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My Online Photography Workshop

This is how I learned to edit my photos

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Member since 11/2005

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omg, this sort of stuff is so scary, and quite frankly, something I'm reading more and more about. What a violation of trust, don't you think? Do you have any recourse? Obviously, it will be easy contacting this girl and requesting that she take Annie's pics done immediately. I've read some photographers/bloggers stories about discovering their photos overseas as advertisements for various products. Yuk, yuk, yuk. Big hugs to help you feel better!


makes me sick to my stomach, too. praying you can find a way to make this go away.


I'm so sorry that this has happened! I recently heard of this happening to someone else and although I can't find the thread right now, the upshot was that kids in some foreign county are stealing photos and setting up profiles on Orkut for fun! No harm intended. So this person who found herself in that predicament contacted the owner of the profile and told her it was stolen and within minutes it was all removed. You might try it! Take a deep breath. It will be OK.

Chasity Schaffer

Oh NO! I am not sure how I would handle this?! It makes me sick to my stomach and it's not even my daughter!

Donna Boucher

Dear Karen,
The stealing and posting of pictures is rampant on Orkut.
The worst thing about Orkut is that they are owned by the same people who run yahoo/google/flickr....
We have told and reported Orkut stealing over and over. Many many people have fled from Flickr because of this.
Yahoo/Google/Flickr will not do anything about it.
Most of us have pictures of our children set as Friends and Family.
But that doesn't do much.
I get emails daily from Orkut/Brazil girls wanting to befriend me so they can take pictures of Katie.

I just hope the pictures that are stolen are used for innocent purposes and not vile ones.

It's important to know what is out there. Then you can decide how to proceed.

(I've even had people open flickr accounts with my name and my daughter's name.)

I hate Orkut.


this is just downright creepy, I'm so sorry, please let us know what you're going to do


you're not naive or ill-informed or hyper-sensative - you're an VERY talented person with a very cute kid and you're a MOM. You're not the first photographer I've seen this happen to and you won't be the last. Every day I think about password protecting my personal blog just becasue of stuff like this. It's a tough call to make. Hugs. : (


Oooohhh...I'm so disturbed by this. I had seen it on Clickin' Moms but never looked into it.
Why do they do it? It's just so creepy.
I feel stalkerish when we talk about Annie pinching her neck. Or when I say "Karen says..."


It just makes me sick and angry that there are people who would do that!
Wish I had a solution for you.


I am not really sure if this matters at all - but I watermark my photos. Someone once told me that this discourages people from stealing them....maybe you should try that?

Mattie Ettenheim

oh god im SO SORRY.

Maybe start watermarking your photos?

Also, we could start a petition to get whomever that is kicked off the site and/or investigated. Im sure you would have enough supports... be sure to click on the report abuse button on their profile and report it!


oh, and I will try and find the link to the instructions, but there is some way to "lock" your photos so that when someone right clicks on them they cannot copy husband does that on our store website so no one can steal his product images.

Deb Zorn

This just stinks. You are so kind to share with us, I feel like I know you. Why would somebody do this? The person that stole your photos is pathetic.

Stacey B

Sorry Karen. It happens a lot...some for weird reasons some for yucky ones. Just bad all around. Hang in there.


Oh my gosh Karen. That is terrible. I have left and right clicks disabled on mine so that people can't right-click and save the images. You should check on that. I use a wordpress based template through ProPhoto blogs. Check it out, because that was one of the main reasons that I used them as a blog template....for image protection!! So sorry about that and I am sick to my stomach for you!!


Wow. I am sorry this is happening to you and to Annie. People are just strange. You are not over reacting and I hope you can get to the bottom of this.


just wanted to say i'm sorry...this sucks.

kelly s.

I'm sorry this has happened. Hope you can get it sorted out. Hugs!

Amie F

I am so sorry this happened to you! What a terrible thing for someone to do. It makes me angry that someone would do this!

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

I took my katies pics off of my blog for a similar reason. It is crazy and scary and hurtful. It completely stinks. Try contacting them and getting them to take it down - creepy nasty people!


That's terrible! I know some sites have it so you cannot "right click" an image. This would prevent people from copying the image directly. Best of luck resolving this.


that is terrible. have people no decency!


Oh no! How disturbing. I hate this....

Debbie D

That really stinks and I am sorry this has happened to you and Annie. I cant figure some people out at all. I wish I could do something more for you.


Wow...unbelievable that someone would do this (well, maybe not unbelievable...but still very, very sad & scary). You should definitely contact them and make sure they take it down!

