Is it time for a Dear John letter to Facebook? I hate break ups!

My answer is a resounding NO! Facebook is and has been one of the BEST marketing tools for my photography business for over 5 years now. If you have had your head in the proverbial sand this week then you no doubt missed the brouhaha that has been going on about Facebook’s NEW Terms of Service (read them HERE) updates. I mean WHO READS THIS STUFF? Well not many of us, me included….it’s like reading another language that only an attorney can decipher. Oh wait, my niece is a fresh new attorney, maybe can she explain this stuff to me??? Here is a very interesting article from the ASMP blog, The Photblographer that breaks some of it down. Below is a snippet about what they plan to do next week. How do I feel about the updates in the new terms of service?

 

the language that is making everyone on FB crazy

the language that is making everyone on FB crazy

 

Well I am not happy about the updates or many things about Facebook right now which is why I have changed the way I post to Facebook but I will talk about that later. I don’t like that they can sell my hard work without any sort of compensation to me. It’s not like I am posting photos of Fido jumping on a trampoline…I am posting photos that I worked hard to create in order to get BUSINESS…..yes, this is a business! I am a Professional Photographer and the way that I GET BUSINESS is by sharing photos of workshops and magical places that most photographers want to go. We are selling a DREAM …a dream of shooting photos in exotic locations with a PROFESSIONAL……and getting that shot that you have dreamed about for years! And so far it is working very well! Of course, we know Facebook is a FREE service but it doesn’t mean that they can steal what belongs to us and sell it…..it’s like the Goodwill of Social Media sites….we might as well just put all of our digital files into boxes and put them in the back of our cars and deliver them to Facebook – just like we do with old clothes and household items that we deliver to Goodwill. I mean really, it’s like we give FB all of our photos for FREE and then they can turn around and SELL them for a profit…nice biz model! So in this case is it a “you get what you pay for” kind of thing? Maybe………… I mean all we are asking for is fair and respectful treatment and in my opinion this is not…it is invasive and unfair. Yes, I know, it’s in the TOS (terms of service)…..don’t remind me…but I can vent can’t I???

 

Will it come down to this?

Will it come down to this?

 

Had I known that Facebook was going to take this tack YEARS ago when I started using this FREE service as a very important marketing tool and uploaded 1000s of photos I would have said “No Thanks!” and walked. Now I am not about to turn my back on almost 8000+ friends and followers (many are good clients) that I worked so hard to get. I will just have to”adjust” AGAIN how I post and what I post……that’s all I can do……in addition to SPEAKING UP about how I feel about the changes. It doesn’t mean I will throw the baby out with the bathwater. I’d even be open to paying a small annual fee to use Facebook…it’s better than what they are doing now with the new TOS. And that would be the RIGHT way to keep users and also keep stockholders happy….makes sense to me………..but of course Mr. Zuckerberg hasn’t called me to ask my opinion.

This was my response in protest for my profile photo today:

Hey Facebook - I'm not for sale!

Hey Facebook – I’m not for sale!

 

Since the day I started using Facebook in late 2007 I have always applied my © Cheyenne L Rouse and a transparent watermark to most of my photos. But NOW the resolution of any photo that I post is much lower (72dpi). I do post a good many iPhone photos too which are of pretty good quality – what about those? I always apply my copyright to those too with an app that I have on my iPhone and iPad – but the size of those photos is larger than the photos that I upload from my “big girl” camera…meaning my DSLR…so I have to think about that one. I can resize them with an app I have but what a pain…agggg…..I already have SO much to do!!! All I am trying to do is market my photography business in an efficient manner so that I can continue to make a living. And truth be told, I LOVE interacting and engaging with followers, photo enthusiasts, and friends from ALL over the world! I have tried other social media outlets with much less success…so once again, my industry is under siege…it feels like it anyway.

 

I might as well do my photos into ads!

I might as well do my photos into ads!

