How do I protect my images?

Updated: Apr 08, 2014 06:32AM PDT

This page is for Legacy SmugMug.  Click here for help on New SmugMug.

Some photographers are concerned about copyright infringement and unauthorized printing. Here are some options to help:

Turning off printing

digital prints

When you look at the gallery settings, the printable option determines whether or not a buy photo link appears on each gallery page.

Blocking access to your originals (and some display sizes)

A good print requires high resolution, and you can choose not to display your high resolution original images and SmugMug's largest display sizes. When your admirers order prints through SmugMug, the high-resolution original is still sent to the printer.

blocking large image viewing

In your gallery settings?, you can choose the largest size you'd like available. Basic and Power users can choose to display images only as big as SmugMug's XLarge size. Portfolio and Business subscribers can choose to display images only as big as SmugMug's medium size. Want to display your photos big and beautiful but still keep them secure? Block originals, and use a watermark.

As a logged-in account owner, or assistant, you'll always be able to save your original, high-resolution images to your computer. Click the Visitor View button on your homepage to see what your visitors will see.



Pros (Portfolio and Business subscribers) can place a custom watermark on the display copies of any image that's larger than 800 pixels on one side.

Watermarks will not appear on prints ordered through SmugMug.

You must block access to your originals (see above) to make watermarking effective, because originals are not watermarked.

Right-click protection

Power, Portfolio and Business subscribers can choose to foil right-clicking on their photos on a gallery-by-gallery basis. Simply find the protected option in your gallery settings?.

It still allows the user to right-click, save as... (after they see a copyright notice dialog) but the image that gets saved is blank.


FYI: SmugMug's right-click protection does not protect an image in non-gallery places such as forums, blogs or Share emails. To keep your images out of forums and blogs, block external links (see below).

FYI: Right-click protection is a deterrent for image theft but it should not be considered fool-proof. To truly protect your images, lock galleries with a password or apply a watermark and disable your originals.

Blocking easy sharing

share photo buttonBy default, a Share button appears in each gallery unless you suppress it in your gallery settings?. That button does make it easy to copy the URL to photos so some people feel more secure by leaving it off.

Blocking external links

Don't want someone embedding your photo in a forum post? You can block that in your gallery settings?, but note that many a person has forgotten they've done so and wondered why their own photos don't appear in the forum posts they create.

Blocking Pinterest

Power, Portfolio and Business users can block visitors from pinning your photos on Pinterest by adding this to your advanced customizations head tag  box.  

<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />

When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message:

"This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!"
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