Know better? Do better.
There’s a phrase I really like, that I’m sure you’ve heard.
When you know better, you do better.
In the interest of knowing better, I want to touch of kind of a squidgy topic. Image theft and bashing photographer pricing. Nobody likes talking about this, cause it really makes us feel a little icky, but it’s a big deal friends.
For professional photographers, a lot of time (soooo much time), money, heart, and tears go into honing our craft. Hours upon hours are spent on each photo session: for myself, a standard boudoir session typically takes around 30 hours total start to finish. We pour ourselves into our work, same as many professional occupations really. The not so same part? Those other professions are seen as deserving (worthy) pay, where as photographers often aren’t.
I’m sure you’ve seen posts on social media “looking for a photographer that won’t cost an arm and a leg”, or maybe someone complaining about a photographers high price tag. OR maybe you’ve seen someone post images from a photographer that were clearly screen shot from a proof gallery/ or obviously unpurchased. I know I have. A lot.
Just this morning I witnessed it again, and a group of women actually backed up a woman for stealing images via screen shotting a live stream of the shoot, rather than buy the finished images.. because the photographers prices were “insane”. This photographer deserved to be paid for her work. Period. I don’t see that happening nearly as often for other professions. And I’m getting really frustrated seeing this behavior towards mine.
As much as I would absolutely love to offer my skills for free, because I do truly believe every human deserves to be captured in beautiful photographers, that’s not realistic. Unfortunately our society is centered around money, even for photographers. We have the same bills as everyone else, that have to be paid just like the rest of yours. Please keep this in mind when hiring a photographer, please understand that they ask the rates they do because they have to.
We put so much of ourselves into our work. There is so much time (spent away from our family and friends), money and effort that goes into each session of ours. We deserve to be fairly compensated as well. We all do, no matter our profession.
We’re asking to be treated with respect.
So how can you help?
Hire a photographer based on their artistry and values, not simply because they’re the cheapest. Find someone you connect with, it really does make a difference in your images, and then pay their rates. DO NOT STEAL FROM THEM.
If you see image theft happening. Speak up. Tell the person doing it’s not okay, educate them. Reach out to the photographer so they’re able to take the steps needed to protect their business.
If you’ve hired a photographer in the past or plan to, be sure to go over their contract (if they didn’t have one, question that too- it’s for BOTH of your protection!) so that you understand what exactly you’re going to receive.
Treat professionals (photography and otherwise) with respect. We love our jobs and just want to be able to support ourselves with them.