[Feature] ► Protecting Your Travel Blog Photos From Content Grabbers

THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM READERS
(The full article is posted below this discussion box.)

Photos are important materials for the success of a travel blog because they give the readers a glimpse of the places we are featuring as travel bloggers. I am making this post because I have been a victim of content grabbers lately and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will notice some changes of the photo watermarks and I will be discussing that later.

Well, I am not an authority in travel blogging and photography because I am just the mere "usual" blogger that can be found everywhere. I don't have a background about photography and/or travel blogging so I am not talking here as if I have a good or a successful blog or superb blogging skills. The fact is I am just an ordinary one.

But, now I just want to share my personal take about protecting your travel photos. Take note that these things you are going to read are not the standard rules in travel blogging. It is just my personal take but I hope it would help.

Lungog, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur
My new photo watermark as protection from content grabbers | Learn about this watermark with the discussion below.

As I have said, I have been a victim of content grabbers and one of the favorite things these people love copying in my blog are my photos. Well, they are not superb photos but they find them helpful in illustrating their own blogs too.

Putting Your Logo as Watermark

As you notice my blog, most of my photos have logos. Here I will be discussing the importance of logo for your brand as a travel blog.

Some may say that, "I don't need branding because I blog from the heart, with passion and sincerity." Yes, that might be the case for some but creating your own logo to intensify your brand would help.

Although some blogs succeed without having their own logo, it would have been nicer if they have at least made their own. Your blog logo represents your brand or your blog. Logo is like the flag of every nation and one look at it you know it is owned by this country and that country. (Note: Be consistent with your blog logo all throughout your blog and social media networks.)

For example, if you can see an embassy in other states with the Philippine flag, you'll know at first glance that the embassy is owned by the Philippines without asking for the staff inside.

A good example of photos with logo as a watermark is Flip Nomad. Looking at the photo with the Flip-logo you know it is owned  by Flip Nomad.

Photo courtesy of Flip Nomad | No copyright infringement intended, used only for illustration.

So that is the role of logo and putting it on your photo as one of the watermarks can help intensify your brand. The moment the content grabber uploads it, your regular readers will know it is yours that moment they encounter one. They could report it to you.

Take note, don't use a logo that is already very common. Use a logo that is easy to remember, with a maximum of two-color combination that retains easily in human's memory.

Putting Watermark at a Safe Place

Putting watermarks could be very annoying to some readers so it is impotant to place it in a proper way. Mostly, watermarks are placed at the corners to give emphasis at the photo itself and not the watermark.

But putting your watermarks at the corner has downside because a content grabber can still make a strategy to call your photo his own. I have this experience about a blogger and a known radio broadcaster who copied my photos. He pasted my photos in his blog without asking for permission and/or putting the right credits. Worse, he "cropped" the watermark placed at the corner thereby making the photo to appear as if owned by him. Check out the example below.

Above: The copied photo of mine 
(original form, with the watermark at the corner)
My cropped and copied photo as posted on that blog without any credits.

So the problem here is that although my photo was watermarked, it was not placed on the right section. So a content grabber can still make a way to call this photo his own. It was an insult that he did not even placed a credit, worse the watermark was cropped, Uhh!

So what to do? Notice the next photo below. I have intentionally occupied the top portion of the photo in a more extensive manner so that if someone copies and then crop it, it would no longer be substantial since a big portion of the photo is already removed so as a way, the copying party may ask you for the original copy or just paste it and retain the watermark. In that way, your ownership on that photo will be upheld.

How to protect your blog photos
Removing the huge portion of the watermark can make the photo to lose it's essence. But of course make sure that your watermark is not annoying making it to stand out leaving the real essence of the photo unnoticed.

If that would be the case, I would suggest Mervin's photos of Pinoy Adventurista. Mervin has placed the watermark at the middle of his photos in a lighter degree. 

how to protect your blog photos
Photo courtesy of Pinoy Adventurista | No copyright infringement intended, used only for illustration.

So for those who will grab his photos, there is no other way but to retain it or if they want the original file, they have to contact the owner which is Pinoy Adventurista.

Disabling Right-Click Button, is it Helpful?

Some travel bloggers disable the right click functionality for the pages of their blogs. That could be a clever idea especially if your audience is not well-versed with the use of computer. 

Then these computer geeks come and read. They can still make a remedy. So how? Taking a screenshot is a possibility. From that screenshot, they can simply crop it and only take the photo they want to grab and that is easy to do.

