I know I typically only use my blog to write about the different shoots I do, but I want to take the time out to discuss an issue that is becoming more and more prevalent in regard to my photography. This isn’t a blog entry written in malice, but more so in an attempt to educate my clients and visitors.
I really enjoy shooting images at Virginia Tech. I do some events for pay, but oftentimes I shoot just because I feel that some things should be documented. Whenever I post an album online, it serves several purposes. I want people to be able to experience the joy of seeing themselves captured in the moment during an event. I also want people that weren’t at the event to be able to see the highlights from an interesting point of view. Lastly, I post photos as a form of promotion. I don’t pay for any of my advertising; I utilize social networks to get the word out to potential clients. At the bottom of all of my photos, I include a very small, nonintrusive watermark that displays a copyright notice, the entity that shot it (Silas Photography), and my website. When people crop this information off of a photo, it destroys the ORIGINAL composition of the photo, removes my contact information, and removes a layer of protection from copyright infringement.
When a photo is created, it is automatically copyrighted to the individual that created it. Whenever someone on Facebook crops my information off of a photo, they are essentially breaking the law. I don’t want to be “that guy” and complain about this, but it is disheartening when someone removes your signature from something that you worked incredibly hard on. It’s the equivalent from removing an artist’s signature from a painting.
Photography is something that I care very deeply about. Taking photos and sharing them with people is something that gives me immense joy. It allows me to document a moment in time in someone’s life; bearing this in mind, I try to keep my rates low for my clients. I can’t do that unless people stop removing the information from my photographs. Without my watermark, I would have to pay additional money to get the word out about my services. Taking my digital signature and copyright notice off of a photo is very disrespectful. I put a lot of my images on my website and Facebook for free, so I do not believe it is unreasonable to leave my photos exactly as I posted them.
I will be taking more preventative measures to prevent copyright infringement on my photos. Prior to now, whenever I posted photos, I only requested that people did not remove my contact information. Moving forward, if you would like a copy of a photo featured on my website, please contact me and we can go from there.
Thank you for reading!
In an attempt to provide visitors of Silas Photography a glimpse into my mind regarding my thoughts and motivations behind photography, I have changed the primary format of my website to that of a blog. Whenever new photos are posted, a blog post will accompany them. Feel free to leave your thoughts on any posts that interest you. Check back periodically for updates.