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Photographers – let’s chat.
Let’s say you do IPS, or you are a hybrid IPS photographer who sells packages that include a certain amount of digitals. For this story, let’s say it’s 10 digitals.
If you are delivering with an online gallery for them to select their images (this is what I do), add a watermark. A big one. And feel free to even include something that says “PROOF” or “DO NOT STEAL”. Or make that watermark so big (but still semi-transparent) that they wouldn’t even want to screenshot your work and use it.
If someone purchased a mini session from you that includes 10 digitals, but they screenshotted 50 from your online gallery and they’re using those everywhere – you just lost out on a lot of money.
Clients: No, it’s not okay you screenshotted the photos from your photographer. No, it’s not okay even though you love the images. It’s how we put food on our table for our family, and it’s how we put a roof over our heads, and it’s how we quite literally survive.
So, every time you think you can get around the rules of what’s proper, you’re stealing from us, from our family, from our kids, and from our business.
It’s not okay.
And photographers, it’s NOT okay to condone this. NO. You can’t pay your bills with this kind of publicity. It’s not publicity. It’s nothing. It’s someone stealing from you, lowering your income, and you’re allowing to get walked on.
It’s not okay that, “at least she tagged you.”
It’s not okay to be passive and just “don’t stress about it.”
It’s not “good publicity” or “FREE publicity.”
It’s not “good exposure.”
Stop being passive, and start protecting your work and your business. Because there is something really WRONG with your business that you need to address, and address now.
If you keep up these business practices, it will keep happening. And it’s a race to the bottom from there.
I want you to flip your mindset.
If you have been having these problems in your business, change them today. Take the next 10 minutes and change them right now.
Go to your Lightroom or Photoshop (or wherever you edit), edit your watermark, and make it obvious that this practice is not okay.
And when you see other photographers make this mistake, it’s okay – because we all learn and we all start somewhere – but it’s NOT okay to tell other photographers that this is fine. This is bad advice for you, for them, and you are only helping them hurt their business and their income.
Treat your business like a business, and everyone else will too.
Here’s what mine looks like for reference. (see below)
You can still see the photos just fine – and nobody will be wanting to screenshot these or (worse) print them out.
… Please remember, exposure does not pay your bills. Screenshots do not pay your bills. These things COST YOU MONEY.
Onwards and upwards, my friends.