So I have to say that disabling the right-click functionality in your blog can not save your photos. Sometimes it can cause more problems since internet readers are impatient. If they are looking for the right information in your blog, they would use the right click functionality to open another link from your blog without leaving the current page they are reading for easier navigation. Disabling the right click functionality can interfere some readers in navigating and reading your blog making them unable to retain another page that can be read later on. 

Allowing readers to open another page via the right click functionality is like several YouTube Videos opened on various tabs while waiting for others to load which in the long run, all those videos will be watched later on.

Putting your Blog URL

I find putting your Blog URL a thing as important as putting your name and address in your ID. If you are lost and suddenly you had an accident and had an amnesia (for example), your ID can help the people around to send you where should you go.

Your blog URL serves as your ID. Although you might have a logo to represent your brand, it is equally important to send your readers in the proper destination and gather them in one virtual community that could be your blog, your facebook page or your YouTube Channel. Place the URL where you want to gather them and at the same time to receive traffic.

Look at Journeying Pinay's photo below. She places both her name and her blog URL as watermark. So if someone grabs that photo or is uploaded by any content grabber somewhere else, everyone will see the watermark and you might send them to your blog, Facebook page or YouTube Channel.

Photo by Journeying Pinay | No copyright infringement intended, used only for illustration.
So for the fans of your photos, you can just gather them in one place.

So there you have it. Protect your photos from content grabbers who call your photos as their own. These are some tactics we may apply to keep our ownership attached to those photos without driving your readers away from our blog.

So these are some tips I was thinking when I saw my photos to appear to some blogs without prior notice, credits and the crop & paste modus.

Remember that these are not absolute rules. You can still impose your own way in your blog because what is applicable to Pedro may not be applicable to Juan.

And take note that copying the contents of our blog is INEVITABLE. Whatever method or tweak we apply, they can still copy our photos. As bloggers, we can not prevent our photos to be copied, but we can be resilient from them. These methods will surely place a travel blog photo where it should belong.

So how about you, what is your take? Can you share some tips to protect your travel blog photos? (end)

This opinion-ated blog post is a personal interpretation of the author of this blog and does not mean that these are the new standards in travel blogging. The author is not a well-experienced or a veteran travel blogger. In fact, he only started to learn what blogging is all about last year so it depends on you if you believe in what he is talking about :p Rest assured, he writes this article from the heart after he found out that someone (I mean, a lot of them) is copying his blog contents without any credit that made him feel angered and inspired to write a post like this that he doesn't usually do.

comment 56 #TownFolks Commented :

Pinoy Adventurista on August 31, 2012 at 10:28 AM said...

These are indeed very helpful tips! thanks for including mine... :)

oh! i wonder who's that blogger/radio broadcaster? ahehehe... :)

Francis Balgos on August 31, 2012 at 10:37 AM said...

I feel for you Ed..
Especially that we both probably had posted hundreds of photos online.
Everyone has a work around when grabbing photos..
So to keep my creative integrity, I stick with the old fashion way..
Just put my watermark on the side and make sure I placed metadata on the photo.
I disabled right click on my site, but that really is just a deterrent for them.. It wont stop a hungry photo grabber.
If its happens, I guess there's nothing I can do.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 10:50 AM said...

Francis Balgos | Yes, those hungry grabbers virtually have ALL the ways to grab that photo they want. So watermarks are the best protection of our works :)

Cris | Pinay Thrillseeker on August 31, 2012 at 12:03 PM said...

Haha, I remember using tiled watermark during my initial blogging days. Ako nang madamot. However I found it really annoying (kahit ako, nainis) at pinalitan ko na lang ng pangalan at pangalan ng blog. :D

Violy Vallester on August 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM said...

This is a sad fact, so far I have not seen any photos of mine online without proper credits, but if that happens I can't stop it and it would be devastating for sure coz I take pride of my shots. ;( Can't we report them somewhere? We don't have any protection at all but file a lawsuit?

Parking Paris on August 31, 2012 at 3:36 PM said...

Adding water marks to the photos would be a good idea to prevent stealing pictures and to have the blog owners’ identity.

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juanderfulpinoy on August 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM said...

Generally in some cases people steal photos even if there are watermarks too. Recently I saw my photos in one of a travel deal websites. At first, I did not know if I will be flattered or insulted. Kakaasar lang talaga.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 7:23 PM said...

Pinoy Adventurista | Thanks for allowing me Kuya Mervz!

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 7:25 PM said...

Cris | Pinay Thrillseeker | Hehe... Oo, huwag masyado annoying. As much as possible may harmony pa rin ang photo at watermark :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 7:28 PM said...

