What are your image rights as a pro photographer after posting to Facebook?
Unfortunately, not much. There is a false sense of control over images posted to Facebook. Many people don’t know there is a download button under each photo which can be used without the original content owner’s permission or knowledge. If you don’t want someone downloading or otherwise using your photo, it doesn’t belong on Facebook. Remember, its primary purpose is to share photos and stories with your friends and family.
A large frustration comes from educated photographers who know that Facebook is arguably a fantastic marketing tool, but in exchange for using it they must sell their soul (or at least give up exclusive rights to the images posted).
We recommend the following advice when pro photographers post images to Facebook
- Post a url on fb (not actual image) to link to the images on your own website. This does NOT give fb nor anyone else rights to use your images.
- Use www.MorePhotosApp.com to share images on fb. This app was created for photographers to protect images shared to fb. Images actually go to the MorePhotos App servers, not Facebook, and therefore the photographer retains full rights to images posted. There is no download button (unless of course they purchase the digital image from you), an auto watermark option is available, and photographers can post up to 1 GB of images for no monthly fee.
- Only post watermarked images that are already purchased. This way you know you already have money for that photo and now you are just gaining marketing attention.
- Know that once posted to Facebook, you have very limited control over the image. Its not the way we want it, its just the way it is.
In the words of business blogger Seth Godin, “Once it’s free (such as Facebook), you’re not the customer any more, you’re the product.”
Your professional images are valuable, treat them as such. Facebook is not evil and you don’t have to delete your account. Just use common sense before you post and you can gain valuable marketing exposure without losing image rights.