Friday, May 8, 2020

How to Create Your First Photography Portfolio Online

How to Create Your First Photography Portfolio Online

How to Create Your First Photography Portfolio Online


In 2018, we saw more photographers than ever living their dream by showing off their photographs online with stock images and the like. However, if you want to get your work noticed, you really ought to start thinking about making a portfolio.

Looking at some of the bigger photographers out there - or even perhaps some of the smaller ones that you follow on Instagram - there’s one theme that runs through. That’s the fact they have clean, fancy, minimalistic websites that promote their best work, contact information, and occasionally a little bit of personal information.

You see, online photography portfolios are a combination of branding, self-marketing, and staying behind the camera. A photographer’s portfolio gets to, first and foremost, show off their work. It’s almost like the age-old adage of “a picture says a thousand words” is actually true in this case.

With all that said, it’s not actually all too hard to create a decent and cool-looking professional photography portfolio. You just need a little guidance, is all.

Hosting


Every cloud needs a silver lining and every website needs a hosting platform.

There are free platforms out there that are much more advanced than they were back in the day, and we’re not talking Flickr or Picasa either. There are also simple paid services on which you don’t even need to know a lick of HTML or CSS in order to make a great looking photography portfolio.

Hosting options for your new photography portfolio


If you’re genuinely looking to expand your photography into a career or a business, you should probably think about moving to a hosting platform.

Many hosting providers such as HostGator, 1&1, and BlueHost have WordPress integration options and Squarespace, as you’ll know if you listen to podcasts, is its own brand of magic.

That said, bigger, community-based websites like Flickr do have their SEO benefits, as well.

WordPress


Easily the most used hosting platform around these days, there’s a WordPress template and plugin for just about any kind of website you’re looking to create. You don’t need to learn a lick of code. Although if you’re looking for a straightforward photography portfolio, it might not be worth the $4-or-so to buy hosting and a domain name.

Then again, having a domain name is always going to be a benefit for you and your brand.

Price: Free, although you will have to shell out money for the hosting and/or domain name via a hosting provider.

Squarespace


Squarespace has a handle on the current streamlined, high-end aesthetic that most brands and individuals are going for these days. Their layouts are simple, elegant, and really easy to put together. Their themes are actively stunning and if you want a luxury theme that looks the part without needing to put a lot of work into it, then Squarespace might be worth considering.

Price: $12/m up to 20 pages, $18/m for unlimited pages, but this does come with a domain name and discounts if you’re paying annually.

Wix


Lesser-known than either WordPress or Squarespace, Wix is a platform that's easy to use and features that are exclusively designed with professional photographers in mind. Wix offers up an abundance of modern templates and an incredibly easy platform on which to do it. Recently, the company has also implemented the use of AI to help you build the website you want by simply answering a few questions.

It's a simple builder for busy people that still looks and works great. On top of this, you can also use some of the tools that also make it impossible for anyone to steal a photo.


How to Make Your Portfolio Stand Out


Once you have your website and layout sorted, it’s time to think about how you want your portfolio to look. Although it is ultimately your choice, two of the facts we really like to stand by are that you should watermark your work and you should also keep it as minimalistic as possible.

Most photographers choose only a few of their standout photographs to display on their portfolios; the shots that say, “This is my style, this is what I want to do, and if you want to see more, hire me.” However, even amateur photographers can think about doing this. Don’t make people search for your best shots - give it to them.

As for watermarking, it’s incredibly important to ensure that your photographs actually get attributed to you. With sites out there such as Pinterest and Tumblr, the idea of royalties goes out of the window. Having a watermark on your work is a clear, classy way to say, “I took this, isn’t it great?”

What you need on your photography portfolio


  • An ABOUT section: Give a quick summary on you, yourself, and what you’re about. 
  • Select PHOTOGRAPHS: Pick photographs that highlight your style of photography and your expertise.
  • CONTACT information: Contact information like an email address, socials, etc, are important for networking. How can somebody tell you they’d like to commission you for some work if you don’t have any contact info available?

Everything else - even blog sections - can be read as static.

How to know which photos to highlight


We get it. It’s as hard to be as proud of your photographs as it is to pick one when they all seem good. That said, the pictures you choose to show off as part of your portfolio should be the ones that show off your expertise, your skills, or even your vibe.

