Facebook ‘Share’ Gone Wrong

Earlier this week, I innocently hit the ‘Share’ button on an image I came across on Facebook. Little did I know the image I shared to all of our followers was altered from it’s original state. Someone at some point had taken the time to crop out Girl Hearts Camera watermark and then reposted it to Facebook!

Image I shared from Facebook

Original Image

This image came from a phenomenal blog post talking about how photographers fall into the trap of comparing themselves to other photographers called Apples to Oranges. I encourage each of you to read the post.

Thank you Heather and Jenny for being SO understanding! We appreciate you!

This situation has me upset, angered, perplexed, and saddened all at the same time. Why would someone cut off the maker’s watermark? What are they gaining? And is this happening more often that we are aware of?

So I did a little digging. And low and behold, this is happening ALL the time to photographers and graphic designers alike.

Case in point. In January 2011 Pam Davis, photographer from Doniphan, Missouri, shot this adorable image of a soldier’s newborn baby (posted here with Pam’s permission).


Pam shared this image on her blog. Then to Facebook. At some point someone downloaded the image, cropped her watermark off and reposted the image. Since then, Pam has found over 30 websites and too many to count Facebook Pages, that are using her image without her permission. Pam is fortunately a member of PPA and has turned everything over to their attorney’s.

But the question still remains, in this digital and social media world, how can photographers and graphic designers, protect themselves and their images from being stolen and copyright violations?

One simple answer is to quit posting images to Facebook. Unfortunately, this is probably not a popular answer. Many photographers gain so much business from posting their images to Facebook that the results outweigh the risks.

Another solution is to post extremely small images to Facebook. But now the image is hard to see.

What about putting your watermark across the face of the subject in the image?

I am not sure what the answer is at this point in time. But I can tell you, the next time I share an image, I will make sure the creators information is there. No information=not sharing.

How or will these examples influence your sharing decisions?