Violy Vallester | For that query Vi, I think we can file a complaint to Google but I don't know how, hehe. That's our remedy as bloggers. Ako hindi naman ganoon kaganda ang mga photos ko pero importante 'yung copyright :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 7:29 PM said...

Parking Paris | Really it is! :D

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 7:30 PM said...

Anonymous | Thanks anonymous.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 7:34 PM said...

juanderfulpinoy | Ow that was bad! That's why watermark is important. The placing of the watermark is also crucial to at least allow the grabber to retain the watermarks. So kahit na i-copy 'yan, basta marecognize na sa 'yo, ayus na 'yon. Pero of course, asking a permission from you would be the most appropriate. But since we can not control them, we can be resilient about the identity of our photos :)

Pamela Walker on August 31, 2012 at 9:03 PM said...

Yeah water marking can be one of the good ways to protect your copyrights but I heard some where recently that the pictures with prominent water marks are less likely to be licensed, so all in all it damages your business.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on August 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM said...

Pamela Walker | Hi there Pam! Well that's something new for me to hear :) Let's do what is best for our photos and as I have discussed, don't make the watermark to stand out making the essence of the picture unnoticed because you will most likely ruin it. A watermark should also blend in harmony with the photo. It it gets too annoying and prominent, there are alternative ways.

Journeying Pinay on September 1, 2012 at 8:22 AM said...

Thanks for "grabbing my photo" :D when i started blogging, i already put the watermark. then when i was checking my blog status,links etc., i saw my photo, a writer used it in his blog, but the watermark was not cropped. maybe he did not know how to get in touch with me. anyway, he used it. it was a foreign writer.since stealing photos had become prominent, i did not bother making my blood rise over disappointment and rage.bahala sila. kawawa sila. di sila magaling magshoot. :D maybe that's why they steal our shots.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM said...

Journeying Pinay | What a kind and so sweet spirit you have there! Thanks for allowing me to "grab" your photo :)

Franc Ramon on September 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM said...

I haven't watermarked my photos but will try to do it soon. It's better to be safe.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 1, 2012 at 1:58 PM said...

Frand Ramon | You can keep them as it is bro, but I of course watermark may help impose your ownership to them :)

Jyppe A. Quidores on September 1, 2012 at 4:47 PM said...

Good tips on protecting our properties online. However, in my case, I am offering images (photos and graphics) in high resolution for free downloads so I have to put the watermarks on the areas where it would be easy for the users to remove.

Archie de Lara on September 1, 2012 at 5:21 PM said...

In any way we do to protect our photos, the moment we post it on the Internet, there are people who will try to steal your photos.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM said...

Jyppe A. Quidores | That would be a case to case basis :) In your case, that's acceptable. But how about if they will steal your image? I mean, they will grab it without aking permission from you because it is posted publicly right? You can still put strategic watermarks then just send the original file through email to your client after the deal :) Anyway that is just my thought, hehe.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM said...

Archie de Lara | You are indeed true. The internet has been a great resource for contents. And I agree with you, as I said, we do not have the power to prevent our properties online from being copied but we can be resilient. So putting watermarks "strategically" can at least help retain our properties as discussed above :) Cheers!

ricky bernardino on September 1, 2012 at 8:11 PM said...

Thank you for taking the time explaining the importance of the watermarks in our photos but are there applications that we can use to make putting of watermarks easy. The watermark in Picasa is so small that is why I manually type my blog title in every photo and it's tedious =(

Adeline Yuboco on September 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM said...

It's a sad reality. I've had my fair share of images and content stolen and used by other bloggers both here and abroad. A friend of mine told me that I should take it as a compliment because that just means that the shot was good. To some extent, that could be. But it's still annoying, especially when you discover that it was not only stolen, but that person puts the credits being his/hers.

Maricel on September 1, 2012 at 8:43 PM said...

I agree that placing watermarks in the right places should help protect photos. Still, there are software out there that can erase those watermarks. I've seen one in action before. I just forgot the name of the software.

ian onyot on September 1, 2012 at 10:01 PM said...

very well blog post... :), Although I am not a Travel Blogger but I understand it, and it is a very good way to market also your blog. And also, if you think that you're photos are very rare, you should put it a watermark. I am also doing this although I am not a Travel Blogger.

RM Bulseco on September 2, 2012 at 1:01 AM said...

Agree talaga ako sa lahat ng points mo sa entry na to. Dati, I used to disable the right click sa blog ko... pero narealize ko, I'm limiting my blog's features. So yeah, watermark's a great idea to at least protect it from plagiarists. See also: Tito Sotto III HAHAHA

Angie Vianzon on September 2, 2012 at 4:13 AM said...

