#008 The copyright issue
One day a friend asked me how I deal with the copyright issue. He was sure I was going to put a “stamp” on my images so he asked if I had a signature or personal logo or a copyright text on top of all my photographs. My answer mentioned the only option he didn't raise: Not doing anything about it.
It is true that by not adding a name or logo on top of the photographs to advertise or mark the owner of the image I would facilitate any fraudulent activities and so I should be worried about it, but honestly, I'm not. I believe something that may sound crazy, but nonetheless, I believe it.
I believe that if someone steals my images and promotes themselves with them, then it will be a big problem for him. Because once someone copies my images and uses them for personal promotions then, from that moment onwards, he will need to produce that same quality all the time, otherwise people will quickly realize his misbehavior.
So I'm not going to compromise the look of my images with an added signature or logo, I don't believe it is worth it. To prove my point I can say that I have heard many times people or clients saying to me that they recognize my photos instantly, without having to check the copyright note within the file's information.
Of course, our styles and ways of interpreting the world around us through the lens must change for the good of our own evolution, but even so, after a short while, connoisseurs of the craft will be able to make a difference.
And In case you can match the quality of an image, precisely because you know that you can replicate that quality, the last thing you'll want to do is to steal it and add it to your own portfolio. Some people travel far away from home just to (re)photograph the same photos they saw with their own camera....and then add it to their portfolio (which, obviously, will look like anyone else's portfolio in the end....but this is another topic). So I know that those who can do it will eventually do it themselves.
When that friend of mine asked me that question I was still working as an animator on movies, I started to seriously practice photography and was about to quit my animation career for it, but I was already sure about this belief. The reason is that in animation, in order to get a job in an animation studio, you have to make your own animations and then put them all together into a single video, a video portfolio called “demo reel”, and sent it to the studios you'd like to work for. If the phone ring, well done; if not, try again.
So, if you put an animation that is not yours and the studio will hire you, they'll expect you to perform the same quality they saw in your demo reel. During my decade in the animation industry, I've never met someone so crazy to attempt it.
I believe that the same applies to photography or to any other visual art really. You get hired on the basis of your portfolio.
Don't waste your time on your logo or signature or on these irrelevant things. Instead, use it to pursue your desires and focus passionately on them. If you'll be able to infuse the uniqueness of your personality into your work, it will be the greatest protection you'll ever need.
February 2nd, 2022