Why I plaster my logo on every photo.

Have you noticed that every photo I post on this blog has my logo plastered all over it?


There’s actually a good reason I do it, and if you are blogging, you should be adding a logo or watermark to your pictures as well.

Besides brand recognition, which I’ll post about next week, the #1 main reason I add my logo to every photo I post on my blog is because of this:

and this:

Yup. My Soap Pump Makeover and my Cupcake Cones Tutorial. Are you totally confused? Let me elaborate.

Both of these photos make me really sad, but the cupcake cone project photo makes my blood boil.

You see, back when I first started blogging, I created a cupcake cone tutorial and a painted soap pump tutorial. And they were both very popular. These projects are two of the reasons my blog grew so quickly.

Well, a website (not in the United States) took my cupcake cone tutorial and all my images and then created their own image. This image actually.

And then they posted MY tutorial with this new Photoshopped image made from MY images on their baking website. No link back to me. No credit whatsoever.

An angel of a reader saw it and emailed me. I promptly emailed them and told them to remove my post from their website or give me credit. They chose to remove the post, but not before the image had been saved by hundreds of other people. Also, you can’t find the image by clicking around on their site, but with a direct link you can easily view the image. They will not remove the image from their website. They would only remove the actual post. So the image is still being hosted on their server.

And now with the invention of pinterest, this cupcake cone picture has literally swept the world. I see it hundreds of times a day while browsing pinterest.

And not once has it linked back to my site and my tutorial.

People have taken this Photoshopped image and posted it on their own blog or tumblr, not crediting my site because they don’t know who to credit. I have found this image posted on literally hundreds of other blogs and tumblr sites.

I’m thrilled that something I created has become so wildly popular. But at the same time, just seeing it over and over and not getting any credit for it makes me so bummed. I feel violated.

And basically the same thing happened with the soap pump tutorial:

Someone liked it, way back before pinterest was even fathomed, and so they downloaded the image to their computer. My image. And when pinterest popped up, they uploaded the image to their board. I’m sure it wasn’t malicious. They probably just forgot where they found the image.

And again, this picture has swept pinterest. I’m sure you all have seen it repeatedly. I’m rarely credited for it. Yet it is mine, I created it, I photographed it, and I still use it today in my kitchen!

If I’m going to take hours of my time just to complete one tutorial, all I ask is that I get a little credit and recognition for it. Is that really too much to ask for?

I tried for awhile to leave a comment on every pin letting them know the image was stolen and then give them the original link. But that is futile. When someone repins the image, my comment doesn’t transfer with the pin. It’s like trying to put out a wildfire one measuring cup of water at a time. You will never tame a huge fire with a measuring cup of water.

So, lesson learned. Now every picture I post has my logo on it. That way, if someone borrows my image and doesn’t link back, the image still has my name on it so people can at least google it to find me.

Also, I’ve found that if I put my logo on my images, the images aren’t getting “borrowed” anymore anyway.

It’s hard for shady bloggers to pass off a tutorial as their own if all the images are stamped with someone else’s logo.

Bloggers, don’t let this happen to you!

Stamp your images with a logo, or watermark, or just at least the name of your blog. Yes, it takes extra time, but you will get use to it and will be able to stamp them all quickly once you figure it out. Don’t be the victim of tutorial and photo theft. Protect your projects that you have spent HOURS putting together. Get the credit that you deserve.

Here’s a great tutorial from Crafterminds about how to add a watermark to your pictures.

Also, it is probably a good idea to put a “policy” on your blog. I have one in my sidebar called “HoH’s Blog Policy”. It’s a good idea to add wordage like that to your sidebar, just for extra safety.

And just for fun, here’s a plethora of awesome blogging resources that teach you everything from ethics, to html, to making money blogging.

And with all that said, OMG pet-peeve number 1: If you are going to pin something on pinterest, please for the love of…!!!, pin it from the original source and start giving bloggers the credit they deserve and are owed.

**I want to give a special thanks to Madigan Made for helping me track down the linked websites in this post. She made my day a whole lot easier.**

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  1. Christina @ christinas adventures says:

    Sooo true!!! Especially with pinterest…i love it and hate it because it so rarely credits to the right source!!

  2. oh allison, so sorry. what a bummer. i try to explain to my husband about blogging etiquette and he always teases me (he loves our family blog, but just doesn’t “get it”, especially when i link up a crafty project and found the inspiration from somewhere else. I try and explain how I have to link back to where I actually got the idea from), but this is perfect case in point.

    i NEED to start doing this. my blog is not big like yours, by any means, but it is nice to get credit when credit is due. it is such a sense of accomplishment when something gets pinned or you get a link back somewhere so people know that it came from you!

    again, so sorry that this happened to you. you are so creative and i love coming to your blog to see what you are up to!

  3. Thanks for spreading the word with this post! This is exactly why I slap the name of my blog on every photo that I take for my blog. I’m regretting not thinking to put it on my tiered hurricane tutorial pic that is all over Pinterest. You live and you learn I guess.

  4. Icccckkk!

    I may be guilty of repinning some things that don’t have proper credit because sometimes I don’t actually click through when I use the iPhone app. However, if I see something while on Pinterest on my pc, I don’t re-pin anything that doesn’t have proper documentation. Even though it’s not my ideas, I think of how I’d feel if someone was pinning mine stuff without credit! Hate that you know how that feels!! A few times I’ve seen improper credit for stuff that I know who did it, I’ll go find it and repin it myself in hopes it’ll start that one going instead!

    I love Pinterest….but there are some drawbacks!

  5. Well, that just sucks! People are so mean sometimes! I am going to find your handsoap tutorial on here and pin it from your site…great idea! And if I hadn’t just had about 1/2 a dozen cupcakes left over from my son’s birthday last week I would be drooling over those cupcake cones πŸ˜‰ Thanks for reminding me that everyone doesn’t always play fair…I will do my best to start watermarking my pics (as soon as I figure out how!). Smiles~Beth

  6. Great post! This is why I watermark all my photos now! Pinterest is awesome… But the original source of a photo can get diluted quickly on there. Stamping your name on the project helps. Glad I could help you!

