General Question

joni1977's avatar

Should I share my photos?

Asked by joni1977 (822points) June 1st, 2010

Ok, I’m no camera expert, but yesterday I took some pretty amazing photos while at a Memorial Day ceremony. One, being an almost once in a lifetime (well, my lifetime anyway) photo of a military helicopter just passing the American flag. I then made the mistake of showing the preview to a few people and now everyone is asking for a copy! I don’t mean to sound petty or selfish, but I don’t want anyone to take credit for my pics. I know there should be some way for me to label them or add a signature, but again, I’m no camera expert on photo shopping or editing, etc. So, should I share the photo(s) and if so, how do I keep others from stealing the credit? They really are some amazing photos!

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22 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Try submitting them to your local newspaper.

jaytkay's avatar

Delete the version you already shared and share a low-resolution version. 640×480 or maybe just 320×240

Hopefully someone here will have great ideas about sharing a high-res version, but until then just keep the low-res version online.

WestRiverrat's avatar

There are several sites that can help you copywrite your photos. Just don’t post them on facebook first, or they become the property of facebook

lillycoyote's avatar

Here’s some information on watermarking your photographs. You might look into something like that.

cheebdragon's avatar

Don’t be a picture hog…...jeez

Jeruba's avatar

CopyRIGHT. It means the right to copy something.

skfinkel's avatar

It would depend if you were expecting to get fame or fortune. If you want fame, sharing with your name attached would do the trick. If you want fortune, you have to sell the picture, and that I believe people who have answered above have given you some guidance.

MissA's avatar

CopyRIGHT means copy protected.

silverfly's avatar

You can create a personal water mark similar to this – doing so will make it difficult to “steal” because it can be extremely difficult to remove the water mark from the photo. Believe me, I’ve tried

You can also compress the image as @jaytkay said which will lower the image quality and prevent people from enlarging it to a size suitable for printing. Most people really want large images because it’s easier to use those for printing, for the web, photomanipulation, etc. A small format will prevent people from doing these types of tasks.

Most cameras (depending on your settings) take photos in JPG format at sizes in the thousands so reducing the size of the photo and adding a water mark seems like the best way to let people see and share your photo, but prevent them from making it their own.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Don’t worry about it. The best scenario is to share the photo and only watermark a corner with your contact info.

You do not need a copyright logo on your photograph. The image is automatically considered as copyright protected at the time of capture by the person who presses the button. Or by the studio if that photographer is an employee.

Photographers have spent way too much time worrying about this when they could be using it as a marketing opportunity. The professionals look at it differently. We want you to steal our photograph. It’s no different than sending out a mailer or passing out a promo card, except that someone else is passing it along for free.

A low resolution image of 1500 pixels or less is not suitable for printing anything beyond a 4×6 image at 200dpi. That’s a trinket, and should not be looked upon as anything valuable beyond a promotional device. Put your contact info in a corner of the image, publish to web at 1500 pixels or less (that’s huge for screen viewing), try 800 pixels, and hope with all your heart that someone does in fact steal it. They’ll be helping you to promote yourself, and the honest photo buyers out there will have a way of contacting you. The dishonest takers were never going to buy it in the first place.

If you find that someone has used your image for their own profit or promotion, then your original meta data is the only copyright protection that you’ll ever need. And hope that they are a big company because they’ll be quick with a cash settlement for the infringement.

anartist's avatar

Put them on flickr reserving all rights so they cannot be downloaded. Direct your acquaintances thither, while you learn how to watermark your photos. Plenty of tutorials online. Meanwhile, when people try to download ‘rights reserved’ images all they get is a 1×1 clear gif called ‘goofball.’

kullervo's avatar

Recommend making a slightly cropped and preferably lower-res version. Then add your details to the EXIF data. If anyone ever contests who made it you have the uncropped hi-res version to prove it. Also the EXIF data will have your name and copyright details in it.

You can usually edit the EXIF data from windows but you can also download some software especially for this.

The last option would be to put a watermark on the image itself but I think this really detracts from the image.

You could also publish the picture on a photo sharing sight like that lets you set sharing rights on your images and then send your friends the link

anartist's avatar

Hey @kullervo see above. I think I am Pete and you are RePete. Don’t you just lurve me for being so pushy?

joni1977's avatar

Thank you all! I decided to just water-mark the photo on As most of you have stated, I’m sure someone would have no problem removing the water-mark if they wanted the photo bad enough…which is why I still haven’t shared it yet. For now, I’ll just keep it to myself until I decide what I want to do with it. Thanks again!

anartist's avatar

@kullervo I like the slight cropping trick. good idea.

emilymc's avatar

Try registering your copyright online at

You own the copyright of your photos automatically, but if you’re worried about people stealing and profiting from your photos, it’s a good idea to have proof of your copyright. Digiprove creates a time stamped certificate to prove your ownership of the work, just in case you need it.

anartist's avatar

Why not try to sell them to Getty or other and then make money on them?

FutureMemory's avatar

I’ve been using this program for years to download ‘protected’ Flickr photos.

anartist's avatar

@FutureMemory well ain’t you the sneaky pants. shame shame.
But you could have done it anyway w/o the silly program. ALT PRNTSCRN and CONTROL V have always worked. Paste it into word if you have nothing better to paste it into. I use it all the time [but not to mooch photos]. That’s one good reason for all the advice on this thread about only putting up LoRes.

FutureMemory's avatar

@anartist I’m a rebel, what can I say.

You should check out the program I linked above, it’s less work than the method you described.

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