Have you wondered how you can prevent my clients from printing the digital files I share on my website or blog? I get multiple emails about this every week.
Here are 6 ways to prevent theft of your images from your customers plus pros/cons of each.
- Reduce the resolution and size of the images – 72ppi and at a lower jpg quality. The problem with this – is they still can copy and save them. And they may share them on the web. They might also decide to print them despite the low quality setting. Then if they share the images with others they will not be seeing your best work.
- Use MCP Magic Blog It Boards – Web Sized Storyboard Photoshop Actions. Not only are these non-standard print sizes so they would be harder to print, they are low resolution – and pictures are smaller since many go into one blog it board. Only downside is if you did not want a collage. These come with branding bars and may also be watermarked.
- Watermark your images – you can use the FREE Watermark Photoshop Actions here and add a watermark anywhere on the photo (in a corner or more obviously across the image). This way if they do share or print, you get full credit. The downside is that your photo has the distraction of a watermark. You can even offer to give low res images with watermark and website branding for the sole purpose of using on their Facebook, My Space and other social media. This may just get you more business.
- Right click protect your blog or website – or use flash. This makes it harder to steal pictures. But… do not fool yourself. It still can be done. There are many programs that can be used to do screen captures that bypass right click disables. You run into the same cons as number 1 then – as the images would print poorly, but that may not deter the customer. Then you may look bad.
- Make digital files available for purchase. This is very controversial but is growing in popularity. You could offer low and/or high res files to your customers. Do not sell yourself short though. If you opt for this option – make sure you sell them at a price where you are making the money you need to run your business.
- Make sure your customers know the rules. Some people honestly do not realize that they cannot just share the pictures, print them off, or post them without permission. They may feel that they paid you possibly hundreds of dollars for a session fee and they “deserve” to share or print a few. If it is not ok with you, they NEED to be told that. Consider having that as part of your contract with them – explain your terms and conditions. Have them agree to these.
I would love to hear how you deal with theft prevention of your photos. Please comment below to share your ideas and thoughts on this subject.