The Lost Month

Looking this morning at my blog for the first time in six weeks, I realize that while I have been busy teaching others about the importance of online marketing, sadly I've neglected my own brand in the process. This is something I plan on rectifying in the coming weeks. 

If you're interested in what I have been up to lately, here is a quick rundown of the last few weeks. 

In January, myself and two other professionals. Justin Kerr of Justin Kerr Design and Alicia Piazza of Custom Marketing Solutions got together to put together The Marketing Essentials Webinar.

Interested in watching the webinar? Sign up to watch a replay  here .

Interested in watching the webinar? Sign up to watch a replay here.

The webinar dealt with the importance of Branding, Social Media, Websites and Imagery when it comes to online marketing.

Coming out of the webinar, we realized that we had so much more information to share beyond what we were able to cover in a one hour webinar. We had so much fun putting the webinar together that we decided to start the process of putting together The Marketing Essentials Podcast. 

The month of February has seen me busy with the details of helping to bring the podcast to fruition. 

If you are interested in learning more on how to increase your online marketing, feel free to reach out to me. I'd be glad to grab a coffee and discuss the possibilities with you. Contact me at for more info.


Considering taking a photo from Google Images to promote your business? DON'T!
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Here's the scenario. You are looking for ways to enhance your website or facebook page. You think, " I need some great images to capture my viewer's attention. I'll do a Google Image Search. Surely, I can find some great, free images there!" In a word DON'T!

While the ability to find great images through Google is tempting, there are a few things you may want to think about prior to doing this. 

The images you find in your Google Image search may seem like they are free because they are on Google for all the world to see, most of the time this is not true. You may think that because the photo is not watermarked, it's free for the taking. Again, also not true. 

The best thing you can do when it comes to images taken from Google or any other search engine for that matter is to assume that they are copyrighted and protected by law. This means that if you use them without permission, you can face legal repercussions. 

You may say, "Sure, this may be true, but with all the images out there, how in the world would a photographer ever know if I used their photo?"  My answer to that is simple. If the photographer is a small town photographer, the probability is small that you'll be found out. But, this is the equivalent of playing Russian Roulette. You may not get caught this time, but next time may be the time you are found out. 

Let's say you go on using photos for a few years and have taken maybe 100 photos off of the internet without permission. Let's also say on photo 101, you get caught. The possibility of being found out about the previous 100 photos are now much greater. This would mean the possibility of many, many legal battles. Not something a small to medium business could weather very well. 


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So... when should you be concerned about copyright infringement on your website or social media channels?

Many people wrongly assume if they do certain things when grabbing a photo that is not theirs, this will protect them from legal liability. Here are a few misconceptions that will not protect you. (As I am not a lawyer, please realize this may not be an all encompassing list)

I altered the original photo in photoshop.

Technically it's mine now because I added my artistic vision to it. (If the original photographer can prove that their photo was the starting point of the photo, you can be liable)

I linked the photo back to the original source.

While this seems like a good idea, you have no idea if the original poster had permission to use it. Even if they did, that permission doesn't transfer to you.

I only use the images on Social Media.

People think that because it is used on social media, it's use is fine. The original photographer may not want their photo connected with you. Copyright protection is still in force.

Placing a disclaimer on your site that all rights belong to the original creator. 

Again, just because you do this, it doesn't protect you from legal action. The image is not for your use without permission. 

Once I received a take down notice, I took the image down.

Taking an image down after the fact does not necessarily absolve you of legal responsibility.


Great... I've been grabbing images off of the internet for a while now. What do I do?

First, I would suggest that you go to your website and your social media channels and go through all your photos and remove any that you have used in this manner. 

Second, here are a few ways to replace the images with legal ones. 

Take your own.

This is probably the easiest short term fix. You probably have a ton of images on your phone, use these to your advantage. (The only caveat is that if you are taking photos of people in a non-public setting, you will most likely need a model release.)

Hire a Professional Photographer. 

While this may cost a little more, the advantage is that you'll get professional quality images. This will ensure you will have images unique to your business. that will also fit in with your branding and advertising standards.

Use Creative Commons Licensed Images

Creative Commons Licensed Images are in the public domain, and can be used without requesting permission, even for commercial use. Basically, the original artist has given permission to anyone who would like to use it ahead of time. 


In the end, the thing to remember is this: The image that seems to be free right now, may cost you a lot of money in the future! 

If you'd like to set up a free consultation to discuss having professional photography done for your business, please feel free to contact me here.

Family Portrait Club

2017-18 Family Portrait Club

Are you looking to get a jump start on your family photos for next year? We are currently booking for Fall 2018 Family Portrait Sessions. Lock in next years photos as this years price. If you book with us by November 30, 2017 you can save even more as well as spread your session out over 10 easy payments.

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  • Up to 1 1/2 hrs. of coverage.
  • 10-20 Professionally edited photos
  • Custom Online Gallery
  • $50 Print Gallery Credit
  • Save $50 if booked by 11/30/17


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  • 1/2 hr. Session
  • Choice of 5 High-Res Digitals*
  • Custom Online Gallery
  • $25 Print Gallery Credit
  • Save $25 if booked by 11/30/17


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  • 20 minute Session
  • Choose 3 High-Res Digitals*
  • Save $9 if booked by 11/30/17



*Additional High-Res images can be purchased at a fee of $25 per image

** Groups larger than 5 people will incur a charge of $15 per person over the initial 5.

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