Monday, January 16, 2012

Holy Copyright, Batman!


 Ahhhh, the old copyright speech. I see it everywhere. It's all over fellow photographer's Facebook pages, it's all over blogs, it's pasted on each individual image EVERYWHERE. Not just the copyright phrases, but also paired with a nice, big watermark dead center on the images that go along with it. I see it and cringe. I even tried it briefly, but quickly decided against. I like to see my work. I like other people to see my work. I want my clients and fans to really enjoy flipping through my art. I want it to be showcased in the best possible way, and REALLY don't want to have to slap a giant symbol on the top, possibly destroying the nature of my work. With this said, I knew it would come back to bite me hard one day. Today was that day.

While I wasn't one of the unfortunate one's to literally have an image "stolen" from me (thank you, thank you, thank you), I received a good slap in the face with the reality of the internet. Oh, it felt great! I was warned. Yep. Warned. Not just the internet reality, but the one hour photo reality, too.

Since the beginning of Megan Hile Photography, I have generously offered a CD to all of my clients. I felt that this was the best option to deliver your images to you. I wanted you to have them, keep them, use them, cherish them. You know? Like I do. Because truth be told, this is my PASSION. These photo shoots I do are a part of me. EVERY SINGLE SESSION is engraved in my memory. The love that I hold for my "job" creates your images. It shows in your images. And while these are your images and always will be, they are mine.

 I love that all of my clients love to share their portraits. This, my friends, is what my job is all about. The social networking that comes to play in my position is SO MUCH FUN! I love looking through other photog's art, and I love knowing that my art is circulating out there in the Never Never Land of the internet world, as well. What I don't like to see is that some of my images are no longer protected the way I would like them to be. This is a major mistake on my part, and I take 100% responsibility for it. I am not only thinking of protecting my images and my business, but I also want you, your family, and your children to be protected as well. When images of my work are floating around with no watermark on them,  it opens myself and my clients up to many different types of cyber weirdness (and if you know me, I'm not down with the cyber weirdness. It's amazing I ever even got an e-mail address).

With each CD I deliver, I include printing instructions. Although the best quality you can get from a print would be to order directly through me, I do offer suggestions and recommendations for using your CD. I know that once the disk leaves my home, it's just out of my control (oh, did I mention I really dislike the out of control thing?). Recently, I have seen a few prints made of my work by one hour photo spots around town. I've also seen a few examples from a couple popular, unnamed online ordering places (think really hard and I'm sure you can come up with a couple). While I attempt to persuade against printing with these nameless companies, I understand completely that it is still going to happen.

 Although I realize these companies are "cheap" to print with, the quality is T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. And in some situations, just plain horrid. I try REALLY hard not to be a print snob, and I think I do a pretty good job of this. But with the hours of time I spend on perfecting your images, and the amount of money I spend on finding the perfect product and calibrating monitors to print perfectly, I want my art to mirror the efforts I put into it.

 While in 2012, I will still be offering the option of having your images added to a CD, I will be focusing more on helping you choose the perfect prints and products of your favorite portraits. I want you to not only love your session and the results, but I want you to be WOWED. I want your jaw to hit the floor when you open your Megan Hile Photography packages. I am dedicating 2012 to decorating your walls, replacing the old photos that have been hanging there for years, and revamping your house! We're doing makeovers in 2012!!

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