#1 Okay well first, it’s actually illegal. Photography is tangible intellectual property. It’s bad when a person steals but when a business steals for marketing, we are more likely to take legal action. Some photographers actually go through the effort of sending a big batch of images for copyright and it’s super cheap to register those images.
#2 Since photographers understand that they are more susceptible to theft online, we embed our personal info into the metadata. A simple search will pull up every site using that image. Okay…using the fear card hahaha.
#3 Most Importantly: You’re missing out on all the benefits that come with having the right to use your images. *Ask for more details on this because I can’t give away all my secrets! I reserve this info for my clients.
I won’t leave you hanging like that. Especially, since I know that maybe you pulled a few images here and there without really thinking it was so bad. I get it. You want good looking images right? I imagine that it might be because it seems easy right?
But I suppose, I could liken common sense to say a custom furniture designer. If they made a seating arrangement of a sofa and loveseat, would you walk in take it without paying for it and use it in your waiting room? Absolutely not!
Obviously, a studio set takes time to create, we use expensive gear, and have training to produce these images. So, if you’re guilty of this…what can you do? Pull it down and stop using the image. Approach the photographer and ask what it would cost to use the image. It’s that simple.
I may as well include 3 reasons why you should invest in images for marketing.
#1 You and your business look professional. When clients know that you take your business seriously, they are more likely to understand that you mean business.
#2 Your clients are looking you up online to see if they want to do business with you. This may be your first impression and it only takes 3 seconds to make a judgment. This is the perfect opportunity to put your best foot forward.
#3 Don’t you feel better when you can support a small business?