Shutter Shock

…and the number one reason why you should pay for stock photography: So you can get rid of that pesky watermark. Here’s a screenshot of a flash ad I spotted on allrecipes.com for the magic diet pill vendor curbyourcravings.com.

If you look really closely, you’ll see something other than a Hoodia patch plastered over this tummy:

Yep, it’s a watermark. And now that I know which stock phography site they stole the image from, it’s not hard to find the source image.

While Shutterstock operates on a membership fee rather than a pay-per-image model like iStockphoto, their prices are far from expensive when you compare them to traditional stock photography. I guess the moral to this story is pay for your stock images. Getting rid of the watermark isn’t the REAL number one reason to paying for good photos, but it will certainly keep you from looking like a cheapskate. If you don’t do enough design work to justify $199/mo for a membership to Shutterstock, then go to iStockphoto. If you can’t afford to pay $1/photo, check out stock.xchng, but don’t steal images.

11 Comments

  1. Oh, boy… nicely spotted, Jason!

  2. Aw, that’s awful. The original photo is nice, tho 🙂

  3. Ha!
    Busted!
    What Jerks, we photographers work hard on our images. We are excited to see out work being used, but when its STOLEN we get quite upset!
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Wow, Good catch!! That was a major player too. Expected from some others but not a major website. I am a photographer and web designer, so I appreciate people like you looking out for us.

  5. Pinched pic sort of suggests the product is like most hoodia ones out there ie. contains no hoodia at all.
    btw. it’s an endangered plant so don’t buy it. It’s illegal to import into Australia as it’s protected.

  6. Why are you stealing shutterstock photos?
    It has been noted and reported

  7. I guess people do prefer to steal then to pay that dollar.
    But that’s ok …

    But when there’s a company envolved, that’s not ok at all … as a company they’ve got money (if they don’t, what the hell are they doing online ?), they can afford that god damn dollar (or at least to erase the watermark).

    This is an example of stupidity. Stealing but not covering up anything.

  8. Dude, that is sooooo wrong. Super cool that u caught it though. Has anyone blown the whistle yet? Cuz if not, I’m gonna. There are too many artists out there bustin’ there butts (me) to have some cheapskate just steal somethin’ and not be held accountable for it. BTW I just ordered your and Corrie’s book from sitepoint. Can’t wait to get into them.

  9. I’ve worked in Flash a little bit now. Do you think, and I know this is outside the box, perhaps the stolen version was for a design comp, and the purchased, although it was purchased, was not updated in the Flash. The only reason I ask, is we have caught that in our production as well. And although they should have caught it, banner ad designers are, from what I understand, not concerned entirely on quality control. But please continue throwing your stones and heating your tar. To quote Monte Python, “Burn em’ anyway!”.

  10. @Try to Think: I don’t think so, and here’s why. If the deveoplers of the ad had paid for a subscription to ShutterStock, they’d have a virtually unlimited number of downloads and there’d be no reason to use the watermarked version for the comp. That would be more possible in my mind if it were an iStock watermark where you pay by the image.

  11. I don’t use ShutterStock, but sounds feasible. If they do not offer single images, then there would be absolutely no reason to place a low res “ripped” version. Unless:

    1) They didn’t subscribe until approval (but I wouldn’t subscribe for one image – I wouldn’t even comp it up)

    2) An intern didn’t realize you had to log in to receive the image (or whoever, department error)

    The argument I make is this. It’s not hard to clean the water mark off of an image. You wouldn’t even notice it was low res for web production. And It takes very little time. If the company did rip the image off on purpose, they should be punished. Not for stealing an image, but for being that lazy.

Leave a Comment

Latest Tweet
  • @mariafrey Same here. It’s funny because we started an physical calendar w/ the kids this morning and I didn’t think about it until noon. :)
Somewhat Recent
The Whole Nine Yards