 

So no need to run to your computer in a panic and do a mass delete of all of the photos that you have posted on Facebook over the years. As per the hoard of FB attorneys, FB has a copy of many, if not most, of those photos in their hard drives – just in case a lawsuit comes up they have evidence of whatever it might be about. So once again it is time to rethink how we post on Facebook – my new motto: “Low, low res, small file size, BIG © AND Watermark”…that’s all I can do since I won’t be leaving Facebook anytime soon. I am not sure if they can scrape all of my watermarking off but maybe it will make them look at the next photo instead of mine, or not. Who knows? I will also pay MUCH more attention to my blog and posting and writing here then posting the link on my Facebook pages – at least that gives me MORE control. And I am sure most people that know me think I am a control freak anyway, so if the shoe fits?!?!?! Despite it’s faults and drawbacks it has been and continues to be an amazing tool for not only my business but for meeting amazing new friends that I would have never met if it weren’t for Facebook. Or getting in touch with long lost friends and family members!!! In addition, I hear stories all the time from friends and followers who were inspired by one of my photos that they saw on Facebook and that to me is PRICELESS – that inspires the hell out me. Knowing that by ME just doing what I love to do in a place that I am passionate about inspired someone to maybe see things differently or pick up their camera again or whatever – OMG – how humbling and amazing is that?????

Times change and so must we. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining here…I am merely sharing my thoughts and musings about how I feel about this whole thing. Sharing some valuable links so maybe we can ALL learn how to do things better to protect our copyright and our photos and in turn, our livelihood. So please, no hate mail (I get enough of it) to tell me to “stop complaining” or “stop posting to Facebook then” or and this is the best one that I REALLY did get receive, “Stop whining and grow a pair”…yes, really! And I have been told that my pair is pretty damn big…..so take those snide remarks elsewhere…they are not welcome here on this forum of discussion. I will never have a problem speaking up for what I believe in and that can draw haters…..I guess THEY are the ones with the problem……but none the less, the haters will never stop me…ever…

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts on this issue as we continue to navigate the world of the interwebs!!!!

Here is a VERY good ASMP Q&A that helped me understand this whole thing…..worth a read: http://asmp.org/fb-tos#.UiqM78b_l8G

Live long and prosper – Cheyenne

 

PS: I just had one of my Facebook friends post this in my protest thread on Facebook……………..I love it!

Posted by FB friend Devon Etherton

Posted by FB friend Devon Etherton

 

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22 Comments. Leave new

Cheyenne,

It is rare that I post what I consider to be the good stuff directly to FB. Instead I post a link to my Zenfolio page. As for the files I have already posted on FB most are 96dpi at 800 wide for landscape and 600 wide for portrait.

The reason for this is I was dared to pull a low res file off of FB and print it, as this individual said he could not do it and it could not be done. I printed a very nice 8×12 for him.

Technology is well dangerous. I started a while back taking the time to populate my EXIF data for SEO and to have a record. Just for giggles I uploaded and downloaded one of those files to and from FB. Guess what all of the EXIF data was gone.

Unfortunately FB is a necessary evil.

Michael P. Meyers

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Yes, it sure is….thanks for your thoughts….much appreciated and thought provoking!

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I agree . I am taking down my photos . glad you showed this

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but like I mentioned…they most likely have COPIES of all of the photos that you posted on their hard drives…..that is just how they roll….so I am not sure if that will matter or not

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I agree 🙂

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Lynn Schafer (Griz Bear)
September 6, 2013 11:19 pm

Ha Ha ha – I put my email in this form where my name should have been so I tried to copy my email to paste it in the correct place and your name and copyright popped up on me. So of course I had to play around with it. Now I wonder if you get notifications when this happens? Hope not – as you will get 3 or 4 just because of me being silly.

Anyway, I just want to say a big THANK YOU for all that you are and all you do. It is not often we find people in this world that are true to themselves and true to their heart. Your passion for what you do shines through each and every day. That my friend, is more than most people will ever find in their lifetime! You spread joy from within – just being you, then you add your beautiful photography to the picture – and WOW!

Don’t ever change a thing – always stay true to yourself!

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Hi Lynn – don’t worry I didn’t get notified for all of the other things …. Just your comment. Thank you SO much for your kind words and support…. I appreciate it more than you know!! 🙂

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Well said Cheyenne… I’ve been thinking the same thing about using my blog more and only posting low res. In fact I may ge even lower res after reading Michaels comment above.

The issue for me is that I’m expected by my clients to have a presence on FB, so I really need to have a presence there….

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Mara – thank you for your comments. And as I mentioned, I don’t think we need to throw the baby out with the bath water…. Just rethink how we post…. I too feel that to keep business moving along and bring new business for workshops, etc in, that I too must have an FB presence. I will just be smarter and more crafty about it!! I’m already pretty low res (72dpi) with small file size (no bigger than 650 on the long side) so for me I will just be more “annoying” with watermarks and if someone wants to see the high res they can go to my website or contact me to purchase the file. 🙂

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I agree with you wholeheartedly! It’s always good to rant about Facebook!

