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Thread: To hide or not to hide.

  1. #1
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    To hide or not to hide.

    What do you do:
    1. Just put your photos on the net at a reasonable size and trust that people will be honest and not steal them.
    or
    2. Only post small images with prominent water marks to try to ensure that they are not stolen.

    It's not a quiz. I'm just interested in what people do, why they do it, and do they get the results that they expect.

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    Member TeamGlenny's Avatar
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    FWIW

    I put small size (1000px @72dpi) images with a discrete watermark.

    I do it because nothing can be really controlled once you post it on Facebook (and twitter, and RedBubble, and iStock, and FineArtAmerica, and, and ,and).

    I also did it in the, what I thought was naïve, hope that if someone does see the watermark and like the image they might track me down for work. I know longer feel it is a naïve hope as this has actually happened to me recently as I was contacted via my website to discuss a commission by someone who had only seen the photo and watermark on Facebook.

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    My first question is what is considered reasonable size?

    Personally no watermark but i try and keep my web posted images relatively small (less than 1400px) Im not too concerned with people stealing and posting elsewhere online as long as they cant print out copies.


    Interested to see other more professional photographers opinion though

  4. #4
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Size is important. I have always put the size of my screen up on the web, which now means 1200 px high and up to 1920 wide. I have sometimes wondered if this is foolish, but I have had no indication that it is. My general rule with still photos is to get as many people to see them as I reasonably can. I guess I thought that I would never make any money out of them anyway. I was wrong with that, but I make the money by the photos getting known.
    Oddly enough, I work in the opposite way for moving pictures. That's because the TV studios want things that are "new", or that's what I have been told. Whatever, it seems to be working too.
    I suppose I am interested in how others approach this as I do not think there is any right way.

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    Member Tracy68's Avatar
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    I personally dislike watermarks and though I have one I rarely use it. Recently I am trying to limit the size of any pics I put up.
    You have to put it "out there" to be seen, whether for business or just if you are doing it as a hobby, but by doing so there is a slight risk.
    Guess it's up to the individual to decide whether the risk is worth it.
    Last edited by Tracy68; 05-03-2015 at 11:53am.

  6. #6
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    The problem with putting up small photos, is that they don't have much impact. Not many people are going to be attracted by a 600x480 image or even an 800x600. What's the risk really? That someone who wasn't going to buy your photo steals it? Do you really care?

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    Member Tracy68's Avatar
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    If it were a normal photograph that I took, no, I wouldn't really be that concerned but if it were one of my photo manipulations that can literally take endless hours and much hair pulling to create....yeah I'd care.

  8. #8
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    But do you care so much that you'd "hide your talent under a bushel", to steal a phrase from some famous book. I do think that some hide their work when they have no market for it and the best way to get a market is to show it. That's a problem that we each have to solve. If you already have a market that is big enough then no problem. But if not , the you need to find one.

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    Member Tracy68's Avatar
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    I do understand your point Steve I don't know....? Food for thought.

  10. #10
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    It's just that I have found that by allowing people to display my images at a reasonable size (big by most standards), that I have generated a reasonable market for those pictures. On the other hand I also sell timelapse and the situation is reversed there. Most broadcasters want to know that they will be the first, so I have to hide the videos. I think it's horses for courses, but if you have no market, nor any prospect for one, then let the photos be seen. Even the timelapse market wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for the stills being out there. After all, no matter how good your current photos that are stolen are, having your name out there will get you known and you are always going to take better photos - aren't you?

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