Don’t be a Thief

YAY, it’s Rant Friday!

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I’ve done my fair share of complaining about horse show photos in my day. Usually when they’re crappy, or super expensive, or take months to get. But you know what’s worse than all of those things? Not having any photos at all. And ya know how to make sure that’s exactly what ends up happening? Keep stealing photographer’s proofs.

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Trust me, I’m as cheap as anyone. I don’t love dropping hundreds of dollars a year on show photos, and sometimes it just isn’t in the budget. I get that. But at the end of the day if you like the photo enough to screen cap it and save it – or WORSE, screen cap it and put it on your facebook/Instagram with the photographers watermark displayed loud and proud across it, you probably like it enough to pay for it. After all, that photographer bought the equipment, spent all day watching and shooting boring-ass round after boring-ass round (and probably wanted to blow his/her brains out by the end of the day), and then spent additional hours sorting through and editing all those photos. For your thieving ass!

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you tell em, DJ Tanner

Unless of course you don’t want the photographers to show up anymore and don’t ever want show photos… then by all means, keep stealing them. But don’t be surprised when I tattle on you after you post that stolen proof all over social media, because I will. And I did. That’s stealing, and it’s not cool. It’s rude, and it’s tacky, and it directly contributes to ruining things for everyone else (especially ME).

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So either cough up the money (for real yo, it’s like $18 for a low res digital) or do what any other self-respecting poor person does and take a blurry screenshot from a shitty video. And to the nice photographers that keep showing up weekend after weekend to take pictures of my boring ass rounds… please keep doing it. I promise I’ll buy some.

37 thoughts on “Don’t be a Thief

  1. I always bought a photo from every endurance ride. Those people stand out in the woods getting eaten by bugs, rained on, over heating and everything else nature in remote places deals out all to take your picture. Spend the $14 and get the picture!!

    I’ve also heard photographers complain when you buy the picture then take a crappy cell phone pic and post that online. It makes their work look really shitty. Buy the digital or scan the original.

    People suck.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s pathetic that people steal photos, nothing makes me crazier than seeing obviously watermarked photos posted on social media. I have friends who are pro photographers and it’s a CONSTANT battle to keep people from stealing their work. One even found her photo on a print ad that showed up in her mailbox! It was some local company that stole it and decided to use it for their ad campaign… can you imagine?!

    Photography is highly competitive and extremely expensive profession.

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  3. I’ll post a screen cap…IF I’ve bought the photo. And I make sure to mention that. I just dropped about $130 yesterday on older photos our ride photographer had in the tank from the start of our endurance endeavors. But the only ones I EVER shared were ones I had already purchased. I might screen cap and keep for my own personal “squee”. But I knew in the future I’d be buying them from him.

    Oh, look…he just posted new photos!! Off to go drop more money.

    And, really, photographers charge $14/picture? Okay, then I’ll consider myself blessed. I paid $6.99 for 4×6 photos (before shipping). I mean, I know the price goes up the larger the photo…but, yeah, I can see where people might hesitate at $14. But that’s not leave to go and STEAL the dang photo!!

    People suck.

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    1. $14 is crazy cheap IMO. I think our cheapest photographer is $18 for a digital and our most expensive is $35ish. Honestly, they’re worth it to me. It’s just not that much money, all things considered.

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      1. Wow! I am endlessly fascinated at the cost differences between the disciplines. But, then I think that the skill required for each is so different. The timing for a beautiful photo for a jump is entirely different than those of us boogying down the trail.

        And, I totally agree, the cost is SO worth it. Especially if we want to continue to have photographers at our events. Even amateur photographers. Their time is still worth something!

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  4. Yes!!!

    Some of my favorite pictures are purchased prints proudly displayed in my living room (from 2006 hahaha). My horse wasn’t fully shed out and it was only beginner novice (maybe baby beginner, the jumps were TINY) but it was a proud moment and I’m glad to have supported an artist.

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  5. This drives me nuts. I am so willing to shell out cash for good photos. Especially as a blogger, I mean seriously, I feel like 40% of the reason I show is to get photos for my blog. Plus I can use it to justify the $$$ – lol.