A good way of selecting shots is to look at it as though you’re putting together an exhibition. Technically, although it may be an online exhibition, you are. Your portfolio is your exhibition, and you want photographs that will always be relayed back to you.

A photography portfolio in a nutshell


The great thing about having an online portfolio is also that, if you’re proud of it, you never really have to visit it again yourself unless you want to. Like if you’re updating information or gearing up to switch an older shot for a newer one.

All that means is you have more time for doing what you love: actually taking the photographs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Watermarking for Real Estate Agents

Watermarking for Real Estate Agents

The weather is heating up, and so is the real estate market. As real estate agents, there is nothing more thrilling than a surge in the for-sale market, timed so well with an abundance of customers who are looking to buy. It’s the real estate equivalent of the perfect storm.
You’ve worked so hard throughout your career as a real estate agent. You’ve done more than connect buyers with sellers and sellers with buyers. You’ve poured your heart and soul into helping families find the perfect home, helping retirees downsize, and helping couples get started on the right foot. Sometimes the transactions are fast and furious, sometimes the clients are with you so long they almost become part of the family!
If you’ve been in this industry for a while, you know how this goes – the market heats up, then suddenly (and not surprisingly) the number of agents out there trying to represent real estate buyers and sellers start to skyrocket. Competition gets fierce. Every opportunist out there thinks this is their chance to make it big in real estate! We veteran agents have weathered many storms and persevered. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to be vigilant.

Watermarking for Real Estate Agents

Now, more than ever, we need to keep an eye out for those opportunists. In this business, your greatest asset is your sales record. Let me reiterate, your greatest asset is your own individual, unique sales record! You know your neighbourhoods, you know your demographics, and you know your trade. You also know that in today’s market, especially with younger customers, online communication is paramount. Today’s clients don’t want to take phone calls, they want to email or text. Today’s clients don’t want to wait for new market listings on Fridays, they want to peruse online listings in real-time. But even before that, they want to check out online profiles of real estate agents, before selecting someone to represent themselves in one of the biggest decisions they’ll make in their entire lives!
I know you’ll be sure to put your best foot forward online, but If there is one piece of advice I can give at this point, it’s this – do not, I repeat, DO NOT let anyone commandeer your sales track record. In this day and age, most agents will boast their biggest sales online with photos and bragging rights, hoping to build on that success by attracting new customers. But remember those opportunists we mentioned earlier? They don’t have the sales history that gives customers peace of mind that they’ve put their trust in the right hands.

Watermarking for Real Estate

So let me say this – post your successes online! A picture speaks a thousand words! Post photos on your website and on social media, celebrating your successes and showcasing the beautiful properties you have had the privilege to represent. Just make sure you protect those photos and all of your hard work from being stolen by someone else. It’s just too easy for those opportunists to grab photos online, claim to have made the sale, and win future business that they haven’t earned! To protect your photos online, you need to make them your own.

 There’s no better way to do that than to insert your own unique watermark into your online photos, to prevent anyone else from claiming ownership. And it doesn’t have to be a huge business expense – extremely inexpensive and easy-to-use online watermarking services allow you to place logos, text, your contact information, and/or all of the above onto your photos, to render them unusable for any unauthorized commercial purposes. Your sales are yours, and yours only! Advertise them proudly without fear!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

3 Reasons Why You Should Watermark Photos of Your Children

3 Reasons Why You Should Watermark Photos of Your Children



Most parents take pride in showing off pictures of their children and the Internet one of the most popular ways they do this.  Millions of people can see the photos you post in a matter of seconds.  Birthday parties, first steps and first days of school are just a few of the milestones that flood Instagram, Facebook and many other social media sites every day.  Photographs are a great way of getting a glimpse into someone's life.  Usually, this is a positive thing, but it's important to be careful when posting photos online.  One of the ways to keep your family safe is to watermark your photos.  While most photographs online aren't watermarked, there are many advantages to watermarking photographs of your children.