    And another tip for all bloggers… When you write a post and use photos other than your own… Find the original source. Pinterest is a great way to catalog stuff… But it is NOT a photo source!

  7. I was worried that it seems odd that a little blogger like me puts a watermark out there but it makes me feel better that it’s worth it just in case it is maybe the project that gets noticed. I just need to get a little more consistent about it. πŸ™‚

  8. What a bummer! I have actually seen the Soap Dispenser on pinterest not linked to you and thought “boy that looks an aweful lot like HOH’s version, they totally copied it!” I bet its the same image! I have noticed that it is hard sometimes to find the original source because things get pinned from a blog that linked it from another blog who reblogged it from somewhere else, etc. Crazy! I think pinterest can be bad because sometimes we just look at the pics on there and never end up going to the original blog to check them out at all!

    Thanks for the advice about adding a stamp to photos. I keep thinking that I should, but then I figure that my blog is so unknown that no one would steal my pics anyway.

  9. I started watermarking a few weeks ago after I found some of my stuff on Pinterest (not pinned by me). So far it’s all gone back to my site, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there. Picnik makes it easy. Whenever I see a project I know to be from a blog I read I comment giving that blogger credit. I do a Sunday Pinspiration post on my blog and always, *always* work the pictures back to the source, and if there’s a mistake I ask my readers to correct me. It’s just the right thing to do.

  10. Allison, Although I don’t blog, I do frequent Pinterest. I really liked your post today, and I have to admit that I never really gave much thought to how I was pinning. I assumed that the original source was attached to the pin, so I have been doing a lot of repinning from other people’s boards. I will now change this so I go to the original source and pin directly from there! Thanks for the info. Also, I have been thinking about starting a blog, so will add this information with regard to watermarking photos to my list of things to consider. I’m also thinking I need to go back and add watermarks to the photos on our website! Thanks so much for the valuable info!! I always enjoy reading your blog!!

  11. Thank you for this blog PSA! I’ve been adding watermarks to my tutorial photos. I’ve noticed my blog posts being pinned so I want to make sure I get the credit. πŸ˜‰

  12. Sorry this had to happen to you. I remember your soap bottle post. That exact post is what made me a follower of yours. You definitely deserve the credit.

  13. That is my personal pet peeve with pinterest. I don’t mind having to click through a few boards to find the original source, but if after all that clicking I can’t get to the tutorial??

    I had one situation where the ad I posted on craigslist was copied (incl contact information). Imagine my surprise when 6 mos later I got calls/emails from potential “customers” for a product I had already sold!

  14. Well said!! What a shame that this has to be articulated, but it DOES. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  15. What a poopy thing to happen! Pinterest is great, but I’m fed up of so many having ‘none’ as the source, so frustrating!

  16. Allison, first of all I’m so sorry this happened to you :(. It makes me so sad that people would do this. Really really. I know it does take a bit of extra time to add a watermark etc to a photo, but I agree, it should be done. I myself have had to do this now to my photos because sadly, I’ve had family that we are no longer in contact with take my photos and print them off for their own use without my permission. All because they will NOT contact me for photos. Anyway, I digress.

    I too wish people would link back to the original blog/post on pinterest. It frustrates me to no end to find what I think is a great pin and it’s only a photo OR it’s from a blog, but I literally have to search through hundreds of posts to find it (which I do if I totally love it!).

    Thank you for blogging! I absolutely love your blog (and your pumpkin cookies YUMMMMMMMMMMY!)! Keep up the great work!

  17. Thank you so much for this great information. I have never put anything on my own photos but I think I will now for sure. I know it will be better in the long run even though it will take a bit more time on the front end.

  18. So true Allison! Some people may not want to be presumptuous putting a logo on their pictures when they are first starting out, but you should to protect your work, always. It was both of these two projects that led me to your site. So glad that I saw a reference that actually linked me to your blog!

  19. Allison, I understand your disappointment in how someone could so blatantly steal a tutorial. It’s wrong and unfair. But on the other hand, blogs are full of unoriginal ideas…ideas and projects that have been around for a long time, their true original source unknown. Truth is, a cupcake cone is not an original idea by any means. Same for the initial on, well, anything. Most of what appears on blogs is just recycled ideas. I agree with watermarking, but in the end, a cupcake is just a cupcake.

    • Oh I know the idea isn’t mine. What I’m upset about is that MY pictures were stolen and copied, as well as MY personal tutorial. I’m upset that my work was taken, not the idea! If they wanted to make their own, take pictures, and blog about it, by all means, go ahead! Just don’t steal my personal content.

  20. Thanks for the info.

    I’ve seen my crafts all over lately. I don’t mind sharing but it is nice to get credit.

  21. I’m taking your advice and will start putting my logo on my pictures. It’s a shame that people think they can pass off other peoples hard work as their own. That’s just frustrating.

  22. This is eye opening! Thank you for talking about this. I had no idea, I thought Pintrest automatically credited the original source and I honestly had no idea this could happen. So, after doing a 31 Day using Pintrest, I feel like I need to do some recon and fix up my links. Eeps. But in the effort to be authentic, I can see why this will be hugely important. So thanks for the lesson and the honesty. I’m so sorry that happened to you, I hope I haven’t done it to someone too. Off to fix my oops! BTW…huge fan of your blog, learning alot and loving it. Sam

  23. Also…curious, did you copy right your blog? How do you do that?

  24. PPS…sorry, I linked your story on my blog because I think it’s important. I don’t have a ton of followers, but still, it’s worth getting the message out there. http://www.colonialcurvecottage.blogspot.com

  25. I’m sorry about your two tutorials and I love your blog, but I have to comment on your pet peeve #1.

    Not everyone is a blogger like yourself. While the internet makes up a huge portion of your day, it can be a very small part of others. Part of the appeal of Pinterest is the convenience. You see something, you pin it, you’re done. It’s a quick way to catalog things you may want to peek back at in the future.

    I think it’s unrealistic to expect the general population to trace back every picture or idea they see to the original source before they hit the “pin it” button. It kind of defeats the purpose (if your purpose is convenience).

