter is a bit more ambiguous). But more of an issue for photographers enraged by the policy is the fact that a wedding blog, whose business is based at least in part on photographers who allow the blog to use their work, is actually charging photographers.

It also brings up a troubling ethical point (journalistically speaking), because it doesn’t seem these Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest posts were labeled as “sponsored posts.”

You can read the whole story over on Fstoppers, where Britt has put together a very insightful article about the issue, complete with several quotes from Douglass.

And once you’re done, do let us know what you think in the comments down below. Are photographers right to be upset because, as Douglass puts it, “generous photographer contributions are the foundation for wedding blog businesses.” Or is this a reasonable advertising outlet for photographers who want to get their names out there?

“Wedding Chicks” Blog Breaks Terms of Service to Make More Money [Fstoppers]


 
  • Stephanie

    It should be an even trade! The photos are giving the blog traffic profit, while the blog is offering exposure to the photographer. It should be an even trade. Even so, those prices are a bit ridiculous.

  • Kristian Colasacco

    That’s an easy fix. Report them to Facebook and to Pinterest and their pages will cease to exist.

  • phil mcguirk

    I think if you want advertising, you pay for it just like any other media. Is it any less offensive to pay a television station x amount of dollars to advertise there? I have a person that I pay to blog, pin, and post on my facebook pages. I don’t have the time or energy, her business is to build client base for social media business and gain popularity for such businesses. I don’t see any harm. Now, as to the claim of saying that the tweet or pin is a sponsored pin, it depends on how it’s done. And I really don’t see anything wrong with that…. This is an “if you want it, pay for it,” society. If anything, we as photographers know about people wanting something for nothing. If you want a service, do you deserve it for free? I say no… you want to get paid, so pay the people who are helping to drive business to your door.

  • Adri

    This is nothing new. Noticed this (payment to be featured on blogs) happening a couple years ago. How do you think so many photographers get their “Best of the Year” awards … yup, they’re the photographers who have paid for subscriptions or services of that blog/site. And if you drill down on some blogs, you’ll see that to be on the landing page or feature page on that blog, you pay. I routinely get emails offering me better exposure if I pay — ah, no thanks.

  • Guest

    I hope you never make a dime.

  • battlepriest

    Despite that it’s a violation of the terms of service of Pinterest and Facebook – oh, but things like rules shouldn’t matter when potential profit is involved, right?

  • Mary

    Pay to be featured on their blog and Pinterest? Who the heck are they anyway? I never heard of them. Must be just another fly by night wedding photography blog I guess. I would never be so desperate.

  • Randy B

    All you have to do in notify Google about the paid links. Google will then penalize the parties accordingly. End of story.

  • Will Mederski

    Besides likely legal conflicts with Facebook and Pinterest, I’m pretty sure this is what’s called “advertising.” (so long as the blog makes it clear that they are “paid advertisements”)

    It’s up to the viewers discretion to believe that the promoted work is actually attractive / whether the ad actually works.

  • Me

    I really don’t see the issue apart from Facebook and Pintrist likely dropping them for breaking their terms of service.

    If you don’t want to advertise — don’t. If you do, pay for it. Isn’t this called capitalism?

  • OutragedPhotographer

    Wait… the “photo community” is outraged about something some other photographers are doing? I’m shocked…

  • kendon

    google is the new internet police and jurisdiction? or what do they have to do with anything?

  • Eugene Chok

    two page spread in a local wedding magazine will cost much more… most likely will also bring you less traffic

  • Philip Atkinson

    I’m surprised that you think this is a story TBH. Paid promotion and guest blogging is pretty much standard practice for whole swathes of the internet

  • http://www.observingtime.com/ agour

    you can do this with celebrities twitter accounts.. (or at least you could in the past)

  • Sighing wedding vendor

    The Offbeat Bride has been offering Paid Pins for a long time now.

  • James

    They’ve apparently rethought this decision.

  • greekfoodmumma

    I dont know how things are done in the USA but in Australia renowned photographers and that of Wedding Photographers , DO NOT associate themselves with BLOGS , no matter how good they are – they have their OWN blogs . We do have one site there where i am assuming that you pay as it is more like a directory where you can go and find a service in your area for your big day. Maybe this is something that American Photographers can have a look at doing also , that way most of you wont care if some “mummy” ( australian spelling :) ) , blog about weddings is making a profit while using your images .

  • Jan

    … I don’t see how that is any different from anybody else. Don’t get me wrong, but what do you think any Photoshop “editorial” reviews are? And if you look closely at the links in many (or most) blogs you’ll see that photography blogs earn commission for “featuring or reviewing a product” most of the time. I mean, come on. You really think people work for “others for free”? Why do you think running a blog or website should be for free – if you would not be willing to share your images under the same terms and conditions: for free? It’s a pretty ridiculous argument. I mean, fstoppers earns money from B&H and amazon for stuff that they recommend. I guess the author of the article was just little aware how the business works also on “her website”…

  • nestazhe265

    my Aunty Grace got a nearly new blue Kia by
    working part time from the internet. look at this now J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Matt

    The problem I have is the unethical abuse of the website actions that are intended to be honest appreciation of anothers image. But, this is very common unfortunately. Too many people abandon ethics and civility when they think no one else will know or think that no one else is harmed. It makes me sick. They need to be called out and shamed whenever found.

    I would like to see their blog be sucessful, it is hard to make a living. But, if they are unethical I have no problem pointing it out. They obvioiusly need to loose some money to learn a lesson.

  • Chris Pickrell

    What are you a communist? Take that silly logic and sane line of thinking some where else.

    (this reply is completely sarcastic by the way)

  • Reid Rosefelt

    It may be inethical, and violate Pinterest rules, but they have 4,665,000 followers, which makes this is a spectacular marketing opportunity. Very good for the price.

  • http://www.pavelkounine.com/ Pavel Kounine

    However, without the contributions of photographers, this blog would have no useful content, and those 4.6m followers would soon be hitting the unfollow button.

    The problem with photographers, is that a whole lot of new ones have no collective back bone. Photographers can EASILY make these “wedding chicks” suffer with their poor decision; they just need to act as an organized whole.

  • http://www.pavelkounine.com/ Pavel Kounine

    Wedding blogs make money on advertising. Advertisers pay them money because there is a large readership attracted by the content. And the truth about wedding blogs is that their only useful content is 3rd party photography. No one is reading the copy, its entire usefulness comes from photographic contributions, which, I should say, they should be paying for, not charging for. Without photography, these blogs would cease to exist.

  • http://www.pavelkounine.com/ Pavel Kounine

    Attitudes like yours are why photography as a business is in decline. Established conventions are being flipped around because newbies or those without skill have been convinced that having their work paraded around free of charge is really their pleasure. Meanwhile, the outlets are making big bucks off the free content.
    You claim that blogs are driving business to the photographers’ doors, but who is driving business to the blogs’? The photographers’ content! Without content, those blogs would wither away.