3 Reasons Why You Should Watermark Photos of Your Children

Use Personal Watermarks to Protect Your Photos from Theft

One benefit of photo watermarking is that it helps deter potential thieves from stealing your pictures.  Photos without a watermark can easily be stolen by anyone that has an Internet connection.  If your name is watermarked across your photos, thieves will be reminded that there are consequences for stealing pictures.  It's not a sure-fire way to stop them, but if they do attempt to steal your photographs, it will be apparent to others that they are stolen.  Your pictures will still have the potential to be distributed, but your chosen watermark will give away that the pictures belong to you.

When it comes to photo theft online the reality is it happens all the time.  It can be scary to think there might be someone distributing your child's photographs as their own.  In some cases, it can even ruin your life.  If you're a parent, this probably sounds terrifying, but it's not hard to prevent it.  Watermarking your photographs will help protect you and your family and give you peace of mind in the virtual world.


Showcase Your Child's Personality with Custom Watermarks


Another benefit of watermarking your photographs is that you can let your creative side shine.  If your child has a favourite cartoon character, you can create a custom watermark of that character.  Turn your child's favourite animal into a watermark.  Have a school bus watermarked into a photograph of the first day of school.  Not only will your child love the personal touch, but people will get to know a little more about your family.

Explain Your Photos Through Descriptive Watermarks


You can turn just about anything into a custom watermark.  You could use a quote, date, description or just about anything else you can come up with.  Dates come in handy for photos of the first day of school, first steps and birthdays.  Descriptions can be used to explain what's going on in the picture.  A quote could be an inspiring thought or funny anecdote that you can look back on and smile.  If you have vacation photos, watermark the name of the city or attraction you went to into photos of your family's trip.  Let yourself get creative and let the world get to know your child's likes and dislikes.  The possibilities are endless.

When it comes to parenting, it's always good to be safe.  Don't risk the safety of your family.  Watermarking your photos can protect you as well as be fun.  Let your children be part of the process if they're old enough.  Have them help choose the designs you use to watermark your photos.  Turn it into a fun bonding experience that you can use to discuss Internet safety.  Most importantly, have fun creating memories with your children.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Bird Photography

Bird Photography

Birds are great subjects for photographers because of their beauty and graceful movements.  Capturing photos of birds can be difficult, but it adds a tremendous visual impact on any picture.

Bird Photography
Photo by Vinoth Chandar.

It's not difficult to find your first subject since you can find birds pretty much anywhere on the planet.  You can start in your own backyard or a nearby park.  Bird feeders are a great way to attract them to where you want them to be.

Bird Photography -watermarquee
Photo by Acrylic Artist.

Birds are shy creatures, so be sure to bring along at least a 200mm lens and a tripod. If you want to catch them in flight, you'll need a camera with a FPS (Frames Per Second) and high ISO results.  You probably won't need, or even be able to use a flash.  You will definitely need patience.  Remember, you're looking to capture the bird in a natural pose, against a good backdrop, with good lighting. Wild creatures like birds aren't going to go out of their way to help you with any of that.

Bird Photography - watermark for free
Photo by Jimmy Davao

You'll have to remain still or even find a good hiding place, in order to not scare your feathered subjects away.  The best times of day for shooting birds are morning and evening when the light is the best and birds are at their most active.

watermark for free -Bird Photography
Photo by Nandadevieast

Finally, remember not to stress your subjects. Stay away from their nests and never do anything to harm the birds.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Photography SEO Part 3: Make Friends and Influence Google

Photography SEO Part 3: Make Friends and Influence Google

At it's most basic, Google search results are a popularity contest.  

If people like your website, and link to it, you're all set.  And if they don't, then you're going to have to sit by yourself in the lunchroom.

Photography SEO Part 3: How to Make Friends and Influence GoogleGoogle's famous PageRank algorithm (named after co-founder Larry Page) moves web pages up higher in search rankings when other pages link to them. 

It's pretty much as simple as that - the more pages that link to you, the better Google thinks your page is, and the higher up you'll find yourself in the search results.

 

This part of the Photography SEO guide will focus on how to get those links from other pages, called backlinks so that your photography website will move up higher in Google's search results for the keywords you've targetted.  Part 1 of this SEO guide discussed how to identify relevant, achievable keywords for your website, and Part 2 discussed changes you can make to your website to help rank for those keywords.

