With digital cameras and editing programs we as photographers have the ability to edit color, contrast, retouch by airbrushing and fix many things. As a photographer many of us strive to make sure we are providing a quality portrait so although almost all of the work is done in camera with photography experience, editing programs are our digital darkroom to enhance portraits. As one of the many I also use an image editing program to brand images with my company watermark.
I wanted to take the time tonight to explain reasoning behind the protecting of images by watermarking…..
On the internet we can be who ever we want to be and sign up for sites, browse the internet, read some news, or start a Facebook account. We all have passwords and usernames to log in with, and love sharing our lives by connecting with friends and family. Imagine one morning you log in. You log in to see what everyone is up to but notice a new message so you check it…”Hmm, I don’t remember sending anyone anything…”
A friend messaged. They saw your profile picture in a not so conservative advertisement. She remembered the name of the company. You thank her for looking out for you and look up the company. Sure enough…there’s your photo representing the company that you didn’t give permission to. Or, worse…your child’s photo is now in an advertisement. How dare them?! “I never said that was ok,” you think. “How did they get my daughter’s photo?”
So you angrily email Facebook and tell your friend what you found but find Facebook isn’t so quick to respond because they are working on thousands of other accounts that had the same thing happen…..
Per Facebook’s statement of rights/responsibilities it says: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition: For content that is covered by intellectual property right, like photos and video (IP content) you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application setting: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP license) This IP license ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”
Per U.S. copyright law the photographer who creates the portrait and presses the shutter owns the image. For example you see your children playing so decide to run in to the house, grab your camera, and snap a photo. You own that image. Your image is protected by copyright law. Photographers who share images and give people permission to share their copyrighted material as usually part of their portrait collection, for their own advertising in portfolio’s and people’s enjoyment. So when you upload the image to Facebook you tell Facebook you have the right to post the image and because we have Facebook we agree to the terms and conditions of Facebook.
With my new business model you will begin seeing less Facebook images out of your protection.Going forward Facebook images will be limited on my profile however will you continue to see postings on the blog as usual. I value clients who will stick with me through this change however if someone feels this may not be for them I will gladly refer them to another photographer whom will be in line with their needs.
I believe over the internet we usually have good experiences. Because of this we trust who we talk to, how our photos are seen and the social circles we travel with in. We generally surround ourselves with people who support us. Unfortunately we cannot foresee hackers, internet thieves and how applications over the social network can compile our information.
Out of respect for you, your family, and out of respect for myself all portraits shown on the Ashley Heim Photography Facebook page and blog are watermarked.