Happy Tuesday loves!
It’s time once again for another edition of Truthy Tuesday AND Photography FAQ :) I like to address these together when I’m dealing with topics that not only concern photographers but are topics that clients NEED to be educated on as well.
During my mentor sessions, I’m often asked how I deal with clients sharing their proofs without having ordered the images, and just recently I received an email regarding this same topic so I figured it was time to blog about it!
Before answering the question though I want to address a question potential clients may have- why can’t I post screenshots of my gallery? To put it simply, because the images have not yet been purchased. Depending on how your photographer has arranged their packages, some may include the digital images (in which case, this post doesn’t apply), others (like myself), require that the images be purchased before use. So the proof gallery is JUST for viewing. You view the images that you can decide whether or not you’d like to order anything. Ok, now onto the question at hand:
What do you do when clients post screenshots of images from their proof gallery?
I’ve definitely run into that before and my biggest suggestion when it comes to issues like this in business are to always try to avoid them before they happen. How do I do it? First, I make sure potential clients understand all costs associated with booking with me. Second, in the contract it’s stated explicitly that proofs are for viewing only. Third, they’re reminded in the proof email that proofs are for viewing only and that sharing screenshots of the photos are in violation of copyright laws and their contract. Lastly, the way the photos are displayed- instead of simply adding my watermark to my images (that people don’t mind sharing screenshots of), my watermark says “UNORDERD PROOF” to further discourage clients from sharing the proofs.
Now that’s all well and good moving forward, but what do you do when someone has already shared screenshots of their proofs online? Just send a tactful email asking them to take it down. Here’s a sample of an email I’ve had to send previously:
Subject line: Copyright Violation
I couldn’t help but notice you’ve used the proofs on your facebook and instagram pages.
While I’m glad you’re happy with you’re images, unfortunately the proofs are for viewing only. Sharing the low-res images is actually in violation of your contract and my policies (no. 8 specifically).
I would ask that you please remove the proofs from display until you’ve purchased the high-resolution files so that you’re in compliance with your contract.
The policies are in place for a few reasons, but one of which is because the low-res screen shots of your photos aren’t an accurate depiction of my work, so I want to make sure any work of mine that’s displayed, is top quality :)
Please let me know if you have any questions and when you’d like to care for your USB payment.
Thanks so much!
I try to be kind and tactful, but still get to the facts- stop stealing my work! Lol. Hopefully this helps! And hopefully this has been educational for clients and potential clients alike!