I have spent the past 3 days editing all my photographs on deviantART to have descriptions that include the following text:
This photograph is the sole property of the photographer, and may not be used in any way, shape or form without her written consent.
There is already a copy-write logo under each image, and it is "protected" by that copy-write, but it doesn't seem to have changed the fact that a photo of mine has been stolen, and used for another photographer's personal gain.
Don't get me wrong - this isn't some pity party plea game. I am not the first photographer to have something stolen from them, and I am far from the last. I will be surprised if I never again have this happen to me, but it is a reality. And that is what this is about.
I don't know every person who comes to view my pictures. Most are friends or family who have asked to see my work, but another percent have stumbled here because of a search term, because of browsing, or because they were looking for a certain picture to fit a certain something else... a written text, a cause, something that needed an image to complete it, an image that they didn't create, and that they didn't want to be bothered with creating.
If you are here to browse my gallery and find the perfect picture, then I suggest you look somewhere else. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of stock photography sites. There are artists here on devART whose sole photographic interest is stock photography. These are images that they have taken to share with you, for you to use as you please. So why do you take something from someone like me?
My images are not stock photography. I did not take them with the intent of giving them to others to do with as they please. I am a photographer - it is my passion, it is my love. I support myself with this art, I complete myself with this art. It's not all about the money, but about the fact that I have found something I love so much, that I can share with others for them to love as well.
It is heartbreaking to see something I have created, used so mindlessly. I hope to inspire awareness, I suppose. Or maybe this is just a rant.