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  6. Agreed! I’ve photographed shows for a big barn before and even just doing their classes made me want to shoot myself in the head. I can’t imagine having to do it for an entire show without a break to go back to the stalls and chill for a while. Less than $20 is beyond reasonable for a good picture.

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  7. YES!
    I’m super cheap and will honestly only buy a photo if I really, really like it (or it’s cheap as well), but I will buy them. PROOF written across a photo for sure also means THIEF. Pay the money or have your poor husband/friends/whoever take a million pictures hoping for a good one (or both…that’s what I do).

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  8. THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY. I re-post the blog I wrote a couple years or two ago when I see people doing this. It drives me INSANE. I don’t understand how people think it’s ok to steal photos with PROOF stamped all over them! THIEVING NEANDERTHALS.

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  9. I make it a point to buy a photo when they are available because photographers do spend an awful lot of time and money for relatively very little return. However, I do wish they were the prices you guys are quoting. It’s usually $30ish for a 4×6, and then if you want the low-res web version it’s another $50+. Print quality digital is usually close to $100 each. So yeah, i like the pro photos, but sometimes they do get a little pricey. Still, I’ll usually try to buy at least one if it’s good.

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    1. Those are the prices that bug me and why I don’t end up buying them (or posting stolen photos). But, it’s not like I can tell from the poor proofs if it’s a good picture either. I can’t afford $100 for a good quality digital photo. I’m not spending $50+ on a low-res digital image either… Or $40 for a 4×6 that I can’t tell much from the proof. So, I rarely ever buy anything. I could take extra lessons or go to another show for those prices. It’s not that I don’t want to support photographers, but I just can’t afford to. I wish I could. I’d pay $15-20 for a 4×6 not $30-40 plus shipping.

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      1. Just re-read my comment. Just wanted to add that just because I’m not buying pictures doesn’t mean I’m stealing them either! I just end up without pictures or with my husband’s “photography” where I might be lucky to be fully in the picture. But that’s all I’m willing to pay for most of the time so it’s ok!

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    2. I can tell you why the prices look like that. Once you have the digital image, a photographer is out of the picture. So no more recouping cost of gas, time, rent, software, computer, Internet, website, phone, equipment. Photographers only make any money on prints. That’s it. Most shows don’t pay the photographer to attend, they only get paid when pople buy prints. Imagine working 12 hours at a show and 100 hours after, and not getting paid at all.

      And there’s no magic formula like other art forms, who usually price at 3x cost of materials + minimum wage (or more) per hour creating. All I can do is click charge for my camera(cost of camera ÷ number of clicks shutter averages over lifetime) + estimated time spent editing and at event at min wage (or more) + % up charge on prints to cover any other costs I have, which isnusually divided out over estimated sales. Hence prints are the only way for me to recoup any of my investment. Digital downloads remove thay option, so they’re more expensive.

      Once you add in proof theft, and poor sales because people think photographs as a whole should be free, prices go up or professionals don’t show up. For an example of what I mean about people think it should be free, try to tell someone online it’s stealing to take a watermarked photo and use it on fb. Wear flame retardant panties though. Or read any of multitudes of ads for professional photographers offering ‘exposure’ as compensation.

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  10. PREACH. We don’t usually have show photographers at our local schooling shows so sometimes I bust out the camera and sell my shots dirt cheap (even though I’m not terribly good), but I got so burnt out on the theft of proofs a few years ago I basically stopped photographing for anyone but myself any more. I did my first show in ages last month and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who immediately bought photos instead of jacking the proofs. But yes, any time I see a proof on social media and can find contact info for the photographer, I always report it.

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  11. Agree. Can’t say I’ve never screen shot a proof, but I don’t share them. And most of the time I do that it’s one that I’ve ordered and am impatient for arrival.
    But also, you get low res of $18?! Ours are still like $35. I have tons of ancient proofs from back in the day when they sent them to you in the mail. Remember that? I think I’m older than you, so maybe not. Occasionally those old ones make it up as a throwback photo. But I don’t think I can buy a photo from 20 years ago, so I feel slightly less guilty about that.