Building backlinks is much harder than on-page SEO, but it's impossible to get ranked without it.  According to some research, backlinks count for almost 50% of search engine rank placement.

Not All Links Are Created Equal


Every web page gets a rank from Google on a 0-10 scale, and the higher it's rank, the better it is to get a link from.  For instance, a link from CNN.com (page rank 9) to your photography website is way better than from a lower-ranking site.

Of course, it's also much harder to get a link from those types of sites, and you can rank quite well without it.

Start Simply


There are dozens of Photographer Directories on the net, each with the purpose to provide links to photographers. Links from directories like these don't carry a lot of juice, but if you're just getting started, every bit counts.


Also, check out any local photography associations and local business directories in your area, like the website for your local Better Business Bureau.  

Use Flickr


It can be hard to get people to come to your photography website, but that isn't a problem Flickr has.  Posting your best photos to Flickr is a great way to get noticed, and you can include a link in your photo description back to your website.  Vary the text around the link every so often so Google doesn't think it's just duplicate content.

For more about how to make the most of Flickr, see The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Popular on Flickr.

Participate in the online Photography Communities


Photography SEO Part 3:
Participate in photography communities to add to your reputation.
A great way to come across people who are capable of adding links to your site is to participate in photography forums.  Adding to a discussion increases your reputation in the photography community, and may bring you to the attention of photographers who run websites of their own.

Most forums allow you to put add a signature to your posts.  If they do, make sure yours includes a link back to your website.

Another great way to participate in the photographic community, and build backlinks at the same time, is to comment on blogs.  Adding relevant comments is a good way to build up a network of online photographer friends, and like in a forum, you can usually include a link to your own website in the comment signature.

 

Write a Blog


As we saw in Part 2 of this Photography SEO guide, you're going to need to write a lot if you want to improve your rankings.  Part of that is starting a blog.  This may seem like a lot of work and a major hassle, but it's a great way to increase your rankings if you choose your topics carefully.

A blog isn't meant to be a person rambling about any topic that comes to mind. Your photography blog should focus on topics related to the keywords you're targetting.  If you're a sports photographer, write about how you covered a local game, including some of your photos, and with links to your portfolio.  Google loves new content, and original content with links to your website will do wonders for your search rankings.

Guest Blogging


Once you've got your blogging skills in order, you can consider writing guest blog posts for other sites.  If you've been commenting on blog posts as I recommended, then you should have a pretty good idea of what blogs are most relevant to you.

Write an email to the blog owner, and offer to write a blog post on a subject that is relevant both to you and to the blog's viewers.  Writing an unsolicited email like that may seem intimidating, but don't worry. Blog writers are ALWAYS on the look-out for new content, and if you can make their workload easier, they're likely to take you upon it.  In your email, be sure to include a link to your own blog, so the person you're writing to can verify that you're a decent writer with good subject knowledge.

Facebook Fan Pages


Every Photographer needs a Facebook Fan page. They're free and easy to setup.  Once you've created one, be sure to post photos to it on a regular basis, so people who find your page can "like" your work.

Whenever you make a blog post, share it on Facebook.  Facebook links may not get you a lot of link juice from Google, but it is a good way to gain exposure, and people who find your fan page may blog about it.


Summing Up


That sums up our Photography SEO guide.  I know it looks like a lot of work, but the results can be amazing, especially when you finally start getting work because someone found your webpage.  Eventually, your search engine rankings can become a major source of new clients.



Friday, April 10, 2020

Practical Tips for Awesome Winter Photography

Practical Tips for Awesome Winter Photography



Snow and the winter landscape makes for very photogenic backdrops but they can be tricky to handle especially if you are a beginner with a camera. Here are a few tips and techniques on how to shoot in snow so you can take awesome winter photography before the season ends. 

Practical Tips for Awesome Winter Photography

Compose, compose, compose!


The basic principles of composition remain the same no matter what kind of photography you are into. You can get more creative with your composition when taking snow photos because you can find interesting focal points of interest and points of contrast in the snowy landscape. The contrast of dark shapes and white snow can serve as great inspiration on how to compose and frame your shots. The Rule of Thirds is a tried and tested classic that you can use for landscape shots. However, as with any form of photography, you can break the rules from time to time for really awesome shots. Shoot portraits from above, using the snow on the ground as natural reflectors, and using the details of your subject's face against the pure white background of fresh snow. Get down and low to shoot snow details or fallen leaves or twigs or step back and capture snow-covered rooftops with a wide lens for a new perspective. 

