I had another cookie post ready to go up tonight on the blogging schedule but something happened today that made me decide to write a different post instead. Something in the nature of a PSA (public service announcement) and something partly as a catharsis to get off my mind what was bothering me.
If you've been following my blog or have even skimmed a few posts, you know how much I like showing pics of what I've made, especially of something I think turned out well. I'm no professional photographer, as I'm sure anyone can tell, and I don't have fancy equipment. Every picture you see on my blog is taken with my cell phone and/or my pocket digital camera. Every picture on a recipe post is also something I've personally made or, in the rare instances where it isn't, I make it clear where it is from, similar to all the recipes I try from other blogs, baking books and everywhere else. If it's from another blog, I always link back to the recipe on the original blog in the post title as well as the blog itself, also in the post title, where I give credit to where I found the recipe.
Because that's what I do in the name of proper etiquette and simple courtesy, I assume that's what everyone else does. So I was taken aback when a reader commented on my post for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies that someone had the picture of my brownies on their Facebook page and, without any reference as to coming from my blog, it looked like it was theirs. I looked into it and sure enough, although it had been cropped closely to leave out the easily identifiable dessert plate I used, it was the exact same brownie picture from my blog and, without any photo credit, it looked like it was the business owner's picture. Bummer.
On a good day, it may not seem like a big deal and I can take most things in stride. My blog is public, I share recipes and pictures freely and I don't mind when other people make what I post; that's the point of my blog, right? But today wasn't a good day. I don't mind my recipes, posts or pictures being shared. I don't mind if someone uses the pictures I post anymore than I mind if they make the recipes I post. But if it's going to be used, especially in the capacity or implication that it's something they made, I expect some kind of acknowledgment of where they got it from and not an implication, unintentional or otherwise, that what's pictured is what they made when it isn't. Especially when it looks like a business selling the brownie. So I would assume they've made it themselves already and have something to take a picture of so using my picture should be unnecessary. Once I found out today, two weeks after the picture looks like it was posted, I did ask the business owner to give my blog the proper credit and even linked my blog post to their picture to prove it came from my blog. Fortunately, she did as I requested.
Still a bummer that it happened and that I had to ask for the proper credit in the first place but I thank the person who let me know what they saw. I never thought I had to ask this and I don't want to be one of those people who superimpose their name over every picture so I'll just simply say: you're free to use the recipes I post, you're free to use my pictures but if you're going to re-post the recipes and pictures and/or sell the baked goods using my pictures, I do ask that you give proper credit as to where you got them from. Thank you.