There is no shortage of interest in Pinterest, and photographers seem especially keen to take advantage of this most visual of social media. But, as with most everything shiny and new, there are concerns, and bloggers haven’t been shy about voicing them. Let’s take a look, and stick some pins on both sides of the board.
‘The Place to Be’
“The site is perfect for photographers because its target market user group is women between the ages of 25 and 44, and it’s a visual media form,” according to a Virtual Photography post that goes on to say, “we’re seeing a wide variety of visual businesses use Pinterest on a regular basis, from photographers to graphic designers and other artisans. If you are in a visual field, Pinterest is the place to be.”
As a visual medium, Pinterest has clear value as a vehicle to showcase photography portfolios. Some photographers use it as a place to post inspirations to be shared directly with clients, or even to solicit some. It’s even used to prepare clients for shoots with visual tutorials. There are flyers, brochures, business cards, even coupons. Big fans pin how-to videos and suggestions for clients on displaying photographs.
Suggestions abound for setting yourself apart on Pinterest. Come up with an interesting name. Concentrate on detail photos grouped by theme. Make sure to add descriptions and links. Reward people who pin your stuff with Like on Facebook. A “Pin it” button on your site encourages sharing.
Now, the bad news – actually, the news that some say is bad. Pinterest is yet another social medium that allows users to capture images and distribute them without compensation, or even credit.
Dave Copeland explains on ReadWriteWeb.com how Pinterest avoids copyright violations by publishing information provided by others. He writes, “As long as Pinterest continues to comply with a provision of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that requires it to remove content when asked by the copyright owner, users are free to continue pinning any images they find on the Internet.”
Sara says on SavingforSomeday.com that she used her legal education to pore over the Pinterest Terms and Conditions. She says, “I do have serious concerns about Pinterest hosting full-size images on their server, often without knowledge or permission from the original copyright holder. In doing this, Pinterest removes all references to the the original source. That creates significant issues with copyright (as well as other issues), especially when the copyright holder may not have provided authorization, tacit or otherwise, for the redistribution of the image. Now, the image can easily be redistributed without any determination of whether the image is protected by copyright.”
To avoid infringing on the copyright Sara advise Pinterest users to refer to the original work rather than cutting and pasting it. Rather than “re-pinning,” she says, take a minute to verify the original source. Never copy an image from Pinterest to use on your blog, she says, and don’t perpetuate the wrong owner of an image. Sara goes as far as suggesting watermarking images.
Anyone have other suggestions for keeping Pinterest safe? Anyone run into problems already? Tell us in the comments.