My advice to online store owners who sell cosmetics
I spend serious time taking product photos that I even have it down to a science. So understandably I'm not happy whenever an online store filches my photos to earn money. I mean, how hard is it to take your own product photos or even just ask permission from the owners?
Those are my Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter photos. Do not approve ಠ_ಠ
Not meaning to be a bitch here, actually. I'm not mad, just baffled. All my photos are under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0) license. It means that:
I think that the Internet should be a free place to share our ideas and output, and to police it by banning people from using your photos is just pointless. All that watermarking? Pointless. The only thing I want from people who want to use my work is for them to ask permission and to credit me. I will most likely give it, as long as it is for decent and legal purposes.
So if you're an online store owner who needs photos to sell your stuff, please, ask the bloggers for permission to use their photos. It's polite at the very least.
However, the best thing you can do as a business owner is to take your own photos. Invest in a photographer if you have to (offer x-deals). It will make your store look more professional, plus people will trust you more since you have proof that you actually have the products on hand. More professional look = More trust = More sales.
Set yourself a step above other similar pre-order stores - take your business seriously. You have no excuse not to.