I’ve been a pretty happy little camper to have figured out (with the help of others like fellow blogger Dmitrii Lezine ) how to post photos within blogs on WordPress and then link said photos to my website and SmugMug gallery.
Then – I recently read a blog post by SmugMug, focusing on one of their success stories HoofClix (and what a success story). This photographer mentioned that thieves can come in and use screen capture software to get a pretty decent shot of a photographer’s image if they have their settings so that viewers can view anything from large to 2X on their SmugMug galleries. This photographer also mentioned that he always uses watermarks, and has a number of different watermark styles for a given situation.
After linking my blog photos to my protected SmugMug galleries, I had not really given thought to those cretins out there who might use screen capture software to steal a photo that they could not download (I have my gallery photos protected so that nobody can right-click then download the photo). Pretty naïve of me.
I like showing off my photos. I am a good photographer and am proud of my work. I do NOT like having my photos stolen by somebody in location-du-jour for their own purposes. I find that reprehensible. These people who do that apparently do not have any initiative or creativity to go out and take their own photos. Nor do they have any ethical wherewithal to do the right thing legally and morally and purchase or license a photo. These thieves have absolutely no problem calling someone else’s photo their own work.
The reality is that there are probably copies of my photos floating around the world already. Henceforth, there are things I can do to at least make it more difficult for someone to steal my work. These things you photographers can apply to your work too, if you aren’t already doing so.
You will now notice that when you click on one of my photos in a post, it will still take you to my website (which is linked to my SmugMug gallery), but the photo views are much smaller and I have put my watermark back on them.
There will be those of you out there who are a bit put out or put off by the watermark inclusion. I don’t care. I like showing off my photos but I also want to try and sell them, and this helps make it a little more difficult for people to easily (key word, here) steal for their own purposes.
Think about it: if you have a lovely photo that you have placed in your blog post or an online gallery, then that photo is fair game and ripe for the picking.
If you have a SmugMug account with galleries, it’s easy to go into gallery settings and right-protect your photos, re-size them from their original size to a smaller size (seen by anybody visiting your gallery), and add a watermark (I created my original plain-vanilla watermark with the help of Adobe Photoshop CS5 – post forthcoming).
So now, I am having fun creating more watermarks for various situations, if for no other reason than it gives me a little more peace of mind.