So, yes, we’ve had this discussion about shady photographers before. *Sigh*…unfortunately I feel the need to continue this conversation with you, albeit in another direction.
Photography is an incredibly easy medium to steal from. With digital technology being what it is, every Tom, Dick and Stacey can get their hands on inexpensive equipment and set up shop. They can lie to you about how long they’ve been doing photography, what their experience is, they can copy other photographer’s work down to the pose and background (ahem…yes, this is me calling you out. You know who you are) and when that’s not enough, they can actually steal photos from other photographers, like me, and claim that those photos were taken by them.
So I was so over-the-moon happy today when another photographer, whom I’ve never met, contacted me to tell me that some faux-tographer in Illinois has used one of my photos in a Craigslist ad advertising himself as a Glamour Photographer. You should also know that not one of the photos in this ad were actually taken by this guy. As a matter of fact if you saw the photos on his site, you’d see what I mean. Now, I did contact this guy. I actually phoned him. At first, he denied everything, then hung up on me. Then he called back and said if I put his name on my site he’ll sue me (if you saw the look on my face right now you’d see it’s my look of “u-huh. I care”). Then he actually called back to tell me that nowhere on the Craigslist ad did he actually claim the photos were taken by him, at which point I said he could happily tell that to my attorney.
The last time I talked about shady photographers, I didn’t feel the need to actually publicize the guy’s name. After all, he didn’t do anything to me or my business so I felt it would have been malicious to do so. However, this guy has directly attacked my business by stealing my work. Therefore, I feel no need to protect his name or business.
Originally I posted this guy’s name with a link to his site and a link to the ad. Due to the fact that he was scared of legal action on our part, he took his Craigslist ad down. Due to alleged harassing emails coming from his website (NOT from us) as a result of his illegal ad, he took his website down. Now, do I believe he deserved the alleged harassing emails? Yep. You betcha. But at this point I’d like to think he learned his lesson, so I am removing his name and links.
One final word to Mr. Z: All you had to do was take responsibility for your actions and be accountable for your shady behavior and apologize and you could have avoided all of this. Instead you chose to be rude, mean and harassing: you called my phone a total of 6 times and my husband’s phone 2 times. Every time you were rude. Niceness goes a long way so if you’re ever in a situation again where you are clearly in the wrong, do the right thing. You might be surprised in the outcome. If you want to photograph people, I recommend actually taking photos of people, not ripping off those of us that have put our time in, worked hard and climbed our way to success. If you choose the shortcut, not only will Karma step in every time, but you will fail. And what’s the point in wasting your time for failure?
Be careful folks! You never know who you’re hiring!