Sunday, May 11, 2008

Photographs and The Internet and Your Opinion Needed

Hungry Girl has done it again. Nothing any restaurant could serve for Mother’s Day brunch can compete with Choco Monkey Oatmeal (click and scroll). I once told my kids that since adopting my new way of eating back in 2005, I no longer “celebrate” with food, but I take it back. I’m celebrating motherhood with a big bowl of chocolate oatmeal right now as I type. It’s fabulous (both mothering AND the oatmeal).

As some of you have noticed, I changed my blog photo. I also used a new one in the comparison shot on my web journal Lynn’s Journey. My friend Pam is a photographer (and she’s on WW and nearing goal – Go Pam!!) and I asked her to take my official “after” photos. I should have done this sooner, but I had no idea a year ago that I’d get so many requests from the media and health professionals for before and after photos of little old Lynn in Podunkville. Besides, I hate being photographed and so I dragged my feet. Now that I’m launching a weight maintenance blog site with my website partner, Dr. Barbara Berkeley (I’ll be making that announcement here very soon), I knew I had to stop procrastinating and just do it. So last Wednesday, Pam came over with her two little boys and her camera and she shot me in three outfits.

It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid. If you have your picture taken quickly, it doesn’t hurt. The photo session only took 30 minutes, and because they were digital, I could see the results right away. Not bad, I thought. High praise from a woman who’s spent much of her life hiding behind the camera or poised behind people or objects when the camera is pointed in her direction. Now I have photos that don’t include my couch in the background or me with other people. I wish I had them a few weeks ago when First for Women contacted me asking for after photos. I’m pretty sure they’ll use one of me in California on vacation. I’m such a newb!

I need your opinion. I got an email on Saturday from a lady in New Zealand who told me she read my story in a New Zealand health magazine called Dash. I had no idea. I emailed the editors and asked if they’d send me a copy of the magazine. If they respond, I’ll ask them how they found my story and if they got permission from that source. However, if something’s online, is it automatically public domain?

Last night, a few Weight Watchers board members emailed me to say my torso was being used on an ad on Facebook for some weight-loss “miracle tea”. The company used a photo of me from my website wearing a brown shirt and leggings. They cropped off my head and boots and show only my middle with the caption “Get Rid of Belly Fat” or something like that. Can a company do that? Use my torso without my permission to sell a product I’d never use?

I’m afraid to find out where else I’m showing up these days. I won’t Google myself anymore because the last time I did, I read some really unkind things about me in some jerk’s blog shortly after the CNN piece came out. Maybe that’s not good policy, though. Maybe I should Google myself. You think?

Well, the Choco Monkey Oatmeal is gone, but it was a filling 3 WW Points and will keep me going on my bike ride and walk later this morning. Thanks for listening to me. I always appreciate your feedback. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who mother people and pets and gardens and most of all, yourself. Be good to yourself today.

6 comments:

Toni said...

Wow. I think that is very disconcerting. My hubby has asked that I not post pictures or real names on the internet, which I thought wasn't very fun. But apparently I am very naive about what happens to things once they are released into cyperspace.

Anonymous said...

NO, they can NOt do that. They can NOT use your name or image on a commercial publication or website without your explicit permission. May I suggest at least watermark your images so that they would not be able to use it easily.

Sheri said...

No one can use any part of our identity without permission. Did you hear about the man who was on Taster's Choice coffee packaging for so many years? He was told, and had never given permission so he sued the company and was awarded quite a some of money due to their using his image. I certainly wouldn't want to be seen in conjunction with a product I knew nothing about. Definitely check into all these concerns about your identity being used in any form. It's your reputation.

Rhonda said...

See, that is why I NEVER post my pictures anywhere. All people have to do is right click and save. Where your pic winds up from there is anyone's guess. I would probably get some legal advice and even when your blogging, have some way to mark your pictures as copyrighted. Then, if you find your picture being used by a company or in any way other than you intended, take action.

Toni said...

There is a BlogHer convention coming up, and I think they even have a lecture on this topic by someone who apparently had a problem with this. On her blogsite, she now has some type of "watermark" across all her pictures.

Roni said...

Google and tell those jerks to "eff" off! ;~P

Listen you own your words and your images. I'd track those guys down and tell them to remove it our else Roni will go kick there butts! ;~P Seriously, it's yours and they are infringing on your copyright.

I need an official after shoot! That sounds like fun!