Why I don't care if my images are stolen

Recently, I got asked something I hadn't been asked in a long time:

"what happens if instead of buying a print from you, someone downloads a photo from your website and prints it?"

My answer was: "I don't care". This is why.


I sell products, not files

The images I upload to my website are not the high resolution ones I use for Image of the Month -I upload them at 800x800, while the originals are of somewhere between 6000x6000 and 7000x7000.

Can you get a print from the images I have online? You could get a 5x5" print at around 150dpi, so in theory, yes you can.

I don't sell files, though. I sell a product: either a matted or framed print, they are both the result of a lot of work and intensive testing on different types of paper, sizes and frames.

Someone who "steals" one of my images is not likely to use any of those materials because they aren't cheap and... it takes time.

They would never be one of my customers either, so I'm not losing money.


Screenshot of Insta_Repeat: if your photographs look like these, then you might have to worry a bit more.


My images don't "fit" among other stolen images

I've found some of my early color images for sale in some sketchy Etsy shops in the past. This has not happened with my most recent work, all done in the Bronica and in black and white.

The reason is because my work doesn't really fit next to imagery from most other artists. Square, black and white images are a big part of it - having your own style does the rest.


You work hard to create images, don't ruin them with watermarks.


No need for watermarks

I'll be honest: I don't like watermarks. They ruin the experience of looking at a probably otherwise beautiful image, and it might not even avoid the theft after all (in many cases, they could just crop the image or remove the watermark in Photoshop).

Placing a watermark shows that you are more worried about not having your image stolen than creating something others will enjoy and potentially want to buy to hang on their walls.

While it's not nice to have your work stolen, it is not the end of the world and I believe that the benefits of sharing it online vastly outnumber the downsides.