I’ve always been very laid back when it came down to clients sharing photos on social media without a watermark. After all, most of the shared photos that I came across had mention of my name somewhere in the post, thus credit was ultimately attributed to me for taking the picture. I view my photography as belonging to the client – these are photos of their babies, their families and their memories, not mine. There has been a lot of debate among photographers regarding the sale of digital files over the years, but I am of the mind that my control has been released when my client pays me for the service I provide, and they should be able to do whatever they wish with their pictures. That is, until last week…I was scrolling my Facebook feed and came across a photo that I had taken which was posted by my client and had been significantly cropped (which is a no-no when it comes to resolution). It appeared completely out of focus and the integrity of that photo was totally compromised! That well-intended client had even tagged me in the photo – eeeeeek!!!!
From an artist’s standpoint, I felt the obvious…It was a very poor, public representation of my work which made me a little annoyed (not at the client, but at myself for not educating people). That was not the photo that I had taken! My original picture was sharp and had a beautiful backdrop which nicely framed the subjects in the photo. It simply brought a very obvious, underlying issue to the surface to me. Though I knew this was probably happening without my knowledge, seeing it in the flesh was a different story…
So I guess the question is: to enforce watermarking or to not enforce watermarking? Well, when all is said and done, I am not going to police Facebook and Instagram – ain’t nobody got time for that! 😉 But what I will do is simply ask a favor of my clients. Going forward, if you choose to share my photography on social media, please consider the following:
- Share them in their original form. Use common sense when cropping, and please don’t add filters.
- Share the high-resolution version of the photo! Don’t pull it off of your online gallery and paste it into a post. This completely compromises the resolution of the photo.
- Tag or mention me as the photographer. I so appreciate my work being shared, but it’s also nice to receive credit for the artistry.
Thanks everyone! Here’s to an amazing Fall season ahead!!!