The other day I came across one of my Peeps pictures on another blog. They had credited me and linked back to me, which was nice, but what was really flattering was that they were using the image as part of their own creative post. It was a strange feeling of success: I had created an image that other people wanted on their site. It was a little mind-blowing.
It also made me realize that if the blogger wasn't ethical, they could have very easily claimed the picture as their own. I don't have any copyright tags on my images, not that those can't be removed with most paint programs. I have never aggressively defended my work before so I am not sure why I now feel this urge to at least put a stamp on my pictures.
Maybe it's because when it comes to my writing, I have confidence in the uniqueness of my voice. Any time my writing group would have an anonymous submission contest, people had no trouble identifying my story out of the group. Not all of my stories are terribly original but I like to think the way I tell a story is all my own.
When it comes to pictures, I'm still trying to find my voice. Right now my images feel more like echoes of my own desires. I like boobs, therefore I take pictures of boobs. I like someone else's concept, therefore I try my hand at recreating it with my own preferences. Theoretically that should mean my pictures are uniquely my own but right now they feel like something I have reacted to rather than created. At this point the only thing that feels uniquely mine about my pictures is the mistakes I make with lighting.
So if/when I make a little copyright stamp for my images, what should I use? Shon Richards? Erotiterrorist? Some funky symbol?