Social Sharing & Printing Tips
I love my teens and seniors, you already know that! Your positive reviews and recommendations are a huge value to me personally, as well as professionally. However, I seem to get two very different opinions when it comes to sharing your professional senior pictures on social media. It isn’t always about giving credit, but we take your privacy and safety seriously! Once an image is shared online, it is out there forever for anyone to see. Even if you remove the image, it is still out there and can be altered, printed, sold, or even stolen. That is why your social media images have been watermarked. If you’ve purchased a collection including digital images, you’ll see that you have two folders. One is labeled “print” and the other is labeled “share.”
Printing Digital Files
These files are meant to be printed for your personal use. They are high resolution files meant to be printed 8×10 or smaller. Why the size restriction? I prefer that my clients use these files to make prints for friends and family and use for cards, invitations, or announcements. You’re given a print release, and any time you print them the print lab should be asking to see that release, which is why there is a file included on your USB. Larger prints however, require a little extra attention. If you’d like a larger print, please just get in contact and I’ll help you out to be sure the portrait will be sized properly for your needs! Canvases are especially tricky since you need extra room to wrap without cutting off important parts of the image. If you’d prefer to order from us, we can order anything from our product line as long as you have a print release! Not to mention that professional labs require calibration and color management to produce high quality, archival portraits.
Did you know there is a difference between an image that is meant to be printed and those meant to be shared online? The number of colors available on a screen is much greater than what can be printed, so it is critical to know the difference and be able to prepare images in the correct manner. Beyond that, even professional lab equipment varies which is why they require us to calibrate prints to our monitors. One of my labs has a consumer division. They calibrate every 2-3 weeks. However, the professional lab equipment is calibrated daily and after every paper & chemistry change!
Sharing Digital Files
My clients enjoy creating unique artwork from their professional portrait session. So of course, if you visit their home, you’ll see gorgeous wall displays and portraits on the walls, image boxes on their coffee tables,and beautiful storyboards showing off their favorite pictures. But let’s face it. The best way to share online these days is social media! Isn’t it awesome when you can instantly share your images with all your friends and family, even those who don’t live nearby? We have Facebook albums, Instagram, and Twitter to which allow you to share. But at what cost? The rules of social sharing aren’t always followed, or even understood. Sometimes I see people cropping out watermarks or not tagging the photographer’s business page whenever they share one of their professional photos. My question is, if you love your photos so much, why would you choose to remove your photographer’s name from the photograph? The most likely answer is, people just don’t realize what can happen.
Most people don’t think of this when posting online, but what if one of your pictures is stolen, edited, or displayed on an inappropriate website? When I first started in business, I hadn’t thought of these things either until it happened to me. A client’s maternity image was stolen from my website and displayed on a porn site without my permission or knowledge. I was shocked, angry, and felt awful for my client. Thankfully, because the watermark was in tact, all it took that time was an email stating that they didn’t have the rights to the photograph and it needed to be removed immediately. Yes, there are ways of finding a photographer’s images online, through information that is included in the files from the moment you click the shutter. Being a member of PPA (Professional Photographers of America) gives photographers access to resources, insurance, and education which helps us stay on top of important things in the world of photography!
Copyright vs Fair Use
What is a copyright?
So what is a copyright and why is it so important? Professional Photographers of America has very simply written out the terms of a Photographer’s Copyright and what copyright infringement can mean for you, your photos, and the photographer. Keep in mind that majority of photographers (including Magical Memories by Michelle, LLC) give you limited permission to share your digital images online, with additional specifics in their contracts. By cropping out watermarks, you are in breach of contract and have infringed on their copyright. Copyright protects artists from theft. Often companies and consumers will copy, share, or print without the photographer’s permission. That too is illegal.
Professional Photographers of America says, ” ‘Copyright’ describes the rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works. But we often don’t consider copyright when we look at our family photos, [share them online] or go to get them copied. Even though it is so easy to copy an image—with scanners, photo-quality printers, and copy stations—it is still illegal.”
Things to remember about copyright:
- Copyright is a property right.
- Buying a print or digital images does not mean you have purchased the copyright to those images.
- Photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation.
- Unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute (no scanning and sending them to others), publicly display (no putting them online), or create derivative works from photographs.
- Even small levels of infringement—copying a photo without permission—can have a devastating impact on a photographer’s ability to make a living.
- Copyright infringements—reproducing photos without permission—can result in civil and criminal penalties.
What is fair use?
Fair use is not the same as free use. Fair use is a legal exception to the exclusive rights an owner has for his or her copyrighted work. Fair use is in place for the greater good, to allow copyrighted works to be used without permission for the benefit of the public. Let’s face it. We love you and all, but while your senior pictures are priceless to you, they don’t benefit the general public.
Every company out there has a logo and you can bet there is a copyright. Photographers are no different. I work hard to maintain a certain level of quality and I’m proud of what I do, so my company’s logo is on my work the same way an auto maker puts their logo on a car. Ok, so maybe I’m not Audi…but it’s the same idea! Ha ha!
Tips for Sharing Your Professional Portraits
- Do not crop out their watermark. For my clients, if this is issue on Social Media, I’ll happily resize to a square image. Better yet, our personalized mobile apps allow safe sharing of your images directly to social media.
- Tag your photographer’s business page or add credit such as “Photo by Magical Memories by Michelle”.
- If you really love your portraits and your photographer, you can share their name and website with the photo. Again, I would like to say that your positive recommendations to your friends and family mean the world to me!
- Remember, safety first. I don’t want your priceless images to end up in the wrong hands!