  26. I’m so sorry that happened to you, and you’ve given me a lot to think about. I’m definitely going to update my blog images ASAP. I also hate when a pin doesn’t link to the original post. Anytime I find something on a blog that references another blog I always navigate to the original post before I pin. I would be so sad if my blog was missing out on the traffic so why not show the same courtesy to other bloggers??

  27. SO I love this post πŸ™‚ I have been kind of mulling over the same issue for awhile now. I do watermark most of my images, and it prevents some stealing, but it does not help on pinterest. One particular project {my baby footprint artwork} has been floating around over there a lot and doesn’t link back to me. I’ve started just accepting and celebrating that I can say my work is heavily featured on pinterest and leave it at that. I also tried leaving links and pinning it myself, but it doesn’t negate the hundreds of pins out there already abck to someone else’s site. I use pinterest that way too though…I don’t always click all the way through to the blog, just pin the idea to recreate myself. I’m ok with that.

    I guess what irks me more are the compilation blogs themselves. I love the kind like {Inspire me Heather} that are mainly texts and links, but I do not like the kind that are photo heavy, even if they provide links. It is frustrating that they are often highly followed, but aren’t creating the content…

    …but anywho…

    OH and I thought the commenter attacking you because you might spend your “life” on the internet, but others do not was kind of a low blow…

    …and here is where I talked about my issues with pinterest: http://anestforallseasons.blogspot.com/2011/06/have-you-seen-my-babys-feet-diy-baby.html

  28. How funny that you posted this today! I was browsing pinterest yesterday for nothing in particular and saw a picture with your logo on it! I actually got excited for you and thought how awesome it was that your ideas are being spread to soooo many more people! Made me a little warm and fuzzy inside πŸ˜‰

    Still stinks what happened with the other project but hey, lesson learned right?

  29. That is something I do, however, sometimes people still your pictures for more malicious intent. A face book page stole a picture with intent to make fun of and say nasty things about. I was informed by someone I didn’t know that this had happened. she looked at my blog and realized I had not given them my picture.
    I posted about it and wow did that send a huge amount of traffic to my site. A lot of ignorate people came to tell me I was stupid. But not all where mean some where supportive.
    I still put my blog name on pictures but sometimes it can make things ugly for a while if you are not careful. lol.

  30. You do a great job with your watermark. It looks like branding, not an annoying thing that goes across the image, but like a little badge that says “Hey, this awesome idea is from HoH!” Now that Pinterest is so popular, I definitely think watermarking is a good idea.

    Great article!

  31. (late entry, due to power outage)
    Sad but not surprising.
    When I was in nursing school, someone tried to use one of my term papers as their own original work luckily the professor recognized the material and investigated.

    When you put the time into a work, you don’t mind sharing particularly with blogging. Sharing is not the same as owning unfortunately some don’t care to honor the difference. It all comes back to one of my favorite words, “accountability”. This is a great lesson to share with children. Taking credit for the hard work of others is just plain wrong and sooner or later (sooner if you have lots of blogging friends) it will come back to haunt you.

    Please don’t loose the faith, you have more followers that appreicate and honor the talent you share here on your blog. There are more good people in the world than evil and I for one enjoy reading all the creative ideas you share.

  32. Hello Everyone~! Please allow me to join in the discussion!!!!! I’m new to blogging (2 months)….and on pintrest…found one of my projects that I had pinned before I had a blog…with no info where it came from. Here’s what I started doing (after I tried for literally WEEKS to find the tutorial on the soap pump dispenser)…and Yes…deleted the original pin, and pinned directly from Allison’s website…THEN, for my own projects….I pin them first!!! When I pin from my own Blog….it’s attached. This is the easiest way I’ve found (other than watermarking every single photo I post)…to make sure it’s linked back to me. BUT…yes, I started watermarking everything just in case. PIN EVERY PICTURE YOU POST ON YOUR BLOG!!! It saves half the headache!

    There was a project featured on a blog (linky party) that I’d pinned from another Blog MONTHS ago….come to find out…the one that was featured was copied from the original poster….and didn’t even say in their tutorial that they saw it on someone else’s blog first…that’s copyright infringement… I think it’s crap that people can’t even say, “hey, this original idea wasn’t mine…here’s where I got it…but here’s how mine turned out…” People need to stop pretending they’re THE Martha Stewart and just admit we are creative because we stalk fabulous blogs like Allison’s all day and get ideas to try…

  33. I can’t believe your timing on this… THANK YOU! I am scheduled to be interviewed on a local television station next week and they requested some of my photos. I send them last night!! I will now re-send with watermarks. SUCH GOOD ADVICE!! It’s hard to imagine my blog or work taking off, but I’m sure you thought the same when you posted some of your early work. Thanks for sharing your lessons learned. Invaluable!!

    • When Better Homes and Garden emailed me about putting my image on their blog, I had to send them a non-logo one (the original). I was okay with it though b/c it was BHG! And they were featuring me! And plus they gave a link-back. Some big companies don’t want your watermark on the image, and I’m fine with that. So remember, when you watermark all your images, SAVE THE ORIGINAL! Just in case. πŸ˜‰

  34. Do you all know that you can edit your pins to go to the right source after pinning? I have found that people tend to pin the homepage of a blog vs the post in the picture so when this happens I edit my pin and change the url to the post instead of homepage. If I see your posts I will repin them and change the url for future pinners.

    • I’ll admit, I pin a lot of stuff from pinterest, and I need to go back and check my sources on it. But if I notice there isn’t a link-back I will generally delete the pin. I get frustrated when I want to go to the original source and the pinner has pinned the main blog, not the post itself. I will go through and find the right post and pin directly to it.

      Oh, and when I do my link party each week, one reason I started pinning all my favorite features (from each blog owners blog, not from my post) is because people will pin other people’s feature pictures directly from my blog, and I am trying to get them to pin from the original source. I’m glad people love the features I post, but I am even more excited when those people get pinned directly from their own blog. I don’t want to take credit from them. They deserve it!

  35. Not entirely accurate – I’ve already pinned your original cupcake cone tutorial πŸ™‚

    I would be remiss if I didn’t plug the post I did on Crafterminds about how to protect your images and find the true owner of an image. It doesn’t work 100% for your cupcake case, but I use it all the time to track down the original owner before pinning and to check on my own pictures once in a while – http://crafterminds.com/2011/08/protect-photos-with-google-search-by-image/

  36. Allison,
    Since you mentioned this happening to your cupcake tutorial and photos a while back, when I come across your projects on Pinterest that do not credit your blog, I leave a comment to let them (and everyone else) know. So frustrating. I’m planning to watermark all my blog photos now.