Tips for Awesome Winter Photography

Check your exposure!


One of the most common problems when taking snow photos is ending up with a backlit subject especially if you are shooting portraits. Experts recommend always using a light meter so that you can take accurate exposure readings and have a subject that is well-lit all around. Exposure compensation is the best tool to avoid overexposed or underexposed shots and most cameras have this feature built-in. You may need to take a couple of shots before you get the right exposure for a snowy setting but this could mean the difference between great snow photos and images that you can't use.

Awesome Winter Photography

Aim for accurate white balance


Snow is very reflective and may cause your camera's white balance settings to go haywire. This is seen in the bluish or greyish tinge that you can get with your first snow photographs, especially if you underexposed your shots. In order to get an accurate white balance, use your camera's custom white balance feature which allows you to gauge the most accurate white balance by choosing the setting where the snow is most closest to white. New camera models have a one-touch white balance feature but if you are using older models, you may need to set your white balance manually. 


Shoot in RAW


Many professional photographers shoot only in RAW and for a good reason. Shooting in snow will often result to a few underexposed or overexposed photos, especially if you are new to photography or if this is your first time shooting in an all-white landscape. To ensure that you can still work with these photos, save your photos in RAW format so that you can recover more detail in post-processing. The RAW file format allows you to make corrections that would otherwise be impossible to correct if you used JPEG files. RAW files will take up a lot of space in your memory card so make sure to pack an extra one or two cards along when you go out to shoot. 

watermark your photos online free

Take advantage of contrasts


Contrasts become easily noticeable with snow photography, where you have light snow and dark subjects and details. You can direct the eye's attention towards a row of trees in the background, for example, if the trees are dark and sharply outlined, making them stand out against the snowy whiteness of the foreground. Use the white snow to serve as the stage for shooting important objects as well, making sure that the color, texture and other details are in contrast with the white surface.

watermark your winter photos online free

Overexpose


After all that talk about overexposure, many people would think twice about overexposing their shots. However, you can overexpose by one or two stops to give your photos a brighter feel, without blowing away the details. Working with RAW also helps you keep the details visible even if you intentionally overexpose your shots. When you overexpose your snow photos, you can get the effect of whiter snow and better contrast which allows you to capture that bright, wintry feel that snow tends to evoke.

Awesome Winter Photography-watermark

Use reflected light


While all that light reflected by the snow can affect how your camera sees light and dark areas, you can also take advantage of snow's ability to reflect light in order to shoot your subjects in the right light. Angle your subjects so that they are surrounded by white which is mostly coming from the snow in order to get light areas where the important details, such as the body or face should be. The best thing about reflected light is that it is a soft, diffused kind of light which you won't get with the camera's built-in flash. 

tips for Awesome Winter Photography-watermarquee


Choose your colors


If you are taking portrait sessions in the snow, have subjects dress up in pastel and other light colors. White outfits will reflect more light and give you more highlights than you care to deal with. Light and soft colors look more attractive against a white background since intense, deep colors tend to pop out of the picture and dominate the entire shot. Try to incorporate colors in your landscape shots as well. Colors and gradations from light to dark will serve as interesting points of contrasts in any winter photo. 

watermarquee - free watermarking software

Stabilize shots with a tripod


A tripod will stabilize your camera and allow you to take images using a slow shutter speeds. If you want to capture snow with city lights in the background or a wintry sunset, a tripod will allow you to get sharp images even as the light is fading.


These are just a few proven techniques that can help you take your winter photography to the next level. While knowing a few photography basics can help you nail some great shots, learning about techniques specifically suited for snow and winter photography can help you capture the season in all its winter glory.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

All Rights Reserved: Photographers' Copyright Infringement


All Rights Reserved: Photographers' Copyright Infringement



The advent of the internet has started an open season on copyright infringement of photographs. Website owners and developers find it all too easy to take photos online and put them on their websites.
Hence, professional photographers must understand the legal ramifications of copyright law in the photography industry.

