Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let's Cut The Crap Already

I am not sure where abouts this whole thing originated from (I have a few ideas) but one of the things which I have noticed lately over the last several months is the absolute arrogance and ego coming from some of the what I call "The 1% Photographers Of Privilege". I'm not going to mention names here but if you are on any social media sites like G+ then you know who I am talking about. It disturbs me that is still after many months discussion on why some think their images are better than yours because they don't add a signature to their photos.

Say again?

Yes you read that correctly. Apparently a few of these people see photos that have a signature as being unprofessional. They argue that it takes away from a photo and all this jazz. I can understand that train of thought WHEN it is something which it is a tangent or obstructing the image itself. I don't see something small in the bottom right hand corner of an image as being bad and heaven knows I basically sign all my work. I am after all proud of my work, a signature is the finishing touch to a piece. What bothers me however is the sort of bashing attitude that many of these folks have. I also find it almost hypocritical that in reality, many of these photographers don't have to rely on a signature to get web traffic to their site. This is also one of the reasons why I sign my work, I include my website address so people can go there and see more of my work; they know where it came from. However when you have a following that is essentially larger than a army in some countries, it is irrelevant. For those of us who though scrap to get by with our photography, it is an essential piece of the promotion game and make no mistake about it, most of us do struggle to get by who do this full time and to hear the bashing coming from people who are more of a marketing person than a photographer is an insult.

Look, many of us also can't afford to stick our high resolution photographs without signatures on the internet free to download. Wallpapers are one thing but to stick a full on high res file online? These "1% Photographers Of Privilege" need to understand that to us, this is a financial issue. If I made millions with my work or a very cozy and comfortable living, I would be able to offer such things and I imagine many of us would be able to do that as well. However as it stands now, this only serves to compete against ourselves directly. It must be nice to be able to offer such things for free and not have to worry about where your next check is coming from to pay for your groceries, power bill, etc.

We get it. You make a ton of money with your photography, you have a massive following, cool deal. I am happy for you. Just please don't trash the rest of us who don't and who bust our butts just as hard as you do and often more so.

Let's cut the crap already.

Photographed at Chatfield State Park, Colorado


  1. Interesting. Where have these people actually gone as far as to "trash the rest of us", as you put it? I've seen some who have expressed their personal preferences for not showing signatures. However, nowhere have noted anyone expressing that they ..."think their images are better than yours because they don't add a signature". Do you have any examples of this actually happening?

    BTW - Cool photo - quite colorful.

    I think to get an idea of where they are coming from on the hi-res giveaways, check out the books "Free: How Today's Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing" by Chris Anderson and "The Thank You Economy" by Gary Vaynerchuk. Both have some good marketing insights that can apply to the crowded photography business.

  2. LOL... So happy to see this post! Love it! I have been playing it both ways more lately with my watermark/sig on that not. I sell more prints with when I watermark and keep the res low so someone can't print a crappy print and hang it that represents your work, but still good enough for sharing social. I hate to watermark and I can understand the argument, it is hard for media pulling work, watermarks do not work very well when used or re-size, but this make client or media contact you for a higher res and then we know "Who"... "Where" the image is being used and "How" and credit and that's the way it should be. Lot's people take work, do not give credit, some even take credit and do not follow the rules. I find that the only ones that really HATE Watermarks or signatures are mostly photographers that do not buy our work (they make their money other ways or have enough money and sales and people and TIME to go after all the images used without consent. Many people claim they are non commercial when YEA you are a Real Estate Company or some type of other business AND I find that the People and Businesses that buy our work could care less about the watermark. All the stock sites watermark... Why? If they didn't their sales would go way down. I understand this argument really well and know where you are coming from. I hate to watermark but a photographers got to make a living too! I bang my head on this subject all the time, and this digital world we are in is changing really fast. To do or do not to do... I hate that question LOL! I am happy to have a high resolution image out there for all to see if I know that it is being used right and getting the credit. I love seeing sigs cause I like to know who's great work it is. That's my story an I'm sticking to it. Rare for me to speak out. I am keyboard challenged, and keep a low profile. :-) Greetings! Jon

  3. I like the fact artists put their signatures on their art. Your work isn't stock art. It's real art for people like me who are willing to pay for you work and display it. And like any painting, sculpture, bronze, etc., I expect to see a signature.

    Clearly, these people who gripe do not understand the business of art.