  37. I could go on for EVER about how this same issue has frustrated me – but I won’t! I added a page on Copyright to my blog here. Not sure if it helps but it makes me feel better.

    To the person who asked about Copyright – you do not have to Copyright your blog – or your photos. If you took them – you own the Copyright.

    Here is my section here for more reading – http://papervinenz.blogspot.com/p/copyright.html

  38. I had no idea that people would be this naughty! I’m going to start doing this asap. Thanks for the tip. Once again Allison, you rule.

  39. I agree with you 100%. I especially love it when someone posts something with their own pictures and makes it sound like its their tutorial when actually its been around the blog world for a while. How do you watermark your photos? I have the free edition of photoshop and am not sure what to buy? Something inexpensive preferrably.

    • A lot of people use picnik. I use the free software called GIMP, but it is hard to learn, so picnik might be easier. I got Photoshop for Christmas last year and I have yet to install it on my computer. ::bag over head:: I’m so use to gimp that I haven’t been motivated to install it.

  40. I have a small blog, but you are inspiring me to at least put my blog name on there. I use paint. It’s fast, easy, and free to resize photos and add text. Thanks!

  41. Woops! I meant to say “put my blog name on my photos.”

  42. Someone steals pictures of your kids = Really big deal. Someone “steals” pictures of a cupcake cone you “invented” = Not really a tragedy.

  43. Thanks for this post. I started watermarking my pictures when I noticed a very popular dresser of mine popping up all over pinterest.

  44. Oh come on now… This blog is Allison’s creation, her work, her JOB! Someone took her work and did not give her credit for it. In college you take someone else’s work without giving credit, it is called plagiarism and you can get kicked out for it, You “write” a cookbook and take someone elses pictures and claim they are yours, you are liable to get sued. There seems to be a disconnect.. that because it is on the internet, it is free game. That is not the case. Ask any musician who has had their music pirated how that affects their ability to make money. Allison did not claim to invent the cupcake, but the person that stole her pictures must have thought that it was pretty ingenious because they went through all the effort to take that and pretend it was their own, and if people are “pinning” that idea over and over and over, there must have been something to her idea don’t you think? If it wasn’t that big of a deal, they would have made their own darn cupcakes and taken their own darn pictures and posted their own darn tutorial. The fact that they didn’t shows that they are lazy, and the fact they did not credit her, that they are stupid, and the fact they were caught out and did not take down the direct link they are thieves,

    • ::STANDING OVATION:: Thank you! My point exactly. I didn’t invent the cupcake cone. Come on. Do people really think I’m trying to say I did? I’m mad that my images and my content were stolen, not my idea! If I wanted to keep an idea secret I wouldn’t be posting it on the World Wide Web.

  45. I saw this on pintrest! and found your blog!!! congrats and great work!

  46. I’m sorry this happened to you, and I’m sorry that some people don’t get what it is you’re upset about. It’s the plagiarism, not the cupcake! I’d like to do a post on this issue and link this post of yours. I hope that’s okay?

  47. I think you gave me the nudge to start doing this a few months ago. I’m glad I did. I’ve even gone back to very popular old posts and re-done them – Pinterest is a HUGE source of {income} traffic now that without the credit, no one comes to your blog. Thus, you don’t get the traffic or the income from that traffic. I go on Pinterest to see what’s old of mine that’s being pinned and I click through to make sure it’s pinned right and then put my logo on it. It’s a pain in the neck, like you said, but worth it in the end!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

    • Yes. Thank you. It isn’t just about the revenue, but that is a big part of it. I just don’t like getting ripped off when I’m putting my stuff out there for free in the first place. But yes, since Pinterest, I’ve had SEVERAL posts go “viral” and my page views were 50k more this month than last month. That is a lot when you are getting paid per page view. I don’t blog for the money, but since I spend a good portion of my life focusing on my blog, it’s nice to get a little kick-back to help cover the expenses of running a blog (hosting fees, etc) and all the projects I do.

    • Oh, and honestly, why is Young House Love allowed to blog for profit and for their entire living, but I’m not allowed to make any money or I’m considered greedy for wanting to earn a few bucks? If I could grow my blog large enough to make a full-time income, I would do it in a heart-beat. I’m committed to this business 110%. There’s nothing wrong with making money blogging.

  48. Hey Allison~ Great post! Today when I was working on my pictures for my wild rice soup post and adding The Gunny Sack to each and every picture, I was wondering why others don’t do the same. I was thinking about how many of the bloggers I’ve come across don’t do that and wondering if I should be. Because even if I do label the pictures, someone can just Photoshop my label off. But I circled back around to the same same thing as usual, that yes it’s worth it and if someone wants to steal my pictures, they will have to take the extra step of removing my name and hopefully that will give them pause. I totally see the issues with Pinterest but at the same time I love all of the traffic I receive from there!

    • If someone wants your photo bad enough, they can photoshop anything. However, posting the image or watermark deters people from hassling with it. There’s really nothing you can do to protect yourself 100%, but if it slows down the thieves, it’s worth a try.

  49. WOW!!! That is one crazy story. When I first started blogging I had no idea about pictures and how you could use other peoples ideas on your blog. Your link is so helpful. I wish I had something like that to read when I was just starting out. I am still learning a lot, but giving credit where credit is due is so important. Thanks for the inside and as a photographer you always want to put your watermark on your things. Its another way of showing everyone those things belong to you.

  50. I just wanted to say thank you. I am a brand new blogger and this is some amazing advice. Guess what is now first on my to-do list?

  51. Thank you for the tips on watermarking your photos and when I first started pinterest I came across the cupcake cones after reading this post I went and checked to make sure it was yours or to correct the wrong. Luckily the one I found was yours and you are properly noted as the “owner”. Glad that you are getting the credit that is deserved.

  52. Such a bummer … I’m so sorry! Pinterest is one of the reasons I just started watermarking all my photos. I think I actually saw your comment on a pin and I realized what had happened to you. Thanks for sharing.

