Sunday, June 7, 2009

image ownership

As I take a short break before my personal busy season kicks into gear (3 horse shows, 5 weddings and a farm shoot in 6 weeks!), I thought I'd post a bit about photo copyrights.

I work very hard at what I do. I put in incredibly long hours photographing horse shows and weddings. I earn part of my living taking and selling images - and my livelihood depends on fair compensation for the images that I take.

Lately, as I am an avid Facebook user, I have come across not one, not two, but several instances of my images being used on Facebook, with my watermark on them. If you are using an image of mine from my proofing site that you have not purchased, in any way, you have committed a violation of copyright law.

If you have purchased a print from me and would like a small electronic copy for internet/Facebook/Twitter/email usage, just let me know. I'll size one and send it to you. If you have booked a wedding, engagement, senior, or any other shoot with me, the same applies. I will be more than happy to provide you small electronic images for sharing on Facebook and other social networking sites - if you have purchased images or booked a shoot with me.

I hate to go be Negative Nellie, but what was a one time occurrence has turned into a bit of an epidemic. If the copyright abuse continues, I will have no choice but to enforce my rights in a more strict manner. My husband, who works in law, is having his firm draft a copyright agreement to go on the front end of my proofing site; in the meantime, please realize this is my livelihood and although I love photography more than just about anything else (except maybe Jim!), I have to be compensated for the time I put into what I do, or else I'd go hungry. Do you ask the guy at Sonic for a free Route 44 limeade? Would you feel awkward doing so? Think about that when you take copyrighted photos. It's just not cool.


Kelly Mand June 7, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

Well said, Sarah. Congrats for reiterating the importance of integrity and honesty.