Technology has brought wonderful advancements to the field of photography. The digital age allows photographers to see their images as soon as they are taken. Some adjustments can be made inside the camera and others in a digital darkroom, such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel PaintShop Pro. The Internet has opened up opportunities for photographers to show and sell their work on blogs and websites that can be viewed from computers, tablets, and smartphones. Along with benefits for photographers, the Internet provides opportunities for intellectual property thieves. Photographic images are being stolen from Internet websites every day, and used for profit making ventures by someone other than the owner. Watermarking photographs that are placed on line is the best way to prevent theft.
Why Are Images Stolen?
A small number of people believe every photograph posted online is free for the taking, but the majority know better. Everyone is looking for a way to make a few extra dollars, and some are using other people's photographs to create products in on-demand print shops. Zazzle and Cafe Press are just two of the many companies that offer mugs, clothing, greeting cards, tote bags, calendars, and numerous other items to be printed with photographic images. The items are then sold at a profit to the person uploading the photographs. Unscrupulous freelancers grab photographs from blogs and websites and upload to on-demand print companies and earn money from another person's hard work.
Photography calendars are very popular items during the holidays, and some small print shops search for location-themed images online to print calendars to sell to businesses in their community. These calendars are usually printed with the business name. Newspapers and magazines have grabbed images from the Internet to avoid paying a local photographer. The sad fact is most photographers cannot afford to sue someone for using their image without permission. Even though intellectual property is copyrighted the moment it is created, you must go to court and prove it is yours if you want to recover the financial loss. Some people steal images to post on their website or to use as screen savers. They aren't using them for financial gain, but they are still doing it without the knowledge or permission of the photographer.
How Can Your Protect Your Work?
Don't become discouraged if you have images stolen. Avoid the temptation to stop posting your photography on the Internet. You will lose opportunities for sales and the chance to build your name as a brand. Watermarking your photography is the common sense solution for the thievery that is becoming commonplace. There are several ways to create an effective watermark for photographers who have graphic editing programs and skills. If you are using Adobe Photoshop, you can make a custom watermark brush that is saved and can be used for all your images, and you can watch a tutorial on how to create it at PHLEARN.com. Corel PaintShop Pro, and Gimp online tutorials also demonstrate ways to create attractive watermarks. Some photographers type their name in capital letters on their photographs, but that can appear distracting, awkward and unprofessional.
What If You Don't Have A Graphics Program?
If you have never used a graphics program other than what your computer and camera software offer, you can still protect your images with online watermark services. You can pick and choose your style, color, and font from a large variety of presets, or you can follow the instructions to design your own. It's easy, fast, and affordable. You can be protecting your beautiful photographic images in just minutes.
Don't take chances with your images, because no one else should be profiting from your work. Create a professional watermark to protect your photography and thwart the intellectual property thieves.