  53. great projects! i haven’t started watermarking photos on my blog, but might have to start!

  54. I think most of us with creative ideas have been ripped off. The one that makes me livid is bleach painted shirts. Never saw it anywhere on the internet (I’m not saying I’m the only person in the world who ever thought of it, but it wasn’t out there.) I started selling mine, but then craft bloggers started ripping it off (making shirts of far less quality – mine were like watercolor paintings) and my sales nosedived. I finally just blogged the process for everyone since I was never again going to sell anything online. But, no one has ever credited me or my blog. I’ve been so mad, but I finally got over it. People are going to rip you off if you put it out there. It sucks, but not all people are nice or ethical.

    I probably should watermark my pictures, but I don’t think I really have the time to do it. The only time anyone (that I know of) has stolen an image, it was my blog header with my blogs name. Why? I’m not even sure they were stealing it, but it’s not credited or linked. My bigger problem is the stealing of ideas and not giving credit and if they take their own photos, there is nothing you can do even if you know they got it from you. πŸ™

  55. There are many things that I see on Pinterest and want to repin to my boards, but the original person pinned it from Google images. So I try to find the original source or I just don’t pin it. I think the vast majority of Pinterest people just don’t understand how it works. They just see pretty photo and want it.

    The other thing that drives me nuts is when a blogger does a post and they are just showing photos they found on Pinterest. And then they don’t even bother to list the photo credits, they just say they found them on Pinterest. Really!!! That’s laziness on top of laziness.

  56. I FEEL YA!!!! Ever since Pinterest has taken over…whitch i love, i put my logo on everything now!! I see my photos all over Pinterest now without my logo and wish i would have done it months ago:(

  57. Thanks for the reminder to do this! I just started putting a watermark on my photos. Takes longer, but it will save me time in the future…just in case. Hope you have a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  58. I also started putting my name on absolutely every single photo I have on my blog because of plagiarizers. I usually run a picture check on my site monthly just to see who is using my photos and that’s how I discovered I was not getting credit for my work.

    You can contact Google and lodge a complaint against the website that is plagiarizing from you. If Google finds your complaint valid and the site does not remove all images and references then they are removed from Google’s search engines.

    It is not a small or trivial thing to be stolen from and the more people fight back now the less it will happen in the future.

  59. Oh my gosh! I have not been putting a watermark on ours thinking it was that huge of a deal but this totally scared me! I’m so sorry! If I ever see those images I will totally tell them who it’s from! Thank you so much for sharing!

  60. …This is SO sad πŸ™
    I will never understand why people do things like this!
    Plain wrong!

  61. Great post! 3Q!!!

  62. Hi there! It actually is a big deal. Allison owns the copyright to those images. If someone is using her photo and pretending it was their own image, that IS STEALING and considered copywriting infringement. Regardless of what the subject is about. (cupcakes or kids)

  63. Just read this post last night and saw your cupcakes this morning linking to ohcupcakes.net. It was a friend who pinned it so wrote in her comments that you are actually the source. The sad thing for something like that…is there are no instructions if they go to the website they pinned.

  64. That is so well said. My blog is just under a year old, and I have been putting the name of my blog on EVERY picture I put up on it. It is a habit you develop. I might get inspiration from others, or adapt recipes or tutorials to my own needs, but EVERY picture I put on my blog…and if it’s not, I always provide a link to the original source. With Pinterest, it is so easy to embed the picture, which typically already has the original source at the bottom of it. I didn’t know the soap pump is yours..I pinned that a long time ago. So, here is my question…how did you know that another blogger had stolen your pics and plagiarized your writing?

  65. That really bites, Allison! I see your projects a lot on Pinterest, but never noticed the source…I just recognize them as yours! πŸ™‚ How do you even know who’s ‘borrowing’ your content, anyway?

  66. good post! I have watermarked the finished pictures on on my blog – but from now on will be watermarking all of them – even the step by steps! sorry that happened to you! I can see how that would be VERY frustrating!

  67. My mom made me cupcakes like that when I was little, they’re so yummy. It’s really a bummer that credit wasn’t given where it was due. I try to be careful pinning things but sometimes it is hard to tell where it originated from.

  68. Thank you for posting this and taking the words right out of my mouth. I finally a while back started watermarking my photos. Thanks for putting all of our same feelings down with words. So sorry that happened to you…

  69. After having a frustrating experience with Pinterest, I wrote a post today addressing similar issues as you’ve addressed above. I got a comment saying that my post “sucked the fun right out of your blog.” Seriously? Encouraging people to give credit where credit is due is “sucking the fun” out of my blog? I can assure you that people who think that way have NEVER spent hours of their life to plan, purchase items for, create, photograph, edit pictures, and write a tutorial for one project. How is it that some people think that wanting credit for your HOURS of work is somehow evil and selfish? Unbelievable.

  70. I think watermarking or stamping you logo is great, but what if they can just crop your logo out? Is having it there (even though it can easily be cropped out) a big enough deterrent? I don’t really want to cover my whole photo with a watermark or a logo. Does anyone know how to solve this issue? My blog isn’t that big so I haven’t dealt with this issue, but I would like to prevent it in the future. πŸ™‚

  71. What an important post! I would be furious every single time I saw my work being passed off as someone elses. I get so frustrated when I am on Pinterest and the source is listed as “none”. It makes me so sad.

  72. I’m not trying to be bratty, but, at least with the cupcake cones, that’s not an original idea. My mom did the exact same thing for my 7th birthday party 22 years ago. I understand wanting credit for your pictures, but when you put information out there for public consumption you take the risk that someone is going to “copy” you. It seems silly to get all heated up over it.

  73. GREAT post!. I’ve been thinking about this lately actually. I’ve had a few people take pics of my site and use them. NOthing like what you’ve experienced where your idea was practically stolen, but it still bothers me a bit.
    New follower as well :). See you around my place sometime? xx

  74. Ok, this made me more than a bit I’ll-so sorry that this happened to you. Too crappy.

  75. Funnily enough, I got to this post in a round-about way from Pinterest. I’m not a craft blogger, but do blog a lot of photos. I never originally watermarked anything, because I thought “Oh who would want my silly ol’ photos?”

