So it has occurred to me that there are many photographers who do not 'protect' their images. Fair enough, there is no sure fire way to really prevent people from stealing your images online. However, you CAN put up a notice (a little explanation) to discourage them. I've been asked this alot and to be honest, i prefer to use a watermark, this way when images are stolen and used elsewhere .. my watermark is still up.. I also only post low res versions online to prevent any usage of my high resolution images.
Now...when i mention a 'watermark' i DO NOT mean a huge ugly stamp across your images.. that's just plain ugly and it defeats the purpose of sharing images online (i mean you do want us to VIEW the image don't you?) What i prefer to use is a little watermark stamp, and i play with the opacity in photoshop to sort of 'lessen' that harsh presence. and sometimes i leave it as is because i KNOW or have a good feeling the image will be abused...SO .... i make sure put my name on there. either way, people will do what they want with your images, whether they know you or don't , worked with you or haven't , paid for or did not pay for their images. The average model/client/viewer has NO idea how important it is to give credit. so my advice. use metadata !! and shrug it off... there is no use in wasting energy over this.
I gave it up a long time ago, actually caring and trying to prevent people misusing my images. i figured one day when it is meant to be, it will be recognized for what it is worth and hey ... I actually look forward to the day someone decides to misuse my copyright so that i can sue them. That's one way to make a living now ain't it. =)
Now about METADATA !!
There are 4 important fields found in the IPTC section
1 is Copyright Status…set this to Copyrighted
2 Copyright I always put my name Sarina Gito
3 Rights Usage Terms (this is what i use)
This image is the property of Sarina Gito and protected under International copyright laws. Copying, duplicating, saving as a digital file, printing, publishing in form of media including web, manipulating, transmitting or reproducing without the prior written permission of Sarina Gito is strictly forbidden and would constitute a breach of copyright.
4 Copyright info url…link this to your own site…ideally to a page about your photo copyright. Make sure you add a bit about photos being available, should a potential buyer be looking.
So, this should answer some of the questions i sometimes get. I hope this helps you. and if you need more information, do what i did when i started out... RESEARCH.. use GOOGLE!! I had no one to help me along the way, i always helped myself. It is incredibly useful being able to do that before asking questions. as you know, we photographers.. we are super busy and hardly ever have time for ourselves. (hence my lack of blog presence)
anyhoes.. hope this helps you!!