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  12. This is exceptionally timely for me right now. This weekend I am putting my proverbial toe in the waters of ‘show’ photography [it’s actually a clinic that I was asked to shoot]. I’m renting a lens for the occasion- because buying a $2k lens for funsies isn’t going to happen right now. So I’m therefore praying that I at least make the money back to cover the cost of my rental and gas, and anything to cover the collective 12+ hours of my standing in the dusty arena hauling around my several lbs of gear will be a bonus. But I’m afraid of people doing this instead of compensating me through the legal routes.

    PS- I’m charging $15 for a web size download, $25 for a full res, and $100 for a USB of all the rider’s photos at full resolution. Hopefully by keeping my prices low it will entice people to buy, but I may just end up a sucker. We’ll see.

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    1. I LOVE (caps lock love, THAT much) when photographers offer a package price for all digital photos. I’ll throw my money at you every time. I wish they all would do that at a reasonable price (I think $100 is reasonable if there are a decent amount of pics). I also think this option might lessen the theft.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I will say that ESI has a monopoly at HITS and they 1) do not offer digital copies and 2) their cheapest single 5″x7″ print is over $60 after taxes. And there’s no discount for buying multiple prints. It’s a total racket and I wish there were other options. That being said, I only ever post pictures that I took, a friend took for me and told me I could post (I do always ask permission), or a picture that I paid out the ass for like a chump. Because stealing is stealing, even if that stupid 6″x8″ was 75 freaking dollars wtf.

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    1. It’s crazy to me that ESI doesn’t offer digitals, because that’s really what seems to sell the most. I get not wanting people to print your photos on the cheap, but a low-res digital really doesn’t print well anywho.

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  14. i love the low-res photos.

    also my fav local photographer knows i buy so many shots she gives me my own coupon codes

    probably because i was single handedly feeding her family for awhile.

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  15. My sister is a photographer as a fun hobby, and she’s taken tons of shots of me and also of other people at times. While this isn’t conducive to photography as a business, I think it helps that there is no website where she’s posting photos. There’s no opportunity for anyone to steal anything. Now, I think if photographers have a computer, a package deal, and the pictures are only available to see them on the computer and at the show. At least that way there’s less of an opportunity to steal photos because they’re not just sitting online. I believe many photographers already do this if they can. But this is their business and it’s insane how many people just push that aside and say so what about it. Too many people lose their minds when they need to pay for really good photography. You’re paying so much to show, plus all your equipment and you can’t fork over a little more for good pictures? I mean, really.

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  16. Hey, you rock. You know what else is super annoying? Having to take the time to watermark every damn photo to at least attempt to prevent theft.

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    1. If you have lightroom, it has great watermarking abilities. Also I am experimenting with Pixieset, which will similarly watermark your images after you upload them, and magically take the watermark off if someone buys the image.

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      1. I actually have the option to automatically add the watermark to proofs through my fulfillment service which saves so much time! But still does require one more step I wish I didn’t have to take.

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  17. one of our local photo companies does a same-day sale of a flash drive including every single full-size photo they took for $99 (if it’s a show where they have their trailer onsite). i buy that package almost every time and it usually amounts to 60-70 photos. um. yes please. i’ve also taken advantage of discounts and sales to go back and buy digital images from other shows where they didn’t have the trailer on site too. honestly i like supporting that company a lot both bc they offer such good deals, and bc they’re also virtually everywhere here.

    that said tho, i honestly don’t have very high standards for photo quality and can be quite satisfied with the grainy video screen grabs vs spending the equivalent of a lesson on a single photo. but the professional photos i *have* purchased? love them.

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  18. I couldn’t agree more. Theft is theft. Some people think that if it is only a few dollars on a photo or illegally downloading a movie then it is not theft. Theft to them is what bank robbers do! I have news for them and it’s all bad, if you steal you are a thief. Plain and simple. I don’t steal money, peoples time or peoples ideas. This is theft too.

    Actually I am on a rant. I apologise. I had a horse rug stolen from me once and it still annoys me to this day. Does she look at the rug and ever realise it is not hers!! That it is in fact mine!

    As the saying goes “Beauty is truth, Truth beauty”

    Happy Riding and Keep Smiling. X Mel

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