    Then Pinterest came along, and I happened to see one of my photos on there… it had been uploaded I suppose as it didn’t lead back to any source, and I realised that I probably should write *something* on my photos, even if I don’t think anyone would want to steal them. But maybe someone would be interested in whatever I’d photographed and want to see more, or talk to me about it.

    And seriously, not being able to get back to the source of a craft or recipe that I actually want to make drives me crazy. Great post!

  76. I’m the same way! I try to always check the sources before I pin, but when I use my iPhone app I don’t always do it! Tonight I realized that I had the HOH Soap Makeover Pinned and it wasn’t linked to HOH. I deleted that pin and repinned the one with the correct source!

  77. i have seen those images on pinterest! i feel bad for you and all your hard work not credited. i will be more mindful when i pin things or reblog something! good thinking with the watermark!

  78. I had your cupcake pic pinned on Pinterest and I just went back and corrected the link. I actually made them for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party this past July. I’m so sorry this happened to you! I’ve been putting a watermark on all my blog photos recently, and I’m so glad that I started now!

  79. Allison,

    Thanks for this post and the information you shared. Although I’m very careful that my original pins come from the source, I’m no doubt guilty about repinning images without making sure they lead back to their creator. I’ll be sure to be very careful about this in the future. Thanks for the heads up and for all the time and effort you put in this marvelous blog of yours.

  80. Sorry you are having to deal with this! I will be spending the majority of my weekend replacing my photos with new ones with a blog marker. I did mention your blog and this post on it as well so everyone can read the importance of it. Have a good weekend!


  81. I agree Allison! Obviously people are going to (and should!) make their own versions of your crafts/recipes/projects……but it can take SOO much time and effort to create the project, write up the tutorial, take good pictures, edit them, and post it……just because it looks simple does not mean that it is! And stealing is just wrong……if you’re inspired to recreate something on a blog, by all means DO — but give credit where it’s due!

    ~ Mara @ Super Savings

  82. This is exactly why I started watermarking over the summer. I was seeing tons of my old projects showing up on Pinterest with no mention of my blog. It stunk. Big time. So now I watermark. That doesn’t stop people from copying and paste an entire recipe from my blog and adding it into their Pin’s description…. πŸ™

  83. I’m so sorry this happened πŸ™ I have only been blogging for 3 months so I’m still trying to the learn the ropes. I do watertmark though. I will definetly check out the links above that you mentioned πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing….I saw a tweet from vspot about this post

  84. Hi Allison –

    So sorry to hear this has happened to you. It has been happening to me a lot lately where mostly Asian bloggers and most recently an Aussie have taken entire posts or publish my feed on their site and have made it their own. Other bloggers have written to tell me. It is so upsetting. I wish I had taken the time to watermark all of my photos from the very beginning. I have now learned you have to protect yourself.

    My best- Diane

  85. I generally agree with what you’re saying, but were you being intentionally ironic by using a photo of an uncredited “How I Met your Mother” quote? Thereby making money from an uncredited quote?

    • Ha! You are funny. Honestly, I had NO CLUE where the quote came from when I made the sign. It wasn’t until after I made it that readers clued me in on the TV show reference. I’ve never once seen that show. And I did give as much credit as I could in the post about the sign. I found it on pinterest, linked to the picture, and explained that I tried to track down the original source but I couldn’t figure out who painted the yellow sign. I then asked that if anyone knew who painted the sign to please let me know.

      But honestly, my post about stamping my photos has nothing to do with making money. I never even mentioned money in the post. The point of my post is that there are some projects that I made that don’t link back to me, and people don’t know that I made them. Funny thing is, the How I Met Your Mother quote is the perfect example of my point I’m trying to make. I WANT to know who painted the yellow version. I WISH they had stamped their image. But now I’m left not knowing and not sure how to find out.

      So anyway, no I wasn’t trying to be ironic. I put the wood fence sign as an example at the top of the post solely b/c it was the most recent post I had done, and I really like the art. I didn’t put an ounce more thought into it than that. I’m generally not “deep” enough to be ironic. I’m more of a “blonde moment” type person.

      Good question though! Thanks for giving me something to think about. πŸ™‚

  86. I immediately deleted my non-credited soap bottle picture and pinned the one from your website directly. I was pretty ignorant when first learning about pinterest, but I’m starting to learn I should really look for the direct source of a project or picture before pinning it. :]

  87. Mousie Mouse says:

    I just wanted to say that I am one of the guilty people who have pinned the photo of your soap bottle without knowing where it originated from. I have created a new pin that now links it to it’s rightful home.

    Many apologies!


  88. This bugs me so much. I actually lost a couple of my favorite bloggers a couple years back because they got so fed up with content theft and decided it was better to just not share any of it at all. Actually, someone I’d been following for only a few months just did the same thing a couple weeks ago. I completely 100% understand why they’d make that choice, but it doesn’t disappoint me any less, that’s for sure. I’m thankful you didn’t let this knock you down and out and are passing it onto others to beware. <3

  89. I’m so sorry that happened to you. That’s YOUR work, and it’s so easy for people on the internet to just swipe it. Bleh.

    The one thing that has really bugged me about Pinterest is that it is SO easy for people to pin images to links that aren’t the actual home of that particular image. I try to make sure that everything I pin is linked directly back to the source of the image, but sometimes it’s virtually impossible to do so…

  90. While I am in complete agreement on watermarking photos, there is another issue with giving credit that seems to go unnoticed as well. That is crediting quotes. Typography art is hot hot hot right now but rarely if ever do I see a quote, song lyrics, or book excerpt painted on a sign and hanging on someone’s wall where they actually note the author. This bothers me as much as the photo problem which is rampant on the internet these days. We should all be willing to give credit where credit is due otherwise it looks like we are taking the credit. Anything we use that was originated by another person should not be passed off as our own or “anonymous.” Thanks for the post! It is an important and very relevant issue to make people aware of.

  91. Who the heck cares about taking your pictures you think you are really that popular, well your not!

  92. Even if I never make those Cupcake Cones or Soap Pump items- I pinned them and credited it back to your blog! I know we’re not *supposed* to crave the credit for something we’ve done but I know that *sting* you mentioned and hope I can at least pay it forward to you in some small way!

