How do you keep people from stealing your Before & After pictures?

Home Stager with Perfectly Polished Home

Come on people?!?! Where's the pride of ownership with pictures? I have seen a HUGE amount of stagers using the same photos as the ones found on the stagedhome's website. Give me a break! Your website is to promote yourself not Barb Schwarz or some other training company, right? The B & A pictures should be a reflection of work that YOU actually performed, not examples of what staging is.

Obviously so many people are not afraid to use others photos, so I want to protect mine from being used in the same manner. When I do the work, I don't want some other wannabe stager to get credit for it!

Do you watermark them? I like the idea, but if you put it in an area that isn't crucial, people will just crop it out. I hate to put it right across the middle of the photo, like this, too:



Any solutions? What has worked for you? Maybe my web designer will have an idea next week when we talk...


Comments (12)

Michael Fontana
Round Rock Home Stager Austin Home Staging - Round Rock, TX
@ The Stage Coach

hi, Jessica:
Funny thing: there was a Stager in Austin who left to pursue other things, and is now a producer for one of the HGTV 'Staging' shows - I forget which. She did awesome work - mostly modern. Real slick furniture, lots of deep colors. And her website still has the A.S.P. photos.

My solution is pretty easy, and I have received mixed reviews.  Mostly, Stagers think it's annoying (maybe, jealous? :P), and owners think its 'cute'.  But, I brand all of my Staged photos (I don't like calling them Afters).  I do not worry so much about the Befores.

Here's an example from a home I DeStaged today:

I find some way, some where a place to put the Staged Brand.  Does it take away from the picture?  Maybe.  But the point of doing it is to leave my mark... Granted, it could be easily edited. At least, I could, and I am no Photoshop Wizard.  Sounds like a lot of work to me personally.

Have you researched copyrighting digital images?  At least then, if some one is using your Staged Photos, you have recourse.  It's not as difficult as you might think - I did the research a couple of years ago.  Lots of articles to be found on Google.

Good Luck!
The Stage Coach Home Stager Austin Home Staging Round Rock Home Stager

Sep 04, 2008 09:38 AM
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Jessica ~ I think your mark is fine, as in your picture.  It really doesn't take away from the photo, it's subtle, but there.   There's another group for you to join called True Portfolio - all the members state that all the pictures on their site are their own, and Julianna, who started the group, had a logo you could put on your website stating that your pictures are your own.

Sep 04, 2008 12:12 PM
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Branding your photos is a great idea.  I would place it higher on the green so it can be read.


Sep 04, 2008 12:53 PM
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Watermarking or branding is a great idea. I agree with Virgina, move your name up some so it can be seen better.

Sep 05, 2008 01:04 AM
Kathi Presutti
RE:STYLE LLC - Brighton, MI
Re:Style, LLC

Okay, I know I'm pretty much a Pollyanna, but I have never felt the need to do this with my photos. Am I just too trusting? Thanks for the info!

Sep 05, 2008 09:14 AM
Kym Hough
www.Staged-to-Sell - Danville, CA
Staged to Sell East Bay - Danville, CA

Love your night stands. Are those yours and if so where did you get them? Kym

Sep 05, 2008 09:35 AM
Jessica Cox
Perfectly Polished Home - Dallas, TX
Dallas Home Staging

Michael - hey we're neighbors :) and your company name is cute. After I have a logo created, I might try something like that. I'll have to check it out. It does seem like removing your graphic is more work than most stagers would want to deal with!

Kathy - I'll have to check that out, thanks!

Virginia - Yes, I agree with you - if I am going to do it like the photo pictured about it should be in a place where the whole thing can be read.

Tanya - Glad to hear your thoughts. It would be ideal if I could use a branding in the exact same place on every photo, but that may be asking for too much :)

Kathi - Yes! You are too trusting :) My husband is just like you - that's funny. Think about it - someone decides they want to be a stager, looks at some other stager's websites to get ideas, and then decides it would be smart to put some photos of staged rooms up to help them get business. Just one little problem - they don't have any photos yet! It is so simple for them to right click and save the image right from your website, upload it to their site and voila! instant portfolio. Just think, what if this new stager is not really capable of producing the type of work shown in their photos...once a realtor and/or client gets burned like that, it will make it so much harder for them to trust another stager. You think?

Kym - Thanks! The nightstands are mine. I found them at Hobby Lobby (?) The picture is of my bedroom, not a staged room. I'm not finished with it yet though. I am super slow at designing my own home. We moved in exactly a year ago, and not one room is finished!!!


Sep 05, 2008 10:03 AM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Jessica: I watermark all my photos. I had several hijacked before I started watermarking them. I don't like having to do it, but I dislike having my work used to promote someone else's business (someone who is too lazy or incapable of doing the work themselves) even more. Encino home staging company







There is a way to digitally watermark your photos but it is expensive and you still have to police offenders yourself. You are notified anytime any one of your photos that has been digitally watermarked is used anywhere on the Internet. You pay to watermark them, and you pay a monthly monitoring fee. I hope it doesn't come to that...

Sep 05, 2008 12:56 PM
Kristie Feener
Elements Home Decorating & Staging Ltd. - Calgary, AB

Hey Jessica,

This is something I really need to start doing!! By the way I love that room!! Great job!!

Sep 06, 2008 05:35 AM
Gail Alexander
Setting the Stage, LLC - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Stager



It is sad to see what's happening in our world.  To think that others would steal our photos is hard to believe but it happens all the time.  I have even had stagers who have assisted me (and I have paid) if they could use my photos!  Love your is sooooooooooo calming.

And Michael, ASP's continue to use the photos from SHC all the time and "claim" them as their own!

Sep 06, 2008 06:07 AM
The Somers Team
The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Delivering Real Estate Happiness

Jessica - It must be frustrating when others steal photos.  When that happens, I would call them on it.  Hopefully it does not happen too often.  I do know that a lot of content from bloggers has been copied and pasted as well.  Many times those people get caught doing that.  I think it all comes down to karma in terms of what comes around, goes around.  Those people doing bad karma will have negative energy around them and will suffer for it at some point.  ~ Chris

Apr 28, 2009 12:23 AM
Jessica Cox
Perfectly Polished Home - Dallas, TX
Dallas Home Staging

MICHELLE~ Wow, that seems like such a pain and expense we shouldn't have to be taxed with! I like your watermark. Some are very distracting from the photo, but your is very subtle. Nice!

KRISTIE~ You do great work. I hope you will start watermarking your photos so that you are the only one to get credit for the fantastic staging!

GAIL~ I'm so with you! Don't even get me started on the whole SHC photo issue - it just irks me!

SOMERS~ Yes, I'm sure Karma will help balance it all out. Good point.


May 06, 2009 03:57 AM