Well, the title of this post describes a lot… It literally describes what’s going on in this photo, but it also appropriately tells the story of what’s happened with the photo in the 14 months since we first shared it on our website.
In February of 2012, I created this image, and posted it to this blog for Valentine’s Day. Since then, this photograph has gained incredible popularity, and has been shared all over the world! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the amount of times that original post’s image has been re-pinned on Pinterest– a whopping 78,000+ times!!! Great, right? Well… sort of.
Photographers these days have to contend with the ever-changing and growing presence of digital images, social media, and the internet. Not a problem Ansel Adams lost much sleep over, I’m sure. I’m often asked why my studio holds on so tightly to the digital files we create… other photographers give them out like candy! Well, there are a lot of reasons having to do with quality control and other factors that are really important to us. We watermark any image that goes online to protect it, and for credit, of course! That brings me back to the “kisses” photo.
I love the popularity this photo has gained. I consider it a huge compliment! However, in not wanting to hurt the image, I put my name and watermark at the bottom of the image… my mistake. In too many instances to count, the copyright has been cropped out, and the image has been shared and used without giving me proper credit… in many cases (seriously, I have a list), other photographers or organizations have even put THEIR logo or brand on the image! Whaat? Now THAT is stealing! I even know of a few photographers who have used this image to advertise their studio! One organization that has altered the image and put it on Facebook has had their version shared over 120,000 times! An iPhone app is even using it to market!
No, I do not spend hours searching the web for misuse of my image. Thankfully, I have more cute babies to photograph :) But some amazing people– some whom I’ve never even met have taken the time to alert me. So let me know if you see it floating around somewhere, and I’ll just ask whoever it is to please use this new version with my name! After all, let’s give credit where credit is due.