Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?

Started Jun 29, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Holton F. Regular Member • Posts: 290
Overreacting to pics I sell appearing on facebook?


I shoot with a Canon 7d and sell pics online of local events, dance recitals & sporting events mostly. At dance recitals I may take roughly 3000 to 4000 pics. I usually cut this down in post process and post about half of that to my website. So there is a lot of time involved in shooting, postprocessing and website management.

I used to print pics from one night and take them to the next night's performance as a display and for sale. Obviously I could not print nearly as many pictures as what I post online plus the opportunity for sales was a very small window.

Moving to online image sales was supposed to enable me to offer more and sell more.

Interestingly, the amount of $$$ sold is not much different and in fact has been declining the last couple of years. There are a few parents that have become to "regulars" and buy photos each year.

Unfortunately I see more and more of my photos appearing on the Facebook pages. These are dancers and other parents (not the regular customers - the regulars are very good at asking permission to do this) that have copied photos directly from my site - sometimes using their iphones to capture the image!

They apparently don't see anything wrong with this - they even display my copyright info that I emboss at the bottom of the image. The most recent case, a dance had displayed 30+ images of mine from various shows - copyright was shown in everyone.

Usually if someone buys photos from me, and then ask if they can post something on their Facebook page, I'm please to let them do it. But this particular dancer has not purchased any photos ever.

I'm of mixed feelings about this - on one hand I'm glad they like the images and I don't want to come down on them too hard (I guess I keep hoping they'll want to buy something sometime). But on the other hand, I'm getting the distinct feeling that more and more people are perfectly happy with online photos and don't want printed copies - and this is contributing to the decline in sales.

I've always been opposed to large copyrights or "proof" text appearing over the center of the image, I feel this detracts greatly from the image and viewing pleasure of the potential buyer but I am considering taking my images down and adding this to each of them before re-uploading.

Should I approach this dancer about taking photos from my site?
Am I overreacting?
How do others protect themselves from users copying photos?

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Holton F.

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