Karen P.

This is SOOOOO WRONG!!! I'm sorry that this has happened to you and your family. I can't comprehend people even thinking of doing this and thinking it's okay!!!

Amy M.

oh, Karen! I am so, so sorry. You have every right in the world to feel the way you do. The moment I read your post I got a sick feeling to my stomach.... :(
thinking of you.


Karen, I'm so sorry this happened! You did nothing wrong.....don't let these people stifle your creativity! We've all got your back! :)


I feel sick too! That picture is from today!!! It's pretty sad existence when you have to steal an image to represent yourself. Can you put some kind of copy right thing so you can take action...or at least act like you would?


Oh wow! I'm really sorry! I'd be furious as well - for the same reason! Praying!

Nicole Ellison

i don't think you're overreacting! that is wrong! to think that someone would just use them without asking....because CLEARLY if they read your blog, they KNOW that this is YOUR daughter, not some model! sick! I'm so sorry! I would email them if it were me!


oh my goodness! that is awful and disgusting!

Nicole Ellison

another thought, have you contacted the social network itself? if it's anything like facebook, don't you have to agree that those are your pictures/images to use? I know that in the past, facebook made you click a box when uploading that the pictures were in fact "yours".

btw....Annie is just the cutest thing out there.....and I'm hoping that this person, whoever they are, thinks that too....and wants everyone to think that she's responsible for that cuteness! :)


ewewewwww. i'm sure this felt like a kick in the gut when you heard and saw this! i've never heard of that site-but why on earth would someone want to use a little girl's picture as a profile pic? strange...i'm with everyone else-contact the site (or have you tried to "friend" this person-then blast them?), disengage the right click thing and/or watermark. oooh gives me the willies!


If I were you and Annie was my daughter I would be sitting there thinking the same thing.

That is scary! Who and WHY would someone do something like that?

What are you going to do?


What you need have your web guru make it impossible to save a jpg from your website. You don't have to allow image for someone using Annie's image.....CREEPY!!!!!! My Mom would be on the phone to the family attorney...but, being Jewish..that's the way we roll.


This makes me livid for you...anyway you can contact the site monitors for this social networking site to have them take down the pictures of your beautiful Annie?


I have never commented before but I just wanted to say that I'm sorry this is happening to you. I've been reading your blog for months now and LOVE your stories about your kids, and especially Annie! I know this is the least of your worries, but I'll be so sad and annoyed at the weirdos in the world if I can't get my funny Annie stories every know and then!!


I don't get it, I don't understand why someone would steal someone else's pictures. I suck at taking pictures of my kids but I don't want pictures of your kids..LOL
I would be sick too!! I Hope you can get them removed.


This is scary on so many levels. I'm so sorry this happened to you and Annie. I ate that we as parents have to even gaurd our children against these creeps. Oh the evil that dwells on this earth! Yikes!


Wow - how incredibly disturbing. Hope it gets taken down soon. :(


That is really creepy. I'm sorry they stole and posted those images of your sweet girl. I would be angry and disgusted too!

Jen Spain

Yikes -- you are not over-reacting at all! Disabling right clicking will help somewhat, but there are still workarounds for that. Using a watermark would also help, and the harder people have to work to get the image the less likely they will be to do it. You could also try registering and copyrighting your photos -- a lot of extra steps, I know, but I've read comments from several pros who blog frequently and use a lot of images, and they say it is worth the extra step to have the law on your side. It is very scary though to think that someone has created a profile using photos of Annie -- I'm glad you did hit publish on this post to let other people know about what can happen!


That makes me sick to my stomach FOR YOU! I could understand (not that it's right) someone stealing one of your pictures here or there but to make a COLLAGE out of your daughter is CREEPY! I've seen on other blogs how you can't right click on their pictures--you should look into doing that on your blog. (I have no idea how it's done but I'm sure a google search would work).

Terry D

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this!! That's awful! I will never understand why people have to take stuff that isn't theirs and use it like it is!! I have heard of stuff happening like this before... it really is a shame! The internet is a great but sometimes scary place! Hope you get this taken care of soon!!


Omigosh - I'd feel so sucker punched. Sometimes I think I'd like to have a conversation with that sort of person, but then again, maybe not. Creeps me out.


I don't think you are over reacting at all! THe nerve of people...I just don't get it. I am sorry this has happened to you. Hugs to you.

Brandi S

It really sucks that people have to do stuff like this! Good things always seem to be ruined by idiots! I'm really sorry this has happened to you and your family.


