As a Charlotte photographer, I never thought I would have to worry about someone “stealing” my photographs.
Let’s face it! I am a self-proclaimed hack with a camera! But, I recently found out that a California modeling magazine “stole” the photo below.
Well, it’s a form of stealing. They attached their hashtag to the photograph so it would show up on their website, social media, etc (they are passing it off as their photo and their work). It’s disappointing to hear of this activity!
But as a Charlotte photographer, it gave me an opportunity to reflect on this practice.
Unfortunately, this “stealing” is a common practice in the photography community. It happens all the time! And, this is totally different that implementing a pose you have seen before and trying to make it better, etc. In thinking about “stealing” photographs, it’s just plain wrong! You shouldn’t do it! But, life lessons teach you that there are some very unsavory people out there. The other reason against this practice (and maybe even more importantly)is that photography is a very individualized form of art. Every photographer has his/her own style, and unique qualities to his/her work.
If I pass another Charlotte photographer’s work on as my own, I am really asking for it!
How could I possibly reproduce that style of photograph? That client saw that photograph and would expect the same style. How could I produce that style if I “stole” it in the first place?
I must admit that I acted a little nonchalant (on the surface) when I found out about this incident. Don’t get me wrong! Every photographer is enraged by this practice! To my knowledge, I could contact this company and threaten some type of legal action. I am admittedly ignorant when it comes to laws involving the internet, photos, etc. I guess I am saying that the process of stopping this type of practice is complicated! Also, I could be more vigilant in attached watermarks, my logo, etc to photographs on the internet.
In the end, I try to take the philosophic approach. I am pretty sure these people will run into trouble at some point. I think about that quote, “You will get yours!” And actually, this practice is somewhat flattering in a perverted, twisted way. What do you think?
If you liked the photo in this blog post, check out my portfolio where I show more images from previous photo shoots.