  93. I am new to pinterest, don’t blog, not very crafty. I love looking at what creative people do. What you’ve posted here is very important. For someone like me (a lookie loo) unsigned/ undocumented work is quite unfinished. When I go to a museum, (which i love to do), the person who did the work is just as interesting as the work itself. What is a Monet without Monet?
    If it means something to you put your stamp on it. Sorry you got burned this way.

  94. Reading more comments today and wonder if some of you might be getting too worked up especially regarding Pinterest. I’m confused about the issue. I pin photos of gorgeous quilts or lovely art work. Most have a reference to original site. I have pinned one or two tutorials that as far as I can tell go to the original blogger. A lot of my pins are from blogging site Tumbler(?). Are those the offenders? I think its too bad that some of your readers are offended about being pinned. For most of us, a repin is no more then clipping a picture from a magazine. Is that a problem?
    Your original blog post was important but some of your offended commentors are offending me. I”m getting ready to abandon pinterest over this. I’ve read copyright guidelines and the issue is still not clear to me. One would think pinterest was good for bloggers and etsy sellers etc… And the word boards…where is the fair use? Believe it or not i have better things to worry about. I would be interested in further credible information not the rantings of crafters who think the did invent the wheel.

    • {I am not mad or upset at all in this reply, so if I come off that way, it’s only because I’m passionate. I don’t want you to think I’m upset or anything.)

      Deb, don’t abandon pinterest! I LOVE pinterest!! My post was NEVER about pinterest. It was about blogs and websites that intentionally steal people’s original work. I created somewhat of a firestorm about pinterest and I hate that! I have no issue with pinterest. Pinterest is a great site, that I use daily and love. They are merely the middle-man and are getting attacked when the theives who stole my content should be the ones getting attacked. It isn’t pinterest’s fault that people are pinning pictures that were stolen from a blogger. People don’t know they were stolen. Pinterest doesn’t know they are stolen. The point of the post is pretty simple: some mean people steal other peoples content. Because of the (awesome) site pinterest, these stolen images are spreading very quickly around the world.

      Pinterest is the messenger. Don’t shoot the messenger!

      I get LOADS of traffic from pinterest. It’s the best thing that ever happened to my blog. I’m upset about the sites that stole my work. I was never upset with pinterest.

      The entire point of my post is that this kind of thing happens. Period. So just set up some precautions to protect yourself. That’s all. You can’t change thieves or pinterest. So instead change the way you blog. You can’t change the world, but you can change yourself to adapt to the world. My post was suppose to be motivational to encourage people to preemptively protect their online assets from potential theft. It was never a rant about pinterest and frankly I’m kinda bummed that so many people took my post as a platform to rant about pinterest. ‘Cause like I said, I LURVE pinterest. They rock my world.

  95. Hi! I just wanted to say I’m glad I saw this post and since I know I have this image pinned on Pinterest I edited it to point to your website. I definitely don’t do the background checks I should for pins, mostly I’m posting them for inspiration for myself and haven’t thought about the bigger implications. Thank you for putting this out there.

  96. Thanks for posting this. I know that when I first started using Pinterest I made the mistake of not linking back to the original source. It definitely wasn’t done maliciously, but I caught on real quick that it wasn’t the correct way to do it. I’m sure there are others out there that don’t realize that they should be linking back to the original source. This is a great post to let people know the correct way to do it πŸ™‚

  97. I just totally found one of your pictures on pinterest that had no link or reference of you at all. I want to tell them! That would drive me CRAZY too!

  98. Megan Sheakoski says:

    Don’t know if this makes it any better, but I pinned the cupcake tutorial from this post and I get lots of repins! Maybe it will overtake the other one!

  99. Alison,
    Thanks so much for the advice about adding a watermark to pictures. I have a small blog I’ve been updating for a little over a year and never really thought about anyone stealing pictures from little old me, but once I did a google search by picture I found one post in particular reported on a bunch of blogs in eastern Europe. After translating them I was a little disappointed that there was no mention of my blog in their text. I did the only thing I could, leave a comment with the link back to my post. But now I add a watermark to all my pictures, and have added them to my more popular posts from the past. I haven’t finished every last picture, but I got started.

    Nikki @ the ambitious procrastinator

  100. On Tumblr one of my pages is about Blogs and 2 of the things I suggest to bloggers (respectfully) are: If you want people on Tumblr to stop posting your entire tutorials do not post your tutorials as a block of photos comprising one jpeg that they can download. Sure they can use picassa collage, but make it harder for them. Secondly, have a great β€œBeauty Shot” of your finished product with the name of the tutorial and then your website on the bottom – close enough to your creation that it cannot be cropped out. I have posted things where people have a photo of their, say olive oil, with the recipe next to it in a single photo. I’ll edit out the recipe so followers must go to the blog to see the recipe. Just my 2 cents.

  101. Wow. I was just referred to this post by Crafterminds on their Pinterest ettiquette post. I had no idea. I know for a fact that I have the cone cupcakes one on my boards now. I’m new to blogging (Just for fun) and I’m doing my best to save every reference so I can make sure that I give credit. I will go in and fix my pin so to refer back to your original image!

  102. Tiffany @ The Domestic Fox says:

    Wow…I missed this one the first time around, but I have always loved your soap tutorial. I pinned it on Pinterest tonight straight from your tutorial and have already had people pinning it.Maybe they will pin appropriately and we can get it back on track…every good pin helps.

    Love your blog Allison – keep up the good work!!

  103. Question for you – I read this a while back, and have been putting my blog name on my photos. I noticed that one or two of the photos that have been pinned from my blog have the blog name cut out of it now… What’s up with that? These were pinned originally from me or one of my friends. (Heck! I only have 10 followers!) Will Pinterest crop it out? Thanks for any help!

  104. Hi
    You are so right, I put a watermark on my photos on my blog as so many times they have been taken. I just upload them to Flickr & put a watermark on & then when I need to use them they are just there already done.
    I have had problems with people taking my product photos to sell the same products on Ebay on on websites & it makes me so angry! It was from people selling on Ebay using my photos that I started doing this!
    Pintrest is good but like you I get annoyed about the way it works as rarely photos are linked to the original source & if I like a photo I want to know where it came from as I would probably like their style, blog, shop etc!
    Thank you for posting this post so that other bloggers know to protect their photos.

