Your portfolio should not just be about publishing and sharing, but should also support the goals of your creative career. In my latest article for CreativePro.com, I help you sort through the numerous options for creating a home for your photography online, including free social media sites, template-based fine art portfolio sites, and professional sales-oriented sites.
Google now makes it easier for search users to view and download the full-resolution version of your Web images directly, completely bypassing your web site. And Yahoo image search simplifies finding images licensed for reuse under Creative Commons.
The same Internet that makes it easy to promote your work to a worldwide audience also makes it easy for others to download and reuse your work without permission. What can you do in your photography workflow to deter unauthorized use and also make it easier for potential clients to contact you?
In this article for CreativePro.com, I suggest practices that can help safeguard your work. I then step through how you can quickly use Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Bridge CS6, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 to support this goal by limiting pixel dimensions, embedding copyright and contact metadata, adding watermarks, and doing it efficiently as part of your image exporting workflow.
The Know Your Rights video below is an insightful panel discussion about how to protect your copyright when you publish photos online today. It’s a balancing act between the need to show your best work online in a way that’s big and beautiful enough to attract photo buyers, and the culture of today’s web which is inclined to copy and reuse anything they see on a web page. Business models are evolving beyond the old mentality of “block all copying and add a big watermark,” and successful photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Zack Arias explain why. An important part of the discussion is about whether Creative Commons Noncommercial licensing works as part of a profitable business model.
I was impressed that photographer Catherine Hall asked a lot of the same questions I would have. Whether or not you decide to share your photos as openly as some of the panelists do, chances are you’ll gain a new perspective that will help you make decisions about sharing your own images on today’s web.
This video is also a great example of the many Google+ Hangouts now held by the rapidly growing and influential photography community on Google+. You can connect with me on Google+, of course!
Recorded in August 2011 by Keith Barrett for Vidcast Network, which hosts a number of photography-related Internet video shows and Google+ hangouts.
Note: Apologies to those viewing on devices without Flash; their video is hosted at justin.tv which does not seem to supply a non-Flash alternative outside of their mobile app. To view this video on iPhone/iPad, download the Justin.tv app from the App Store and search for “Catherine Hall hangout” .