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Why photographers and artists should embrace Pinterest.

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This is a bit off-topic for me and this blog, however I’ve heard a good bit of different feedback from others regarding Pinterest, copyrights and how it can “hurt” the industry. I felt that I really wanted to chime in on this with my own view and a little perspective of how this can actually be beneficial for us.

First off, I am fairly new to Pinterest (link to my own Pinterest boards), having only started an account in April and have not fully experienced the scope of what it can do yet. But, based on what I have experienced so far, I don’t see how or why anyone can be mad at what is essentially “graphic social media” on such a scale that great ideas, images and inspiration can be shared with anyone and everyone with essentially no limit to the reach of this media. Sure, copyright owners might think “it’s stealing” or whatever. But look at it from another perspective for a second… Instead, it’s free marketing, free exposure, free social media on a super-massive scale.

How about those copyrights?

Quite frankly, if you are worried about the copyrights to your image, idea or art, the internet is definitely NOT the place to share it, period. People will find a way to use or “steal” your ideas, images and art regardless of any countermeasures you may feel you have taken to prevent that. Sorry to say, but it’s the raw truth. I have run numerous websites with different interests in the past, some with membership in excess of 100,000 people covering the entire globe. It was only a matter of time before I found my images, from my site, on other sites, in peoples profiles, even being used on Ebay… Watermark and all! People just don’t care because what are the odds they will get caught right? (Funny thing is, when I approached one person about the images, they didn’t understand what they had done wrong and honestly felt that it was OK to use.)

So what about Pinterest?

Pinterest does what it can to help “give credit” where credit is due, the best it can anyhow… For example, when someone “pins” an image from your site, it saves the link to refer people who look at that image back to your site. (If you know ANYTHING about social media, this is a benefit to you no matter how you spin it.) Additionally, the image is limited in size when “pinned” to someones board, meaning even if your image is larger on your site, Pinterest scales that to be more “share friendly” on their site. (Thus, reproduction from the fairly small “pinned” image is virtually useless for anyone else.) And again going back to my perspective on it, I see Pinterest as one of the best and fastest ways to get exposure on a massive scale. And what artist DOESN’T want as much exposure as they can get? Heck, we LIVE, even THRIVE on exposure… Without it, people who aren’t already in the limelight may never get noticed. And nobody else is out there giving you free exposure on your behalf, until now.

In short, Pinterest is something we should embrace as artists and “pin” your own work, sharing it with as many others as you can. This could be what makes the difference between maybe making a sale once in a great while, to making a sale monthly, weekly or even daily! Social media and social marketing is where it is… I say, get on before you get left behind!

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A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams