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Is there a way to tell if your images have been stolen?


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#1 kandace

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:30 PM

I am new to this forum so I do not know if this has been discussed before but is there a way to tell if your images have been stolen? I get requests for my photos but when I tell them I would need to be compensated, I never hear back. For a new photographer, I believe my prices are very reasonable. Should I give them away for free to get established? One publisher told me that if the photos were high quality on the website, she would have just taken them for her children's book about the sea and the creatures that live there.

Also, any recommendations for photo sites to sell my photography? iFlicker, PhotoNet, PBase? Are these sites good to network? I have been approved for iStockphoto.com but have not setup a gallery as yet.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
New Year's Resolution for 2012: Get involved with organizations to stop the barbaric practice of shark finning. Please visit my website at Kandace Heimer Photography and follow my travel photography adventures at Pixel Safari

#2 decosnapper

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:53 PM

Do not give your work away for free. If you are shooting work that people want to use, then you are meeting a commercial need. You don't mention what sort of requests you get (are they individuals, companies or publishers?) so its hard to be specific about why you don't hear back.

Sometimes people are just "trying it on" to see if they can get them for free. Eventually they will find a photographer who says "yes", either because they do not appreciate the commercial benefit to the user, think their work has no $$ value, or are just flattered to be asked. Declining to give them for free has helped no end. It sets a standard so when someone says "we have no budget" then they understand they get "no photos". Sometimes those who claim zero or small budgets can find money when they really need something...

As for theft, next time a publisher advises they will lift images off the web for a their book, remind them they are infringing copyright protected material and if they do you will seek to recover damages.

As for selling your own work, identify who might want to use your images (magazines, newspapers, whatever) and pick the phone up and call the editor. Its a hard business and can be soul destroying to hear "no thanks" 10 times in one day....but understanding the market wants/needs plus persistence will mean a sale.

I have just delivered a piece about copyright to Peter Rowlands at UWP mag and I think its due out next issue. There is much more advice in there than I can possibly cover here so keep a look out for it.

Good luck

Simon Brown

www.simonbrownimages.com
Simon Brown

www.simonbrownimages.com

#3 Nick Hope

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:01 AM

I am new to this forum so I do not know if this has been discussed before but is there a way to tell if your images have been stolen?

If you're talking about being stolen and published without permission online then Google Image Search is a good place to start. A good tip with Google Images is to search on the actual filename of the photo that you want to check for (e.g. shark-cropped04.jpg), not just the subject. Many infingers won't bother to change the filename.

Also you can try www.tineye.com for finding where your images may have been published.

Watermark all your images and put a copyright notice and contact details in the metadata. Also consider registering them with the US Copyright Office.

Should I give them away for free to get established?

What Simon said (i.e. No).

One publisher told me that if the photos were high quality on the website, she would have just taken them for her children's book about the sea and the creatures that live there.

And she seemed to think that would be OK?

I have been approved for iStockphoto.com but have not setup a gallery as yet.

istockphoto.com have a lot of visitors but their royalties are low. You could investigate some other royalty-free image sites but it's a trade-off between the royalty percentage and the number of sales. Plus, from what I remember, istockphoto.com pay more if they're your exclusive outlet.