Are You Worried About What Your Clients Can Do With Your Images?

There are two ways of looking at social media.

From the old school perspective, social media is a nightmare. People can take all of your content and use it for whatever they want, whenever they want.

Copyrights? What are those? People are so used to using images they see nothing wrong with grabbing your photos, and using them to create whatever they choose. Ever have a client come in and proudly show you their calendars/greeting cards/images they produced using your files? Yes it can be frustrating.

And if you look at some of the major companies in existence online, they not only believe in sharing, they promote it. Just look at latest promotion


1. Login to your Snapfish account.

2. From Snapfish’s website, click on Facebook and login to your Facebook account.

3. Select any photo from your Facebook albums, or those of your family and friends, and start ordering.

Sure it might be a great idea if you post cute photos of your small child, and grandma wants a copy for her brag book. But what if you are a professional? What if your client happens to be your friend, and he or she takes the image and prints it up for her family and friends?

What can you do?

Here are three options.

1. Forget everything you ever learned about being online. Stop everything. Shut it all down. It’s just too much anymore, and it’s costing you a ton of business. So why be in business at all? Maybe its time to call it all quits, and go into another field.

2. Charge a small fee and hand over everything. Your client will use everything you take in any way he or she chooses. So why fight it? Just snap a few pictures, burn it to a CD, and hand over the rights.  As long as you realize this is just a side income anyway, and you never hope to grow rich as a photographer. It’s impossible today, right?

3. Okay, now that we have the polar opposites up there, hopefully you’re asking yourself about a third option. I run across a ton of photographers that could be characterized by 1 or 2. Yet I still am very optimistic about the future of photography.

It all comes down to how you value your services, and what you present your clients. You have the right to charge what you’re worth. If you have the expertise as a top notch photographer, its okay to charge thousands for your work. Yes, you may not be able to get $150 for an 8×10. Instead, bump up your creation fee, and charge less for your 8x10s.

The true value isn’t in the paper it’s printed on; it’s in the creativity of the artist.

Think like an artist. Market like a businessperson. And you’ll quickly find success.

2 thoughts on “Are You Worried About What Your Clients Can Do With Your Images?”

  1. I use a company called dot photo and they have “right click” copyright protection. I love it! Of course, visitors to my site could use web capture and still steal from me, but the “right-click” protection they use really cuts down on the average joe doing an image theft visit. They also offer a watermark feature when uploading!

  2. I keep wrestling with this concept.

    At this point, I’ve responded two ways, but would LOVE to hear how others are dealing with this.

    1) businesses and organizations that will likely be using the images for promotional use are charged a higher rate for the disc with images on it. (They have no need for prints and often only loose them).

    2) for ‘consumers’ I give lower resolution images. I’m undecided on watermarking for these images that go to the client on disc. Anything I post on a social networking site is watermarked.


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