Ok so I have recently blogged about watermarks and I found it very ironic and interesting that two separate incidents occurred on the same day that involved watermarks and my photography.
The first incident took place when I received a text telling me to call a lady in regards to photos of a model I posted to her Facebook and she wanted them removed. Strange!
The second unrelated incident was later that same day I received an email from a WordPress editor asking if I could offer up some thoughts & comments about watermarking for an article to be posted across WordPress.
So the first story is quite interesting, but my watermark played a key role in helping correct the problem and I’ll explain. See back in the beginning of October 2014 I did a model shoot for Laydee’Fly a model from Bethlehem, PA. The shoot took place at a park that has Moravian ruins, old building that are pretty much falling down and they make for great photos. So while posting the content to my Reckless Pixel Facebook page I decided to tag the location. Now I have shot at this location before and I tagged the photos with no problems at all. Well… this time something went wrong, I thought I was tagging the “Moravian ruins” at the park, but in-fact I tagged a Moravian Village real estate page. So it turns out (follow me now because this gets real stupid) there is a Moravian Village senior community that has a Facebook page, but it was not their page that my photos were tagged to. Now for some reason the real estate page is somewhat of a dead page, maybe someone started the page and then abandon it and for some stupid reason the people looking for the Moravian Senior community go to the Moravian Real Estate page and “Like” the wrong page and post and tag to that page. Talk about confusing… So the lady who I’m in contact with is the “Social Media” director for the Moravian Senior community and she can’t seem to find the owner of the Real Estate page so (hold your hat folks the rollercoaster is headed down fast) she is trying to control the content of the Real Estate page even though she can’t login to it. It is not her page, but it is the page that everybody thinks is hers. Wow! So I know about now your head is spinning, if you’re even still following me.
So of course I told her I would look into the matter of the sexy tattooed model images that always seemed to be in their feed even though they were posted over six months ago lol. The social media director was nice and polite and seemed to be for the most part clueless to how Facebook location tagging worked. But she found my watermark in the photos and then found my website and then found my phone number. My big question is; If you’re a so-called “social media director” how do you not know how Facebook location tagging works? And why are you trying to control an abandon page? In the end I went back and corrected the location tags.
Now to the second incident involving watermarks, I received an email from an editor/blogger/writer at WordPress dot-com that is preparing content about photographers and watermarking. She was reaching out to a handful of WordPress photographers and asking their thoughts on watermarking. I will admit I felt somewhat flattered and I did reply with my thoughts and comments. I really do feel watermarking is an important topic and often not thought of topic for most hobby photographers. I think most people fail to realize when you snap the shutter you are creating intellectual property. I know to some this sounds corny and over stated, but once they find that someone is making thousands of dollars from their simple click of the shutter… well now it is a different story. Or the photographer finds that someone is using their images in a malicious or hurtful way… well again the whole idea of intellectual property soon becomes a reality and more so if you were educated just a little bit about what to do and not to do, things might never get out of hand.
In closing this post I will emphasize that you (the photographer) do not have to be a professional nor do you have to have a $6000 camera to be concerned about your images being “clipped” and used by people without your permission. I have had crazy things like people clipping one of my Instagram posts of a model I did a shoot with. And then re-editing the photo and posting it back to Instagram with their watermark and tagging me as the photographer… again (head spinning) you never know what people are up too. Basically some people are just idiots and you don’t have to look for them, they’ll find you.
Take care of your photos and thanks for reading.