22 December 2012

Thank You Instagram/Facebook for Taking my Livelihood Away

"Photography is my passion, my calling, and my means of livelihood. It is how I provide for my family and send my children to school. Now Instagram and Facebook want to take my hard earned imagery — imagery that at times, I and others have risked life and limb for — and use it to generate income for themselves. 
What they have done is signaled the end and failure of what could have been a revolutionary social media platform for visual communication. Now, I must take a step back and reassess my place on Instagram. "Benjamin Lowy

22 Dec 2012

Benjamin Lowy could not have said it better.  I want to thank both Facebook and Instagram for taking away the opportunity for me to continue to live my life as I have in the past taking away all the years of training, networking, traveling and risking my own life to tell the stories to the rest of the world and generate an income for my own survival.

I have spoken to those who are not photographers but who are businessmen about the problem with free access to images and its effects on our profession and livelihood.  The response is something like this, "Well, everyone has the right to take photographs and put them online and the companies can use the images if they want.  If they can save money then it is their right to do so."  

This is a reflection of our ever changing world and the effects of technology and social networks generating arrogance with a lack of social responsibility while entire fields of careers are completely destroyed.  In turn, this leaves more and more people out of work and having to change careers with less jobs to find.  Then of course, less money to spend and more businesses closing down.  

Social networking such as Facebook and Instagram actions with usage rights are now slowing dissolving the world of photo reporters and their ability to earn a living.  Not to mention the quality of images in most publications and news outlets has diminished to a simple point and shoot frame.

Instagram had so much flack from hard core users such as National Geographic and leading photographers that they decided to roll back their new terms, but they are not that different than before.  National Geographic has decided to renew their Instagram usage and  That may be fine for someone big like National Geographic or Time, but what about the individual photographer who struggles to make a living?  

I would like the option to post on Facebook or Instagram after I have sold an image to share, BUT if Time magazine wants to put a posted image on the front page, I want to get paid for it.  That is how others and myself survive.  Publishing an image on the front page of Time is a big deal and who knows what the photographer has gone through to get to that point.  Normally, in the photography world we have to work hard for countless hours and climb our way up.  We train, we get wet, we travel, we don't sleep, we watch wars, we stay up all night, and sometimes we become an ear for those who need to talk.  For us, it is not just point and shoot it is our lives and our passions.

How would you feel if driving down the street in Times Square and you see your image on a huge sign and was never told about it nor paid for it?  That image could be worth thousands and they used it for free brought to you by Instagram or Facebook.

In their terms of use they state, "you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service"...

"(iii) you agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed by reason of Content you post on or through the Service; and (iv) you have the legal right and capacity to enter into these Terms of Use in your jurisdiction."

"you choose to send us content, information, ideas, suggestions, or other materials, you further agree that Instagram is free to use any such content, information, ideas, suggestions or other materials, for any purposes whatsoever, including, without limitation, developing and marketing products and services, without any liability or payment of any kind to you."


This takes away the users power to use legal remedies.

A class action lawsuit was filed on the 21st by the San Diego Law Firm, Finklestein and Krisnk.  They feel that Facebook owned Instagram new terms include unlawful taking of users property rights, unfair business practices, and breach of contract.  

As for myself, I never used Instagram and hardly Facebook to put my images...unless they are watermarked, signed, and paid for.  It is great for spreading the word about my work, and gaining visibility.  But, I don't like to "share" images of my personal life with those out there in the world that I don't know at least as much as many others do.

Now is the time, to be careful and go back to the old days, before there was internet and physically knock on doors to get the work!

"They have just killed Instagram. I will never use it under any circumstance with these terms. "
Christopher Morris

21 December 2012

Vintage Fashion Photos

Susan Brannon

I did some vintage fashion shots in Florence.  Here are a few!

to view more click here

20 December 2012

The Union Newspaper Fails to Credit Photographer

Newspapers, magazines, websites are increasingly omitting giving photo credits.  This is not good, legal or ethical.  If I was not a professional photographer I would be proud to have my image on the front page of a newspaper!  I would safe the clip and put it in my photo album for my grandchildren to see one day.  As a professional, it is an insult because we try to make a real living from our images, we need to eat, have a place to sleep and feed our families.  It's only right for the publishers to ask permission, and more correct to pay a bit for using the image!  As photographers professional or not, we must continue to fight.  This photographer started a Facebook thread.  Story below

