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Tara Bradford Photography

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La photographie a un prix!

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Member since 01/2006

« About Pinterest: An open letter to my readers | Main | Corner focus »

12 April 2013


Tara Bradford

Vicki, sadly it appears watermarks have become necessary in this copycat world of instant gratification!

Vicki in Michigan

I have been thinking about a watermark for a long time. I should get on that when I get home.

I am not aware of any of my pics pinned anywhere, but it may happen without my awareness.

Shameful, when people can't see the difference between what is theirs and what is someone else's.......

We, as a species, have a lot to answer for.

Jeanie Croope

First, your watermark is both obvious and unobtrusive and I'm glad you are doing it to protect your work. I love seeing your beautiful photos and am so happy you will continue blogging, although I know adding this is probably a bit of a pain.

AND, the Rijksmuseum link was fabulous! I'm sharing this with Rick. This was one of the paintings we had the opportunity to admire last year. The painting was amazing. But I think the flash mob and all that went into it was more so!

Tara Bradford

Maureen, thanks for your support and for the excellent points about protecting our work. I have had the Pinterest "do not pin" code on my website for a long time, but it doesn't stop people from finding ways around it (screenshots) or from grabbing shots by searching Google images. The people who are running Pinterest are clever thinkers and I hope they will find solutions to the problems currently causing such angst for creators and confusing Pinterest users.

Tara Bradford

Thanks so much, Marilyn. I'm not going to let thoughtless Pinterest users affect my blog or my livelihood (hence the constant battle over copyright infringement). It seems education is key, as most Pinterest users aren't bothered until Pinterest issues a "strike" against them for violating copyright.


I don't mind your signature across the photo for your blog. I would miss you if you weren't blogging.

Maureen Shaughnessy

Just a short p.s. (sorry about the length of my previous comment!) one of your sidebar links is very useful (to me anyway) it's this one: Thanks for posting that link.

Maureen Shaughnessy

I have been reading your blog for about 4 years, Tara, and have been thinking about the Pinterest thing alot lately, especially since you have brought it up. I, too, hate the way people disregard copyright on photos on Pinterest -- even worse, on Tumblr, where many pins come from. It just irritates me! I'm sure I've pinned a few photos without crediting them but that was in my early days at Pinterest. I should just go back and delete all of those, but I haven't taken the huge amount of time to do that. My bad.

For the last 6 months or so I have tried to make sure every pin I put up credits the artist or photographer in the description, and that the photo links to the *original* source. But I'm not perfect at it. :-(

The way Pinterest has set itself up, it's all about "instant gratification," short attention spans, distractibility, hypnotic addictive pinning. People are not going to ask permission to pin a photo. Like you said, they may complain that takes too much time, but what about the time photographers and artists and writers put into their work?

Which leads me to think of the incredible amount of time and effort it takes you to issue copyright infringement notices on all of those photos! What a huge waste of your time and all because of other people who are either a) ignorant or b) completely inconsiderate. Argh!!! But without people like you standing up and shouting about the issue, NOTHING would be done. I have tried writing to Pinterest about this issue, complaining about Tumblr, complaining TO Tumblr, but I get absolutely no response. I have written directly to the people who have pinned my photos and artwork without linking back to my site, and got total silence. It's so so frustrating, so I get how you are feeling.

I have started going the watermark way with my photos, but I hate the distraction of a watermark. No matter how you do it, it takes away from the beauty of the image and the composition you created. Too bad it's become a necessity for artists!

I have heard of code you can put on your website to disallow pinterest pinning. I decided not to go that route because -- believe it or not -- I actually do want some of my photos to be pinned. I am experimenting with using Pinterest as a marketing tool (that's a whole 'nother topic to be debated) So watermarking it is, for me. I will be curious to see how I feel about Pinterest-as-a-marketing-tool in 6 months or a year. Will check back in here then to let you know.

One other alternative which isn't perfect either:
Give your photos an ironclad description/title/alternate name when you upload them to the server/media library. This is what automatically shows up when someone pins your photo. You can name your photo something like "NepalAtDusk-©TaraBradford-do-not-pin" Someone would have to make a conscious effort to delete that description in their pin, so at least it's one layer of copyright protection. Have you tried that? Maybe it only works on WordPress (I know just enough to be dangerous) which is what I use. It takes only a second to do. I've just discovered this lately so started using it. I'm not in the habit of it yet but I'm trying.

Anyway, good luck and thank you for sticking your neck out and doing all this work for ALL artists and photographers. You rock, Tara!



Watermarking is the only way to go...sadly. I really dislike the fact one can pin without it being linked back to the artist/author.

Happy weekend to you, Tara. It's finally looking a bit like spring in New England and I hope it is where you are, too.

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