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Cheyenne,

I hate to say it, but greed rules these days- look at Wall Street, Congress, and huge corporations like FB. You really have to scratch your head however as to why they feel they need to pilfer and profit from the work of us mere mortals. “Good will” seems to be a thing of the past with many of today’s financial giants.

Keep up the good fight,

Ken

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Ken – sad but true…which is WHY I LOVE to throw myself into shooting photos of old rusty goodness and nostalgia from the past – it makes me forget about our crazy greed filled world today and takes me back to simple times…..I’m a dreamer…….:)

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I’ve never uploaded anything over 72dpi to facebook, google+, flickr, 500px or ANY other website online…always keeping them no larger than 1200px on the longest side because I’ve always been afraid of someone stealing them (plus always adding my watermark)….never thought I’d have to worry about facebook themselves stealing them! If I ever upload a full size image, it’s to my personal website where I sell prints (and it automatically puts a watermark on the image on the site, not what gets printed for the customer). I’m with you, I’d gladly pay a small monthly fee to keep my image safe on facebook but I don’t ever see them implementing that because they’d lose millions of people using their service who don’t want to pay (who aren’t photographers or business owners and only use it to keep up with what their family is doing and looking at pretty pictures) What usually happens in these situations is facebook will put out a new notice of TOS changes, people complain, and then they back off and only implement maybe one of those new TOS changes…one of the changes that don’t piss us off so much. Where if they would have just said in the beginning they wanted to change one thing we would have all gotten upset and they would have never been able to update the TOS. It’s hard to explain but it’s sort of a bait and switch tactic a lot of companies use that they don’t talk about.
Personally, what gets me going and gets me mad is all of these ‘like farm’ pages…where they steal photographer’s images, remove the watermark, post them on their pages, get thousands of likes, then sell those pages to bigger companies to make money off of all of the unsuspecting ‘likers’ of the page…and the photos they used to boost their likes are never attributed to the photographer who originally took it.
Vicious cycle!
Glad you’re speaking out about how you feel 😀

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Heather – thank you for your comments – yes, like you, I never upload any full size image to any social media site…only to my website and I ALWAYS apply my © and watermark and have been badgering other photographers (hobbyists, amateurs and even some pros) to NEVER post a photo without their copyright, etc. Many say they don’t care if anyone takes their photo but I tell them that it is only adding fuel to the fire – if we don’t protect our ART and have no value or regard for it…well then, neither will anyone else and that includes these social media sites. Things can and DO change when people rise up and stand up for what is RIGHT….it may not always be the change that we want but at least we as a group might have some leverage or power….I mean LOOK at this latest bulletin on the ASMP site: “Editor’s Note: The Next Web states that Facebook is putting a delay on the TOS and reviewing comments first.” – Hell yea…. that means they HEAR US!! Grant it, they will keep pulling punches like this and get away with it…that is the power of these monster companies…we just need to learn to readjust and not let them WIN…..I know I will always find a way to do what I do and NEVER let some silly company try to man handle me…..I am have always have been very resourceful when it comes to marketing my biz…so for me, this too shall pass and the sun will shine again…..it might just look different! This country was built on strong people who stood up for what is RIGHT and what they believed in and I will ALWAYS do that……and thanks for helping…..you don’t know how many other photogs just tell me to shut up and go away….hey, this is only helping them too……….I don’t get that…we need to be a united front!!! Thanks again for your comments…..

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One thing that I’ve seen facebook do is get people to watermark their photos…I had a cousin email me about protecting her images…now, she’s not a photographer and I don’t even think she owns anything other than a cell phone to take pictures with but it was AWESOME to see that she wanted to protect her images online. I think all of us photographers are actually teaching people who are not into to photography to protect their images as well…which in turn will make facebook realize that people are catching on! Yay! The thing that freaks me out the most is when someone’s child’s image is used without permission….that is just so wrong and sad when it happens 🙁

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Yes, and I feel it is a BIG part of our job AS photographers to help educate others….and leading by example is one of the BEST ways! 🙂

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Well the ASMP DID post this on their blog:
Editor’s Note: The Next Web states that Facebook is putting a delay on the TOS and reviewing comments first.

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