It was great to read all of your comments in my last post on using Pinterest images without crediting the original website. The general consensus is that no matter how many precautions you take, anytime your images are out there on the web, they might be stolen, or used without your permission. Does that mean that you should hide away your best shots, never to see the light of blog land, I don’t think so, and while I know it might happen, it’s a risk I am willing to take, but there are some steps that we can all make to ensure it doesn’t happen easily.
I’m not a expert in any of this, but I am learning, and I want to pass on a few links to some very interesting posts that you might find helpful.
Add metadata onto your images in camera, or add tags, and descriptive words while editing, newer DSLR models can easily add metadata before you download your images onto your computer, it is also available in Photoshop, and Light room.
Have a disclosure statement on your sidebar, clearly stating what your policy towards image use is. You can Google image use disclosure statements for blogs you will be able to find some templates that you can tweak to suit your needs.
Resize your images, not only will your blog load faster, [thank you!] but it is also supposed to make it more difficult to enlarge your images for printing. While you are resizing make sure to change your filename from what ever jpeg it was assigned by your camera, and change it to something descriptive such as “ yellow dahlia with bee “ the search engines will love it. The Blogging Bunch has a great post on how to do this.
Watermarking, go ahead leave your mark, it’s easy, and you can use Photoshop, Light room, Picasa, or Pic monkey to quickly make a watermark that can be pasted on each image you post. Here’s a easy to follow tutorial on how to make a watermark in Pic Monkey, from Beginner Beans. It’s a great habit to get into, just make sure not to have it plastered bright, and white across the center of your image, a common beginners mistake, it’s supposed be unobtrusive, but visible at the same time. Although a watermark can be removed it does take some time and effort, and the process of doing so is illegal, so if your image is stolen, it’s one more bit of proof that it was yours.
Use Tin Eye, or Google image search to see if your images have been posted anywhere else on the internet, all you need to do is type in the URL of your image.
I think I’ve covered most of what we can do ourselves to be able to post our beloved images, and still sleep at night without worrying that they are going to end up stolen, or misused…but if I missed anything be sure to mention it in the comments.