I'm no travel blogger but I do put watermark on my photos for protection na din pero I think I need to change the position of the watermark since sa corner ko lang siya nilalagay.

Pinoy Chocophile on September 2, 2012 at 6:35 AM said...

I do not put any marks on my fotos since I want to show it as is but this time when there so many photo grabbers I think I really need to reconsider to protect copyrights of my works/photos...

Chef Jasper on September 2, 2012 at 6:54 AM said...

how do you disable the right click for photos?

mamasmusing.com on September 2, 2012 at 10:33 AM said...

yup! with plagiarism out of control over the internet it is very important to claim what we own..I just started the markings on my pictures yet and wish I have done it since the first posts..and whenever I grab photos I make sure it is not copyrighted and it is OK to grab and I see to it that link back or give credit of where the credit is due...

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM said...

Ricky Bernardino | So far Ricky I am using photoshop. I hope this application could help you :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:06 PM said...

Adeline Yuboco | Sinabi mo pa, especially when they use it "commercially"

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:08 PM said...

Maricel | Ow really? That's bad. So we really have to place it strategically :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM said...

Ian Onyot | Yes Ian, I think it is deemed proper :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:12 PM said...

RM Bulseco | Glad you agree with me Renz ^.^

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:14 PM said...

Angie Vianzon | Angie, it applies naman to all types of niche. Just so happened that I was talking here as if I am a good travel blogger, lol!!!

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM said...

Pinoy Chocophile | Well ya, I think to have to consider it :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:16 PM said...

Chef Jasper | Hi Chef, please don't ask me, I never tried doing it :)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 5:18 PM said...

mamasmusing.com | That should be the case, I hope all bloggers do behave like you :)

Lipstick.chopsticks on September 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM said...

Great tips! I hope there are other ways to protect pictures though as for me it ruins the picture. I dislike seeing nice photos with huge watermarks right smack in the middle.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 2, 2012 at 8:24 PM said...

Lipstick.chopsticks | Yeah, that's one of the downsides of it. But as a blogger, it is you who can weigh the situation on what approach you should do to help your blog. Cheers!

Maritel Ledesma on September 2, 2012 at 11:23 PM said...

I do not use a watermark simply because I am always running out of time updating my blogs and secondly, I take really ugly pictures...hehehe But you're right, it is alwyas good to protect your pictures especially the ones like yours...they are quite beautiful :))

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 3, 2012 at 1:22 AM said...

Maritel Ledesma | Awww, thanks. Well whether your photos are ugly or not if you want to impose your ownership with that, then you might have them watermarkes. But it is always upon your discretion :)

Teddy Claudio on September 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM said...

A lighter text watermark strategically placed that does not distract the viewer is the best option. It cannot be cropped without losing the essence and it does not create distraction to the photo.

Tal | ThePinayWanderer on September 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM said...

Thanks sa mga tips Edmar! Ako, I always put watermark on my photos even if they're not as good as yours...hehe. And I also disabled right-click not knowing na all links pala would be disabled, na-realize ko lang after reading your post. Pero na-copy pa rin eh, I saw my post in another site, may link back naman kaya ok na lang. ;)

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM said...

Teddy Claudio | That is exactly a great good option Ted! Cheers!

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 3, 2012 at 3:17 PM said...

Tal | ThePinayWanderer | Yun nga eh, huhu. Kahit lagyan ng watermark kina-copy pa rin errr. Ang maganda run at least kapag may watermark eh makikita ng tao kung sino may-ari so kelangan nasa strategic location siya para hindi i-crop :) Buti naglagay sila ng link back sa 'yo. 'Yung akin na-crop na nga ang watermark, wala pang link bank, saklap! Haha.

Ron Leyba on September 3, 2012 at 5:20 PM said...

Great tips brother. Watermarking is a great way to protect your precious images.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 3, 2012 at 5:55 PM said...

Ron Leyba | Hey bro! Yes, it is indeed helpful :)

markpogi on September 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM said...

This is a very useful post. But its not just for travel bloggers but also all bloggers who post magnificent photos on their respective URL's. ^_^

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 5, 2012 at 10:43 PM said...

markpogi | Yeah right! It applies to all! :)

Teresa Martinez on September 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM said...

It is sad that creativity is sometimes hampered by the need to protect our original works but that is simply how it is in the online environment. Learning to protect your own work has become a necessity already. Thanks for a truly informative post.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on September 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM said...

Teresa Martines | That is a sad reality :(
Well welcome! :)

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