Good news for photographers and other creative professionals
Pinterest allows you to organize and share visual images online. As you travel through the vast Internet universe, you can Pin images to one of your custom online pinboards to share with other members of the Pinterest community. One nice thing about the boards is that they are segmented into categories so you can follow other people’s boards that interest you. Pinterest is a huge hit and a driver of traffic to websites. Retailers are finding great value from the visual service. Photographers have had a rough time with Pinterest because of the terms of service (TOS). It is also traditionally frowned upon by Pinterest and the community to focus on promoting your own stuff — until now.
Pinterest released a new option that should satisfy both of the big issues for photographers, visual artists and brands: business pages. These are designed for people or companies who wish to use Pinterest for promotion without feeling guilty. Bloggers, public figures, brands and retailers are all welcome. When you go to the business Pinterest page, look for the red button asking if you wish to switch your current account to a business account. If you would like to see what other brands are doing, check out: http://pinterest.com/pinterestbiz/. You don’t have to convert your current account. Start a new one here: https://pinterest.com/business/create/
Professionals and businesses are encouraged to tell their story visually. But don’t worry, Pinterest changed its terms of service making it clear that you still own your stuff.
a. Posting content.
Pinterest allows you to post content, including photos, comments, and other materials. Anything that you post or otherwise make available on our Products is referred to as “User Content.” You retain all rights in, and are solely responsible for, the User Content you post to Pinterest.
You can view the full terms of service on the Pinterest website. They do a nice job of interpreting the legal jargon, too. Pinterest still encourages good etiquette, such as no porn or spammy stuff. Photographers now have a good safe (relatively) platform on which to share work.
Can people steal your work?
Yes, of course people can steal your photography. You still have to use the same common sense you would for any location on the Internet. If it’s online, someone can take it. If you are concerned, make sure you place a watermark on your photograph. This way if someone takes your photo, at least they are advertising for you. If people remove your watermark or use your image commercially, make sure you have your images registered with the U.S. Copyright Office (if you are in the United States). If you think you might get in to trouble with a client, don’t place the photograph online — period.
Why is Pinterest good for photographers?
Pinterest is a great way to share your photographs. If you have a good photo, people will repin it to their custom boards. Don’t worry if someone clicks on the image, it will take them back to the image source. If you do it right, people will be directed to your website. So, make sure you share your images from your website (use the URL) rather than uploading directly to Pinterest.
A few tips
Make sure you have a Pin it or follow me button available on your photo pages . If you need more buttons, go to the goodies page. Name your files well. DSC_943.jpg is not a good option. Make the file name descriptive, such as Applepie.jpg. Pinterest displays photos as large as 600 pixels, so make sure your images are at least that size, but not much larger. Too-large photos degrade in quality when Pinterest downsizes them.
Create boards specific to your photographic specialties so people who are interested in your focus industry will follow your board. Share your board and help spread your name as a photographer for that industry.
There is not much difference between standard and business accounts, but Pinterest has some plans in the works. I’m sure this will include analytics and new ways to promote your Pins.
Of course, if you still hate Pinterest and are convinced that sharing your work will hurt your career, you can block the service by placing this code
<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” /> on your webpages. For the rest of us, let’s use Pinterest as one more place to share our photographs and promote our great work to the world. If you are not sure of the value of the traffic, the best thing to do is test for a few months and see if Pinterest is right for you.
What do you think of Pinterest?