7 Tips for Protecting Photography Online

7 Tips for Protecting Photography Online

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Ever wonder what happened after your photos are on the internet. People will see it, people will love it, and probably people will take it for their own. Those people are a thief, and many of them don’t even realize it. This is one of many common problems that happen to a photographer, but also one of the most irritating problems. To prevent it, here are 7 tips for protecting photography online.

This post is the continuation of Beware of Photo Thief

7 Tips for Protecting Photography Online

1. Watermark


Watermark means adding the photographer’s signature into your photograph. It can be a logo, signature, or the photographer’s name. As long as that watermark represents the photographer.

It’s easy and it’s not likely watermarked photos will be taken by others.

For me, this is the most effective way to protect a photo, but not really the most favorite. The usual reason is probably that it doesn’t look good in a photograph.

2. Upload on the right site

What I mean is that you should upload your photo on a website that is created especially for photography. 500px and Viewbug are some examples of photography websites. Those websites protect photos from being stolen by blocking the right-click and copy.



This is what happens when you right-click on this website.

3. Upload Small Resolution

Another way is to reduce the size of your photo. A bigger photo means better quality and better quality is more preferable. For that reason, it is better to reduce the size before uploading it to the internet.


It is easily done from any photo-editing software and even from your phone. If you want to upload it to social media as a post, my recommendation is between 600-900 pixels on the long edge. Of course, these sizes reduce the quality of the photo. So if you want to maintain the photo’s high quality, my recommendation is to max in 1080 pixels on the long edge.



4. Add Copyright in Metadata

Exchangeable image file format (officially Exif, according to JEIDA/JEITA/CIPA specifications) is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras (including smartphones), scanners, and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by digital cameras.

Exif is where that any information of your photo is collected (for PC, click right on your photo->Properties-> details). By adding copyright to your photo data, it can prevent someone from claiming your photo as their own. Or at least identify you as the photographer. It can be done directly from properties box or from photo-editing software. Just find the copyright box and type your name.


It won’t help you if your photo is taken. But it can help you to protect your rights for that photo.

5. Keep the Original File

Keep the original photo of the photo you upload. If you photograph in RAW then keep the RAW file. Don’t lose it. One day it will be necessary to have it.

6. Understand Licensing Law

Most of the reason that photos are so easy to be stolen is that the photographer itself doesn’t even know how copyright law work. To better protect your photography, one way is to learn about it. Basically, the law says this:

All creative content’s rights (including photography) belong to the creator. And in photography, the person who presses the shutter is the creator.

Of course, there’s the exception. If you wave the right and give it to someone else or if you make someone or some company, then that means the copyright belongs to them.

There’s also creative common law, where everyone can use it and you keep your copyright as the creator, with a view rule.

7. Reverse Image Search

The last of 7 tips for protecting photography online is for you to search for them yourself. Technically this is not for protecting your photo online. But to find out if your photo was stolen.

If you don’t know what that is, basically it’s like a normal search engine. But instead of using a keyword to search things online, you use an image. With it, the search engine can locate photos that are familiar with the photo you use and upload online.

Some of the search engines are Google and TinEye.

So if there someone uses your photo, you can find it on the internet.


But to tell you the truth, it doesn’t feel quite effective. Since it makes a lot of mistakes. But it is still a good thing to know, right?


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