Written by 6:00 am Photo & Video Business Tips, Photography • One Comment

5 Resources to Help Protect Your Photography

In an ideal world you will not have to use some of these resources to protect yourself against image theft. However, the use of OPP (other people’s photography) is rampant – sometimes out of malice and sometimes because of a simple misunderstanding or lack of research. Here are 5 things to explore to help you protect your work in the first place and what to do if something unlawful happens to it.

Copyright Your Work

For $55 a batch (as of this writing, updated July 2014), you can have your photographs registered for copyright.


Just because it is on a screen doesn’t mean it’s not your property. Jim Goldstein, whose work is pictured here, is under “lock and chain” without being unavailable. He writes extensively about copyright.

Register Yourself as a Photographer

For free you can register yourself with PPA so that others can find you when they are interested in duplicating your work. If you are an ASMP member, you can also get into their Find a Photographer database. Additionally, register yourself with the Plus Registry, which is also a great resource for all things licensing related.


You don’t have to be a lawyer to know your rights.

Keep Your Rights Nearby

Know your rights as a photographer without having a lawyer on speed dial. A U.S. attorney has put together a handy printout to refer to if confronted for taking pictures (UK version here).


You’re going to be upset so just stay calm and go through the proper channels.

Prepare to Write a Nastigram

Sending a DMCA takedown notice is scary. DMCA Info makes it a little less daunting with plenty of info, including a notice template. Where applicable, you can also request items to be removed from Google products, including a subsection requesting the removal of items because of copyright violation. Further protect yourself with a free account on Lenstag, a gear registry that also offers free DMCA and Model Release documents as well as optional extension downloads that search for stolen gear and images online.


Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, do a little homework to protect yourself. You may need it later!

Educate Yourself

ASMP and PhotoShelter have joined forces to provide a free guide to copyright and protecting your work.

Share your own experiences and lessons learned in the comments below!

Last modified: July 7, 2021