I am so sorry that this happened. How unbelievably unnerving. I just don't understand people. I hope you can get this resolved in a way that makes you comfortable. It's been such a fun time watching Annie grow up through your photos. It sucks that it might end because of some freak.

Heather Topich

I hope you can get this resolved ASAP!

Andi M

I would be upset and angry if someone did the same thing to me. I'm glad that Josh contacted both the company and the user. Why would anyone use photos of someone else's child without their permission?


Karen do what ever you need to do to protect your kids!!! The rest of us legitimate fans will deal. I am sure there is a way you can serve your students and protect your kids, but they should always always come first in your life.

That being said thank you for sharing your life the way you do-you are an inspiration to many of us regular people out here in internetland.


It's not like you think. Karen, Take it from me, I've done that. They are only children and teenagers with no bad intentions. It seems hard to believe but they love our children, and they care to people in "Orkut" don't use their photos without our permission. Calm down, everything will be OK, BELIEVE me, I've been there, it's not the way we think. I know they are our children, but give them a chance.. talk to them. If you authorize them to use the photos of your daughter on Orkut, they will care, they are just CHILDREN, see for yourself.

Gena - MI

:( Very creepy indeed! Not just one picture but two AND that she also used the name Russell in her profile. Very purposeful, if you ask me! I will be praying for wisdom for you and Josh!


This is what scares the pants off me too! We have 4 girls and I share photos and stories about them daily and often wonder about things like this. Please keep updating with how this pans out and what 'solutions' you find, because I know I would like to know too :) I tried disabling the photos so they weren't clickable but found that didn't work. I am glad that someone contacted you with the information and that you have been able to do something about it.


Unforunately, that is the life public. It is disturbing, but you've got name recognition and cute kids BUT, you don't get to claim the title of "Leader of the Free World" so you can't give that "look" and have people cower in fear at even thinking of doing something like this. And still yet, there might be an Annie Beanie Baby floating around out there.

I love your blog for the true, real glimpse of life you give. Reality is that some folks cannot distinguish that your reality is YOUR reality not their's to usurp.

Hoping all works out well. Good that Josh was all about "let's fix this out". I know my hubby would flip on the "I told you so" if something like this happened to me. He thinks I share way too much on Facebook, my blog and in general. I'm naive I guess too in that I just don't understand why/how anyone would care to go to those lengths.


oh wow i am watching your lead on this one, it makes me sick to see Annie's little face used like that! I am thinking about water marking like Erin Cobb -big!!


Karen, e-mail not arrived? then check the scrapbook Josh

stephanie p

can't say i blame you for being pissed off. its definitely unbelievable and really sorta creepy that she made a whole collage with images of a child she doesn't even know. did it not occur to her that that is just weird? you should definitely not feel bad about how seeing this made you feel... i would be mad too if it were my child.

Nina Diane

OMGosh...I think that is creepy! I'm glad ya'll filed an abuse report. So sorry that happened to you and your family...


I am sorry you are going through this. I have gone through it numerous times. It totally ticks me off, then kinda creeps me out. I end up password protecting my blog for a little, and watermarking, etc and then realizing that there really isn't anything I can do. There is a way around everything!! Again, I am so sorry you are going through it. Let us know if you do find something better to do to protect your images!


Some people just make me SICK!!!! I am so sorry this happened to a mom I feel your pain right in the pit of my stomach. Do whatever you have to do to protect your children. All of your students love you, support you and will be very understanding in the decisions you make. Wish I was there to give you a big hug!!


The fake-child blog phenomenon out of Brazil has baffled me for years. It’s bizarre, but at the end of the day it’s just teenage girls playing dolls with digital images that happen to be of actual human beings. The line is clear to us as mothers. But if you’ve ever used an unauthorized jpeg of a TV character as a chat icon, then you might gain some insight.

I don’t have any easy answers. Yes, there are things you can do to minimize the threat, especially on flickr; but there is no way to eliminate it, aside from not posting a single image of your children ever on the internet. In the wired word we live in, in the ones our children are immersed in, I’m not sure it’s realistic or even wise to expect your children to be online ghosts—unsearchable, with no images. By the time my 3-year-old is in college, I’m pretty certain that a person who lacks a lifelong gallery of searchable images is going to seem, at a minimum, unusual.

