It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing this post. It has been brought to my attention recently that several clients have been purchasing prints with the intention to scan and reproduce them for friends and family. In some instances clients have been purchasing a small print with the intention to scan the image and have it printed as a larger print. In other instances clients have been taking images from Facebook, cropping out my watermark, and using those images for print purposes.
In all of these instances the client is stealing. What they are doing is illegal.
Photography is an art form. It is a product of many long hours- spent both on location with the clients taking the photo and in the “digital darkroom” editing and perfecting the image. This art form involves skill, vision and artistry. Photographs- both the digital and printed version- are protected by United States Copyright Law. By violating this law clients are not only doing something illegal, they are also negatively affecting the livelihood and reputation of the photographer. As a photographer I have invested tens of thousands of dollars into equipment, software and training to produce the best images possible for my clients. Prints purchased through me are printed at a professional lab for which my monitor is color calibrated. Scanned images do not print well and are not an accurate representation of my work. Images that are loaded onto Facebook are low resolution, non printable files. When a client crops out the watermark and reprints this image it be a subpar print and again, not an accurate representation of my work.
I am lucky enough to have hundreds of wonderful clients who would never even think about stealing an image, and I hate to punish the good for the doings of those who have disrespected my work. That is why it saddens me greatly to even address this issue. The facts are simple, however. If images continue to be stolen from my blog and Facebook then I will no longer post sneak peeks for my clients. The sneak peeks are intended to be used and shared online and I welcome people to tag themselves in a photo and share them with friends an family. If you do use the image as your profile photo, please do not remove the watermark or crop out the logo.
For those who have purchased prints and scanned with the intention of reproducing- there is nothing different from doing this and walking into your favorite store and shoplifting. I offer a digital image with print release for sale in your online gallery. This print release gives you the rights to make unlimited copies of any sized photo. Included with your print release is information on high quality print labs that are both affordable and near professional quality. It is disrespectful to me to have my work replicated without permission.
If a client is caught stealing any images taken by Sweet Serendipity Photography all future photography sessions will be cancelled.
And for all of my wonderful clients – please do not think this is directed at everyone. I love and appreciate all of the people who have helped me get to where I am today and please know that this had to be said but is directed at a select few.