Tag Archives: media

Why I Don’t Worry about Posting Pictures on Social Media.

As the owner of an art business, or for that matter just being an artist, I depend upon the selling of my work to make a living. But as I stated last week, that leaves me with a dilemma. In order to sell my art, I want my art seen by as many people as possible. Some artists refer to this as placing “eyes on canvas”. The logic is simple, the more people who see and enjoy my work, the more likely some one will purchase it.

Therefore, the most logical thing for me to do is to place my work in a location where the greatest number of people can see it all day every day.  For this purpose there are few places where this goal is reachable other than on the Internet. But just placing a web page up in the Internet cloud is not enough.   No one will visit your slice of the net if no one knows you are there. So, you need to go where the people are. The place for this exposure would surely be social media.

But, as we mentioned earlier, uploading to a place like Facebook is fraught with dangers. By uploading my work to their site I’m giving them permission to use my pictures for both data mining purposes and for possible advertisement usage. Now, that would give me plenty of exposure, but it does not place food in my stomach or clothes on my back and trust me, no one wants to see me without clothes.

Why then would I endanger my business by placing a picture on Facebook for the world to see if they can do this to me? The answer lies in the technology I use to make the pictures I place on the web.

I have to make each picture web ready. When I take a picture the size of the actual picture is usually somewhere near the 4272 × 2848 range.   This is a good-sized picture and you could format it to be useable in just about any product from a small wallet sized print all the way to a large 30”x30” poster without too much hassle.

I could put this raw file on social media, but then I leave a very tempting target for someone to misuse my picture. So, I want to make a picture that is too difficult for someone to misuse and yet good enough for my potential clients to enjoy, purchase, and brag about.

The first thing I do to a picture is add a watermark. Not a huge lumbering thing across the length of the picture, but something small and out-of-the-way. It simply advertises whom I am, and that the picture is mine.  It’s necessary that it does this without distraction, so I always put it in the corner of the picture.

The second thing is that I cut the picture’s physical size to no larger than 1024×1024. This produces a picture that allows you to use it on the web with no major drawbacks. The picture fits nicely on most monitor screens and is big enough to show all the necessary details a customer would ever want to see. But, if a less than honest person tries to increase the size they would quickly run into difficulty with pixilation, thus making the picture unusable.

Third and finally, I severely cut the DPI (Dots Per Inch). DPI is the lifeblood of printing pictures from a computer file. Basically, the larger the number of DPI the bigger and higher quality of print is available.  Inversely, quality prints cannot come from files with a low DPI. So, by reducing the dots per inch ratio from the usual standard of 300dpi or more to a mere 72dpi or less I can guarantee that the best anyone at a social media company could print would be at best a 4″x6″ copy of the picture.

Could Facebook or any other social media company still use my work?  It’s possible,  like any protection, there are weak points that would allow the unwanted use of my art. It’s a risk I must take so I produce the exposure that will guarantee my business’s success. But, by adding a watermark, physically making a copy of the picture smaller, and reducing each picture’s ability to produce any quality prints, I produce a major deterrent of wasted time and resource use for them to want to try in the first place.

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What’s the Facebook Copyright Notice Hoax?

With the sun slowly rising in the east to start a new day, this lonely booth is waiting for the typical daily beach crowd to come and rent their water toys. This shot reminds me of being on vacation, and part of the fun of vacation is being able to post pictures on Facebook to rub my friends nose… err, I mean share my experiences with them.

Truthfully, I have a lot of friends who post all sorts of pictures to Facebook. Usually, these shots are of a sentimental nature and not a financial one. Most typical vacation or family shots have absolutely no monetary value outside a close group of family and friends. Uncle George losing his dentures eating corn on the cob at the family picnic makes great family gossip, but there is little to any danger that it will sell at an art function.

However, about every 6 months or so I receive a new email from those friends warning me to put up a copyright notification letter on my Facebook page to protect myself from the corporate giant stealing my photos. My friends do mean well and I’m thrilled they think of my art and me when they see this letter, but they needn’t worry.   The letter reads:

“Due to the fact that Facebook has chosen to involve software that will allow the theft of my personal information, I state: at this date of November 27, 2014, in response to the new guidelines of Facebook, pursuant to articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data drawings, paintings, photos, video, texts etc.... published on my profile and my page. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times. 
 Those who read this text can do a copy/paste on their Facebook wall. This will allow them to place themselves under the protection of copyright. By this statement, I tell Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, broadcast, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and or its content. The actions mentioned above also apply to employees, students, agents and or other personnel under the direction of Facebook. 
 The content of my profile contains private information. The violation of my privacy is punishable by law (UCC 1-308 1-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).
 Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are invited to publish a notice of this kind, or if they prefer, you can copy and paste this version.
 If you have not published this statement at least once, you tacitly allow the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in the profile update.”

That letter they are finding in their email box and sending my way, with good intentions, is merely a chain letter. if you were to follow those instructions nothing would happen.  Facebook can and will simply ignore it if they want to. You see, by using your account on Facebook, you’ve already legally permitted them to use any data you supply them. That’s right, you already gave them permission because of their terms of service.

No fear though, by copyright laws you still own the pictures. However, you automatically allow Facebook to use those pictures for free simply because you posted them on Facebook. How could they use them? Well, Facebook could look at Uncle George in the picture and decide to sell information to the dentures paste manufactures, dentures companies, or even dentists.   They also might be used in an ad campaign for Facebook featuring cobs of corn and broken dentures, but I seriously doubt it.

So why on earth would I, as an art business, bother posting my pictures to Facebook if they could use them without paying me anything?   Visit our post next Monday and I’ll let you in on a few tips.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!