I think the best thing to do is to maintain perspective. Demand that the images be removed when and if you find out about them and realize that the possibility that someone is doing something truly nefarious with the images is slim to none, as quoted in this NY times article, below:

“Research shows that there is virtually no risk of pedophiles coming to get kids because they found them online,” said Stephen Balkam, chief executive of the Family Online Safety Institute. While the debate makes this crime seem common, he said, all the talk is really just “techno-panic.”…

“There is this characterization of pedophiles using the Internet as an L. L. Bean catalog, but this is not the way it happens,” he said. Predators are much more likely to look in chat rooms or other sites, he said, where teenagers are suggesting that they may be open to a sexual relationship.


Going to find the lady who posted her Christmas card photo and some random store overseas used it as an advertisement in their store window. I think she had a solution. I really hope my mum doesn't see this because this is a main reason she won't let me have a blog. I'll be back.


I don't think you're overreacting AT ALL. I think it's creepy and downright WRONG. And I would be furious too if that was one of my kids. But it also makes me really, really sad for those of us who love your blog and your amazing photography, because I really hope it won't ruin it for the rest of us who hope you'll continue to post your images. But definitely don't doubt that instinct you have about it being creepy - because,'re right, it is!

Jenny Meyerson

Glad it has been taken down. You are not overheated or overreacting. Annie is not my daughter and just reading this, I am pissed off. I am just amazed at the gall- I could not imagine ever taking pics of someone else (let alone a kid) for their profile or main page. I appreciate your willingness to help your students out- I thank you for that. However I would understand any decision that you make for your family.


I've heard of people using images of children to get money out people saying the kids are sick or dying. Terrible. Not that it's very pleasing to the picture, but I've started to use a faded watermark in places where they cannot crop it out (like over the face). At least someone saw this, there are many that probably will never know if their kids pictures are being used. Sorry!!!


Or my beloved God, the email has not arrived, am I right? I sent a message to orkut and Josh for your well, see there. tks, xx


Karen that is awful... feel so sorry for you but really glad you posted this. On the upside yesterday I showed my dad how to right click the images on my blog so that he could use them to show friends and family.... so I guess if it was me even more important than your students is your family's ability to access this information.

Moriah Bettencourt

OMG that makes me so sick too!!! I always check my "stats" through Typepad to see where the hits come from on my blog & have found my photos in "questionable" searches before & one linked to some sort of S&M board (gag!!!) so I took that down. The internet can be a scary place. I think you should disable right clicking, instead (even though I know it's a pain) maybe you could just post the setting under pics?? I don't know but that just sucks!

Shame on whomever that is... you suck!


You are not over reacting at all!! I am mad and disgusted for you....and she's not my own child! Good luck and we are all here if you need some cyber butted!

michelle tabb

Karen I am so sorry. I have enjoyed your blog for years and adore your pictures. This makes me sick too. I am glad the pics have been removed but just fact people can even do it is so upsetting.


This makes me mad and you have every right to be upset and worried. I too have a blog and I've had some odd comments made at times that it does get me wondering. It's the crazy people like this that ruin it for all of us others that just enjoy connecting with the lovely people in this world. Freaks!

rebecca keppel

I definitely think you should watermark your images. Most thieves are lazy and there are plenty of unwatermarked images out there for them to steal. You should also have a copyright claim on your blog. The so called "innocent" reason is still theft. And even if you dont care about the legal recourse, it will at least deter some people. Also it will give you quick recourse. I've heard of weirdo situations where people vacation somewhere in Europe and see their family photo as a billboard. It is a total violation and I can completely understand why you would feel sick and pissed. Maybe locking your images is the best way to go. And students could request information on photos. But you're probably right that these things happen on the internet no matter what you do. I still think you should legally protect your images so that any violating site can be quickly addressed. Hosting sites are very quick to pull down users who have copyright claims against them.


I can understand how you feel; I got upset when my sister posted pictures of my children on facebook without asking me and I choose not to have facebook so to see my kids on someone else without asking me, made me furious. I WOULD BE SOOOOO MAD if this would happen to me.


As a mother, that would bother me as well. I am proud of your husband for doing what he did. Ashamed of the person that believed it was ok to do such a thing. What a shame there are people in this world like that. :(


I am so sorry this has happened to you! All of us back you guys up....go get um!!!!!

Becky (aka: beckywedd)


I am so sorry to see this. That would upset me profusely as well. I don't blame you at all for being really angry and worried. Just know you have our support to do whatever we can to help. And if you have to have your images uncopyable or watermarked or no info., don't feel bad. I love the learning aspect of your website and blog and class but Annie's safety (and Courtney, Ross and Cole for that matter) are of course the most important thing. Hang in there!