  105. I saw the stolen pic on Pinterest and when I couldn’t find it again after logging in I went to Google and found this post. Thanks for letting us know where the great images ACTUALLY came from. I hope you don’t mind I pinned this post (which directs to your website) to one of my boards so I can remember your great idea πŸ™‚

  106. Thank you so much for the post! I actually saw the ‘pintegrity’ logo on pinterest, and was curious and followed it here. There have been so many times where I saw a picture of something cool and that looked delicious, tried to follow the link to the blog to see more about it or get the recipe, and instead end up on someone’s tumblr. BOO!

    I plan to go back through all of my pins (I have 4300+, with 162 different boards!) and delete anything that doesn’t link to the correct blog or website.

    Also, thank you so much for the advice on watermarks! I am just starting down the blogging road, and have a number of tutorials and things I would like to work on. Good to know that if I want to be credited, I should create a watermark or logo for all of my pictures.

    Thank you so much for this post, it has been incredibly insightful.

  107. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this most informative post. I found you through Googling as I have been having enormous problems with people “lifting” my images from my blog & pinning them on Pinterest. I’m currently watermarking…at least my name will go with it when it flies away! Loved the cup of water analogy – geesh, you ain’t kiddin’!!!

    Thanks again, it was great and very helpful.

  108. Hi, I’m sorry to hear your story, i’ts very unfair and wrong of someone to take credit for your work. I’m new to this whole blogging world, so I appreciate your advice on putting logos on photos and how to Pin properly, duly noted. Thank you for this post and and all the advice. Re that bad blogger, I’m a big believer in ‘what comes around, goes around’! Hope your projects and blogging go more smoothly from now on!


  109. Karen Schouest says:

    And, sadly, the theft lives on. I remembered this post when I came across this Pinterest pic just now: http://pinterest.com/pin/150941024980991449/

  110. Sorry I’m commenting a bit late, but I’ve only been on pinterest since February. Something that I discovered today was that one of the sites that compile the tutorial picture into a big picture cropped out the person’s website. I was looking for the original post on the spoon turn into retro almost pineapple looking lamp and did the reverse google image search, then found that there was a website. Unfortunately, that website was for a photographer, so though I know now who took the picture, don’t know who made the lamp. So the lesson learned was, don’t put the website right on the bottom, put it somewhere where people will need to work to take it out.

  111. I remembered these cupcakes and checked my pin. It was from ohcupcakes.net. I have deleted that post and re-posted from your website. Thanks for letting me know!! CH

  112. Just wanted to say thank you for writing this post. It was exactly what I was looking for. Am new to blogging and have been seeing everyone at Linky Parties posting photos with their logos and after giving it some thought I realized why. I am so sorry this happened to you! And I have pinned the soap dispenser myself! That is the double edged sword of Pinterest. People share ideas and get inspiration and people like me who are marginal crafters can learn from leaders like you but then it is so easy to pass off things as your own that are not. I have built my whole blog about doing things from Pinterest but the original pinner is featured prominantly as a photo and a link not just a casual mention. This was a huge help.

  113. Exactly how much time did it take u to post β€œWhy I plaster my logo on every photo.

    ”? It seems to have quite a bit of decent details.
    Thanks a lot ,Mohammed

  114. Sharon Costello says:

    Thanks a lot for this blog. I actually have a quick question… do you know of any way or application to add a logo to something on an iPhone?? i.e. take a photo from phone, add logo and post directly to Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

  115. Ah, the Internet. Always a good reminder that anything you post, pin, tag, etc. in any location is vulnerable to being snagged and reposted in countless places πŸ™ What really always ticks me off is when I see something that originated on Etsy (which is a craft marketplace for all things handmade) and people Pin pictures of it as “cool craft to make!” and they have a photo of someone else’s work. No, that’s not a tutorial. You’re posting pics of someone’s original finished project that they make a living selling, and presenting it as a “how-to”. Not okay! Sometimes I hate the Internet. For this reason, I never ever post pictures of my tattoos, because why would I want a million people being able to see it and copy it on themselves, you know?

  116. LaVonne Hallberg says:

    I had posted pictures of my mother’s quilts, and was finding them without any mention of where they had been posted or who’s they were. I decided to watermark them, and then went to each site I found them, and asked to have credit given. Not all have done it, but most have either given credit or removed them. We learn our lessons the hard way.

  117. I am frustrated for you!! That cupcake thing especially!! What an awesome creative idea YOU came up with πŸ™

  118. Good article! We will bbe lunking to this particularly great content on our site.
    Keep up thhe good writing.

  119. Hello. My first time reading your blog. I was browsing about using (or not) logos in my photos. I must say I’m not a big fan of logos because I think images don’t look so clean. But, still, I’ve been using them in all of my banners. I have one blog at apeteces-me.com and I understand perfectly what happened to you. People are using my texts all the time. They don’t give credit. Some act as if they were the authors. Yes, it happens all the time. I’m a book writer and also a graphic designer/illustrator. So, at least, because I can’t avoid the copy paste of my text, I use always my logos. Even so, people steal banners and… cut off my logo. Now, I’m starting out another project (pinkdialogues.com) and I will draw a lot of stuff. I’m still not a fan of logos. Really. But maybe I’m considering using it on this project too β€” also because of brand recognition. When your things are shared, even on Pinterest, the logo is a way to get people to know where it came from and that your blog exists.

    Good luck with the stealers. And keep going.


  1. […] today I read a post on one of the blogs I follow about how some of her photos and tutorials have been claimed by other bloggers and about how once […]

  2. […] learn more about the picture/idea; c) it makes it a lot easier for people to… borrow ideas. Β This isn’t just about Pinterest – Allison reports that she had issues before, but Pinterest […]

  3. […] issues lately.  Just yesterday, Allison at House of Hepworths shared her own frustration with other people getting credit for her creations.  Let me tell you, when you’re a blogger, and you’ve spent hours creating a project, […]

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