Republished from: Jeff Pelline's Sierra Foothills Report

Photo by: John M. Daly

The Union is painting itself as a hero amid charges of copyright infringement involving a giant centerpiece photo it ran on the front page on Tuesday without crediting the photographer, with a headline “Thanks to John Daly for one stunning shot.”
In fact, the newspaper was the goat, having put itself at risk legally as a commercial venture — and on top of that, it omitted all together how the controversy arose in its own watered-down version of the incident — an episode that was slap in the face to local artists.
“As rain came to an end and clouds parted from this weekend’s storms, Nevada City photographer John Daly headed down to the Highway 49 bridge and captured both the natural beauty and ferocity of western Nevada County’s beloved South Yuba River — beneath a double rainbow, no less,” reads the article this morning by Managing Editor Brian Hamilton (on an inside page; the photo was on page 1).
“Daly shared his stunning shot with the community through The Union, which published the photo on the front page of Tuesday’s edition. Unfortunately, proper credit was not provided to the photographer in the print edition. The Union regrets the error, as Daly certainly deserves recognition for a piece of art so well received by our readers.”
“Unfortunate?” That’s an understatement — both on ethical and legal grounds.
“Daly’s South Yuba shot drew rave reviews on The Union’s Facebook page,” the article continued, “where by noon Tuesday more than 1,700 people had viewed the photo — of which 90 had shared it elsewhere, reaching an unknown total number of Facebook users — and several expressed their gratitude for Daly’s work:”
But here’s what The Union left out: — sharp criticism involving charges of copyright infringement, including from the photographer himself — on another Facebook page, “Nevada County Peeps.” It’s a very valid concern, based on routine journalistic standards.
“It is nice to have the photo on the front page of The Union Newspaper in Grass Valley, CA,” the photogropher wrote in the “Nevada County Peeps” page on Facebook. “But The Union is well-known for being unreliable. I gave them the photo on the proviso that I would have credit on the photo and they even said they would mention my photography exhibition in Nevada City. They did none of this. They literally stole the photo by simply saying ‘submitted photo,’ no mention of my name. .
•”That’s why we don’t get the local paper,” wrote one reader on the Facebook thread, which generated 33 comments.
•”Glad I didn’t send my photos there..I wondered whose photo it was. A lovely photo indeed!” wrote another.
•”The Union’s policy on giving photo credits is highly irregular,” wrote another reader. “As someone who has submitted dozens and dozens of photos over the years, I’ve learned they usually will not credit the photographer. I have no idea how they get away with it, but they do.”
•”The Union unfortunately does not serve the people or the community – only business, and even that is questionable,” said another.
•”Yes, there have been many askew articles printed in The Union and it has been very disrespectful and like most media had a huge influence on people’s opinion — true or not “as they read it in the paper,” said another. “Add on the typos and the grammatical errors over the years, I gave up subscribing.”
•”John, I’m really sorry to hear this,” I wrote after noticing the controversy. “As you know, we were glad to pay for your large-size photos of the Yuba River and give youcredit by name in the current issue of our FoodWineArt magazine and on the companion http://www.SierraCulture.com website. We’re also going to restock Java Johns with our magazine that carries your photo and credit, and we have publicized your show at Java Johns on our Facebook page. Be assured that the journalistic standards in our community are not all the same. Have a great day and thanks for such a lovely photo!”
When the Facebook posts and comments appeared in droves, Daly did hear from The Union:
•”OK, The Union just called me and apologized for the mistake,” Daly wrote. “They are going to republish in tomorrows paper with full credit and pay for the photo. And mention my Photo Exhibit currently at Java Johns. I will have to print this photo and put it up in the Exhibit.”
“Wondered how that happened- glad they took responsibility,” one reader reacted.
What remains unanswered is:
1. How did such an egregious error happen in the first place? Copyright infringement puts the newspaper at legal risk — well beyond “doing the right thing” to credit an artist’s work in a giant front-page photo.
2. What are The Union’s practices and policies when it comes to photo credits? Why wasn’t the photographer paid in the first place (instead of as an afterthought)? Is anything going to change?
3. Why did The Union omit how the controversy arose in the first place — in social media on a page created by a grassroots effort in the community, called “Nevada County Peeps.” Was it embarrassed to give the full account?
Daly concluded: “I am glad this has developed such a lively and needed debate in our community. Thanks for all your support.” Amen to that!

Man Dies Falling Into Chimney while Photographing

You can get some really nice shots from high places, but it is always important to watch your step while shooting from the rooftops.

Reposted: PetaPixel  DL Cade · Dec 14, 2012
Less than a week removed from the train photographer tragedy in Sacramento, California, another sad story has made its way across our desks. A 23-year-old man named Nicholas Wieme died in the pursuit of a “rooftopping” photograph yesterday after he fell into a building’s smokestack in Chicago.

After eating dinner with his girlfriend in a restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel, the couple decided to climb to the top of the 42-story building, check out the smokestack, and shoot some photos from the high vantage point.
When Wieme reached the top of the smokestack he lost his footing and fell in, plummeting 22-feet down the scorching chimney before getting stuck in a small bend two stories below the roof.
The fall itself didn’t kill Wieme, who was able to send a text to his girlfriend asking for help; however, it took Chicago firefighters 4 hours to reach and safely extract him from the smokestack. And although he was rushed to a local hospital, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.