Don't let your work be plagiarized without a fight!

After all, you have busted your behind trying to perfect your craft. So, before you capture your next photo or use an image you find on Google, make sure you are aware of how privacy and copyright laws work.

What exactly is copyright?

Copyright protects the legal rights of the intellectual property or work of art owner. In Layman's terms, copyright is the right to copy. For photographers, this means that only they're the original creators of their images, and anyone they give permission and authorization to, are the only ones with the exclusive right to post, publish, or otherwise reproduce their images.

Your photo = your copyright

The moment you snap photos on your camera, you own the copyright to your images. Regardless of your skill level, your pictures and other content are protected by law.
Bear in mind that copyright laws vary from state to state and country to country, so the information in this article is general.

More education required

The lack of education or knowledge about copyright has caused a lot of issues in the photography industry. A lot of emerging photographers are not informing their clients on copyright and usage, so clients expect that they own their images and can publish or reproduce them without authorization from the photographer.
To add to this problem, lawyers often advise their clients to obtain copyright from the photographer, but in many cases, this is completely unnecessary, unless the client wants to sell the photos and make a profit from those images.

Copyright law for photographers

While it is not really necessary for photographers to submit any paperwork for their photos to be copyrighted, it may not be a bad idea to do so. Having your work copyrighted could get you punitive and compensatory damages in case of an infringement.

How to copyright photographs

In the United States, copyrights can be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Forms can be downloaded on their website, which explains further how to copyright photographs.
The registration will be based upon whether or not your photos have been already published; unpublished work is granted the strongest protection and could easily be filed, published work, however, requires a longer process and will be determined by the date of publication.

Should you register your copyright if you are publishing photography online?

The same copyright laws protect your photos when you publish online, and your work will never become public domain unless you change its settings.
Some platforms have settings when you upload your images that allow for commercial use of your work without paying for it. You can still, however, report copyright infringement. Although when in doubt, just watermark each photo with a © symbol.

What if an image is made using your work and then used commercially?

Yes, that situation can be considered as copyright infringement if it is regarded to be a derivative work and that the illustrator has plagiarized the copyrightable elements of your work.
A derivative work must still contain some substantial originality. The threshold for originality from this work is assessed much higher than that required for the original work.

Who owns what?

An important point to note here is that whoever created the derivative work owns the copyright to the revision of the photograph only, but the original copyright is still owned by the creator of the original work the derivative work was based on.

Is there a simpler approach? Yes. 

Since photography, copyright laws may seem daunting and overwhelming, and copyright notices are not really necessary for your photos to be copyrighted, it is a great idea to place some sort of notice on your pictures in order to, to some degree, deter theft and plagiarism.

Watermark photos for added protection

Watermarking your photos, for example, is important in a way that it allows people to know that the photographs are not to be used unless authorization or license is granted by the owner personally.
Unlike professional publishers who know they should not use another photographer's work and are willing to pay for it, a lot of times, people simply are just not aware that they are infringing on copyright and end up placing your work on their websites.

Promote the rightful owner

A watermarked photo will not only let potential unauthorized users know that it is prohibited but in the event that they do, their readers or audience will know who the rightful owner is, of the photos.
Part of being a professional photographer is managing a business. A lot of photographers admit that the photography part of their business only represents a percentage of all that is involved, a lot of the time and effort is spent on other facets of running the business such as the sales, administrative, and management aspects. It is beneficial if part of that time is used to know and understand how to protect your work.

What can you do if your photography is used without permission?

Hopefully, you have added a © copyright notice on your work, but even if you haven't, you will still be protected by your country's copyright laws. There are several different ways to handle this situation.

Option 1:             Request a photo credit

If the infringer is already offering a decent marketing outlet for your photographs on their own website, you may want some credit - where credit is due. Send him or her an email or D.M. them on social media to request a credit on your photography and likewise, set the parameters for the right to use your work.

       As well as a link

Add the stipulation that the infringer must also publish a copyright notice and a link to your own online portfolio, too. The good thing you can get from this is that you may even get some new customers because of all the additional exposure. Free marketing!