Becky (aka: beckywedd)


Way to go Josh! Hopefully, filing these types of abuse claims against a site like this will draw attention to how lousy they are! Sorry you had to deal with this. Too bad there's not a real internet police to go after these kinds of people!

Terri Barton

This is so wrong! You are very right to take action! I have so enjoyed your blog and the photos of your family as it grows and changes. I have read this since before Annie was born, but if you decided to quit or take it down I would understand. People (creeps) have no right to take liberties with your photos, content or any of your personal items. I hope you can get handle on it, I love your blog!

Alis in Wnderlnd

This is horrible and I'd be scared and totally pissed off, too! I am slightly relieved to hear that the images have been removed. Still doesn't answer the question as to why she is using your images. Since we aren't deviant people, it's hard to think that way. I imagine none of us will ever know why.


OMG Karen this just makes me sick!! What kind of recourse do you have?!? I have no idea about this stuff. Maybe you should consider password protecting your blog? Sounds ridiculous but if it will avoid people stealing pictures and producing fake profiles with your children's pictures then it may be well worth it to have fewer readers. Maybe there could be a certain password for your friends and family and another for your students...just a thought. So sorry this has happened. Wish I could be more helpful. So glad that someone passed along the info to you though. Can you imagine if this was floating around out there and you had no idea!! So so scary.

Jen Davis

I've been thinking about this lately too with my blog, I've done this:

but I'm not sure that I'm protected completely, but it's something...please let us all know if you find something more comprehensive.

Sending hugs from one mama to another!



This just pisses me off...I'm SO sorry this happened. And, NO, you are NOT over-reacting.

Patty Hetrick

ooh, that just p***es me off! How inappropriate of people to take someone else's image, especially a child, and use it for their own personal needs. I bet you wish you could tell her off in Portuguese!


Horrible Stuff! FYI...You ARE a professional photographer and a damn good one!


I am so sorry this happened. So glad the e-mail has been removed. You can also complete a DMCA complaint, and Orkut will direct her to remove any images. This helps them to avoid being sued. I love seeing pictures of your family and reading your stories. I hope you won't stop posting, but I would recommend using a watermark/disabling the right click function. However, that will not stop mac users from dragging the image. Is it possible she was using the image in a flattering way?

Tracy Dayett

Making your life public is not wrong...some moron using your child's image is. So sorry this happened but do not for a minute think it was your fault!


This is an outrage.
I say lock your pictures and those of us will forgive you.
You have to put your family first and I as a person who loves
to look at your photos will fully understand why I can no
longer right click on your pictures.
It's not fair, that people do stuff like this.

Libbi M.

just wanted to say how sorry i am to hear about this. just reading all the above comments, you have a wonderful, supportive group of blog readers. praying this gets resolved quickly.


I cannot believe the weird things people do! I mean, really, putting another person's child's pictures up for their own webpage? Weird!

I hope you find a solution that enables you to share your stories and photos with us, but still protect your children.

Rhonda P

so sorry this has happened to your family


I was just going through my favorite blogs and right after I read your post, I came across another blog that explains how to avoid this from happening. It's a very technical explanation (above my head) but check it out and see if the solution would work for you. Good luck!
vera matson


omg karen - my heart skipped a beat when i saw that! that is exactly the kind of freaky person that would actually steal another woman's baby just because it was cute and she thought she deserved it. she obviously thinks annie is cute (who wouldn't!) but this is just so very creepy. and to use the last name russell - what a nut! we all love you to death, karen, but we wouldn't do anything freaky like this! she needs to get a life and get her own kid! or get a pet...


There are several threads about this over at Clickin' Moms. Maybe there's some information there that might be helpful.

Lovely Cee.

this happened to me. i actually saw my image on someone else "stuff" and i got really sicked in the stomach. i said out loud " HOLY SMOKE!!! THAT'S MY PICTURE!!!!! " OH Karen... i hope there's an end to this. i am sad to hear this.


this totally makes me sick. i would be worked up too. it is one of the things i worry about as well because i don't really watermark anything right now and i have a lot out there for anyone to see. it is sad. i'm so sorry it had to happen to you guys! big hugs girl!


I find it odd that she used your name Russell too.....I am horrified at not being able to see your shooting information. Maybe you could start a Flickr account for your blog pictures that is only available to past students? I want your kids to be safe and you are so giving..Be thankful you have so many eyes out there!!!


I'm so sorry this has happened. I feel sick and angry. I don't understand people....



Can you tell us how in blogger and type-pad how to disable the right click thing? That would be an awesome tutorial.

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