A couple of weeks ago I made a video about how to upload your images to Facebook for highest quality.
But should you upload your high quality, high resolution images to Facebook, or indeed, anywhere online?
What if someone downloads one of your images, prints it and hangs it on their wall? Or worse, claims it as their own! Can you stop people stealing your images from Facebook?
That’s the subject for today’s video!
I know this is an issue which brings with it LOTS of different opinions – what’s yours?
Let me know in the comments!
So when I shared this video about how to upload to Facebook for highest quality there was a bit of debate about why you would want to do such a thing when people can just steal those images AND they will be able to get a pretty high quality, large print from them.
Maybe you are an enthusiast simply showing off your best work on Facebook or you might be a professional photographer sharing client work.
It doesn’t matter which of those you are. Image theft is an issue that affects both.
So before you upload your images to Facebook I believe you have to ask yourself two important questions.
1. Is it very important to you that your photography is presented on Facebook at the highest quality possible?
2. Would it upset you massively if someone was to download one of your images and print it at a high quality without paying you anything for it?
Now if you answered ‘yes’ to both of those questions then you have some thinking to do. Because it is simply unrealistic to think you can upload high quality images to Facebook and no one will ever, ever download and print one of them.
Is it acceptable for them to do that? No, not really.
Is it acceptable for people to watch movies which have just been released, at home without paying? No, not really.
But how many people do you know who do that?
Look, the reality is that people have always, and will always do things that aren’t really acceptable. And that includes printing off your gorgeous images without paying you a penny for them.
Every now and again you might discover it has happened and maybe, just maybe, you might be able to take them to task on it. BUT let’s face it, most of the time it’s unlikely you’re going to know or be able to prove it.
And you know what they say about what you don’t know…
But let’s say you decide that no – the thought of someone getting a high quality print from your Facebook page is just too much for you to handle.
Then you have two options.
1.You can upload MUCH lower resolution images to your Facebook page. So low that if someone tried to print one it wouldn’t turn out well. All pixelated and stuff.
But guess what? Some people will STILL try to download these low resolution images and print them!
To you they might look awful but to them – they are happy enough (I mean it was free after all!)
It’s like people downloading and watching TERRIBLE quality pirate movies. Personally I would rather stick pins in my eyes than sit through a crackly, dark, muffled version of a great film but I am ASTONISHED at the number of people who will (because, it’s free after all, right?)
Plus – these low res images might look ok on a phone but to those looking at them on a retina monitor for example – not so great!!
Ok so the second option. You can go ahead and upload a high resolution image BUT place a really serious watermark on it. Something like this –
Because guess what? A subtle watermark won’t be much of a deterrent – even if it is strategically placed.
You would be AMAZED at how many people don’t really mind a logo on their stolen prints!
And do you really want to put a huge, ugly watermark on your best images?
I think you can see where I am going with this.
Because I think there is a third option for you.
3. You can just upload your high quality jpegs with a nice subtle logo and stop worrying about people downloading and printing your images.
Because, yes, it is does happen. People are going to do it anyway. Unless you want to go on a vigilante crusade to stomp this terrible behaviour out of the world then I would recommend you don’t think about it too much.
Yes, it’s wrong and yes, it is theft. But many people who do it don’t see it that way and don’t even fully understand the implications.
Just like with video and music piracy.
I know if you make your living from selling your photography then this is A LOT harder to swallow than it might be for hobbyists. I get that, believe me. It has happened to me too.
But as a professional it is your responsibility to put strategies into place that will ensure this doesn’t negatively impact your income. For example, maybe you could only share client work after orders have been placed and paid for.
Will that stop it from happening? No – but nothing will.
So the energy you are spending worrying and maybe even moaning about this – bottle that up and refocus it into your photography.
If it happens to you and you find out – by all means take the culprit to task on their behaviour!
But don’t let the idea of it stop you from uploading your images in their finest form for all to see.
I know there are lots of different opinions on this issue and I would love to hear yours (whether you agree with me or not). Let me know in the comments what your feelings on this are!