I'm not being serious in that title. That's NOT the proper way to take a good image. Yet some "fauxtographers" seem to think that's all it takes to get a great portfolio to sell to clients. One of my images (that I know of) showed up on the site of another photographer recently. Take a look at it. If you've followed my work for a few years you'll recognize this image that I took of Morgan about two years ago. Here's a link to the full gallery.
Do you see why I'm feeling a little bit violated here?
Today was my day off. I haven't had a Saturday off in forever and with the busy fall wedding season getting started, I knew that I wouldn't have another Saturday off until mid November. So I made a cheesy little excursion to Wonder World in San Marcos to explore the caves and pet some deer. It was totally spontaneous and fun for the whole family.
On the way home I pulled out my iPhone to check my e-mail. There was a strange message from someone I didn't know telling me that at least one of my images was being used illegally and there was a link to the site. The e-mail came from another photographer. She used a web image search to find me to inform me that this other photographer was claiming my work as his own. I saw the image and gasped. I was floored. I'd heard of this happening to others but I never thought it would happen to me.
It turns out this photographer who'd contacted me had been researching these images all day. She'd found many of the images were taken by others. She found stock images from iStock, and images from other portrait and wedding photographers from around the world. She contacted each of them when she was able to track their origin. I was the first to respond, she tells me.
I'm curious as to where this will go. It appears that they've taken down all their galleries now.
No doubt they are now aware of how serious the situation is.
Now I'd like to get on my soapbox and preach a little to the choir. I know you all are hard working people. You train for your jobs. You spend countless hours learning your skill. You spend a whole heck of a lot of money on learning your career. There are others out there who don't want to take the same time and spend the same money you spent. They'd rather take the work you've done and claim it as their own.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it's easy to snag the work of others, but also thanks to the internet, you will get caught.
Update: It appears that my image was used in advertising for them as well. Take a look at the screen shot my new friend captured on The Knot.
Lisa On Location Photography