Google+ has lots to offer for us photographers!!!
First of all, Google says: Everything you have uploaded is mine and I can do with it whatever I want.
Although I believe Google won’t sell my work these guidelines are bad for sharing photos.
We can see, what Google is capable of in terms of books. In Google Books you may find many books digitalized the authors aren‘t aware of.
We don‘t know what the future will bring. Maybe a mini stock photo agency called Google Stock?
It would be a wiser step to let the owner decide what should happen with the uploaded content.
Sharing Photos on G+ OUTlaws?
But Google Plus is a virtual world without borders or national laws and users have no rights – so it seems on first sight. It is Googles right to build the virtual world on bases of their vision. Google is paying lots of money to offer you services and get all kinds of informations out of you.
A friend of mine told me, that it is not easy to build up guidelines fitting to all nations law.
Take the service Google offers you or leave it!
Especially professional photographers will have a big problem sharing their work and telling their stock photo agency that Google has rights on their photos too.
In consequence of the Google guidelines any photo that has any sellable value should not be shared on Google+.
What is Social Media about? Sharing!
But social media is not about NOT SHARING or only sharing rubbish.
Google has to change their guidelines in the name of professional photography. But I am sure they won’t.
Meanwhile you have to think twice which photo you can upload to Google+ and what you can do with your uploaded photo to make it unattractive to do something else with it than sharing on Google+.
This can mean: Make you photo as small as possible and retouch a huge watermark in it. Like this:
You can download a photoshop action to do so for free here.
Of course you can upload your photos on your private server/homepage or on a service with higher trust like flickr and paste a link to Google+.
Sharing photos on Google Plus: Picasa
And than there is another thing you have to keep in mind while sharing your photos on Google+. There is an option in Picasa that enables others to order prints from your photos or download them by default. Keep that in mind or disable this function on Google Plus/ Picasa via:
1. Click on Photos at the very top in the black nav bar.
2. Little Gear in the far right very top corner is your settings link for whichever aspect of Google Plus you are in.
3. Photo Settings > Privacy and Permissions
4. Unclick Order Prints and Download my Photos
5. Save Changes.
Thinking that everything on the net is mine is a common behavior. It is positively influenced by such guidelines from big players like Google, twitpic or facebook.
Sharing photos on Google Plus: Human Beings
Yesterday somebody deleted me from his circle with the words:
„Oh I couldn‘t download your photos? It is time to delete you from my circles!“
It is not the whole truth that big companies are bad. It is human beings who think they can do everything with a photo they found on the net. They are the real problem sharing photos on the internet. I think these people are also the result of big influential role models like the above mentioned companies.
Let me tell you this:
Sharing is not only about giving away everything. It could also be about showing and commenting. I won‘t get any money to tell others how to become better photographers on social media platforms. It is not a workshop that is sharing!
There are photographers who have to feed a family selling their work. It is the right of the photo owner to do whatever he wants to do with it. If the owner decides to give a photo away with a creative commons license I appreciate it.
But even if you want to do so sometimes it is not possible. Especially if you have a contract with a stock photo agency.
So what can we do?
We can spread this message to all the other people outside. I believe there is a chance for rethinking and more tolerance for people who have to live from hard work.