Option 2:             Prepare a DCMA take-down notice

This take-down notice must be in writing and signed by the copyright owner, recognizing the copyrighted photo that was infringed.
As the photographer, you must also include a statement that the info contained in the notice is accurate and that you have the right to proceed because you're the owner of the copyright.
Even if you don't live in the U.S., you may still use this tool to stop an infringer in the United States from using your work.

Option 3:             Prepare a Cease and Desist Notice

If the infringer could be a potential client and you'd rather not cause a fuss, personally reach out to them and inform them that their use of your work is not duly authorized. Either request payment for an appropriate license fee to use your image, a photo credit with the link to your digital portfolio or website, or if that does not work, ask them to cease the use of your image.

Receiving compensation

The compensation you can receive from a copyright infringement can often-times amount to over thrice your normal license fee if you register your works in a timely manner.
Keep in mind that there are some risks in sending the demand letter yourself. You may have to be up for a struggle because if the infringer says that they were duly authorized to use your photography by filing a request for declaratory judgment to deter a lawsuit.

This may also involve taking legal action for which you may need the help of a lawyer in a court that may not be in your area. Not fun, especially if you are out of your jurisdiction.
To avoid these from happening, include in your letter an "offer to settle in an attempt to settle this dispute." Consider speaking to your legal counsel first.

Option 4:             Get a lawyer to send a demand letter

Although this can lead to rising tensions, the weight of your demand letter is drastically increased if it comes from a lawyer.
Some lawyers charge a flat fee to send a letter, but others may charge a "contingency fee" depending on the percentage of the recovery—or both.
Make sure to find a lawyer who specializes in copyright issues.

Option 5:             File a copyright infringement lawsuit

This is your most assertive option and will involve pursuing legal actions by filing a suit.
It is ideal to hire a lawyer to help you file suit because legal procedures could be complicated. Even if your photography is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office during the time of the infringement, you could still file a suit. Nevertheless, you may want to register your works for possible future infringements to be eligible for legal damages.

Keep in mind that you will have three years from the date of infringement to file for legal actions for copyright infringement. But in most jurisdictions, you will need to have received your registration certificate to file a complaint in a Federal district court.


Tips on Copyrights

Don't forget the metadata

Whether IPTC or EXIF, don't forget to ensure that every photo you post online has this data attached to it. This should, at least, include copyright and author information, more than enough to verify that you are the owner of the photos if needed and make it easy for someone interested in purchasing licenses for the photo to track it back to you.

License and license well

State what the terms of use of your works are under, it is important to make their license clear and place it on every page of your site. With Google, people don't come in through the front door, and they will not click to read your dedicated license page.

Keep it simple

Make the terms plain and simple and in a place where anyone who just stumbled across the image will notice it. The odds of the license being followed go up considerably when it is clear and visible. Likewise, make sure to avoid both legal and industry jargon as they only serve to confuse further.

Search for your works regularly

You are most likely to know what you're most popular works are, and it makes sense to see where they are being posted. For quick searches, you could use an image search engine such as Google Images and Tineye.
 Meanwhile, if you want a more complete solution but you are on a tight budget you can opt for ImageRights or SignMyImage. For a more advanced and thorough system, considering either Digimarc or Picscout.
The main point though is to use those software and tools first and foremost to get a grip of how your images are being used and then decide about ‘if’ and ‘how’ to respond.

Focus on bad actors

Use common sense when contacting those who are using your images and respond accordingly. Understand that a lot of people are not exactly aware of how copyright works on the internet and, as a copyright holder, you have a chance to educate them.

Register your works

It goes without saying, but consistently and regularly register your content with the U.S. Copyright Office, particularly if you are in the United States or are dealing with copyright infringement in the United States. Failure to register, especially for a professional photographer can be a very  expensive mistake.

Keep putting out high-quality content

The best way to protect your works against piracy is to be ahead of it. If you are putting out high-quality work regularly, the infringers will always be several works behind. Keep honing and improving your craft and putting out fresher, better works, and you will likely find that the impact that infringement has is much less.

Bottomline

Copyright is something that many people don't understand – even your clients. It is important to educate yourself and others you work with on the ins-and-outs of copyright. Laws differ from country to country, but you can find more information - online.