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Craigslist ‘Photographer’ Offers to Buy ‘Good Wedding Photography’ for His Portfolio

By Hanssie on February 8th 2014

Sometimes to get ahead in the the business, you have to fake it till you make it. Right? Isn’t that how the saying goes?

So, what do you do if you’re just starting out in the wedding photography business and you only have a few wedding photos to show, not near enough for a good website or solid portfolio?

These days the trend seems to be to steal someone’s photos, crop out their watermark and call them your own. The Internet is a big place and who’s going to know? Except when you’re called out on sites like Stop Stealing Photos, then you can just blame it on your web designer. (Oh yeah, that actually happened to me last week. Someone took my image, cropped out my logo and put it on her website. Then blamed it on someone else).

Well, one “wedding photographer” (and I use that term loosely) decided that it wasn’t moral to STEAL someone’s photo and so he (or she) figured they’d just buy some on Craigslist. Because, where else would you get wedding photos for your portfolio?

[REWIND: Wanted: Wedding Photographer for $100 | “Very Attractive” Bride Posts Ad on Craigslist]

1540567_485606398211239_1648018039_oJust to make it clear, this person won’t actually put THEIR logo on YOUR photo. Don’t you worry, he/she will just deceive some poor, unsuspecting bride into thinking that he/she’s a good wedding photographer.

Instead of STEALING and then LYING about it, they’re just going to LIE and pass off your image as theirs (technically, if they buy the copyright, it is theirs, right?). And you get $150 out of the deal. Sounds like a win.

What the heck is this industry coming to?!

[Via Facebook tip; Lynn Cartia]
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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Chuck Eggen

    Hey, it’s a great way to get some critiques on your work, make some money, and not have to divulge it’s yours while you develop your skills. I agree it’s disgusting that a photographer would do such thing but why not make lemonade out of lemons?

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  2. Nathanael Spencer

    Under copyright (Paternity) right laws, this fellow cannot ever receive/own the copyright of any photos ‘sold’ to him, he can only own a license sold/assigned by the copyright owner, so even if he puts them on his website, legally he has to cite the original creator as the owner of the photograph. Paternity rights in copyright law can never be assigned even by the copyright owner themselves.

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  3. jen

    That is so wrong, I have been offering lower price to take pictures for people till I get a good clientele! Then planning on raising prices slowly up! I have pictures I took at weddings be for I decided get into doing it as a profession I’m going back to people that I have taken pictures of at there weddings & asking them for permission
    to use them for my portfolio so I have wedding pictures In it! io

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  4. Ralph Bach

    I put a copyright notice on my images, and if someone wants to spend hours editing it our, more power to him.

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  5. APS

    There is someone in my town that has images from on her website making it look like it is her own work…I feel it is just WRONG to display someone else’s work as one’s own!! But, it sends more business MY way when her customers don’t get what they expect…

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  6. Carmen Maria Luis

    Doing this they say this website is CRIME, as it is a fraud for the couple, and it is illegal to steal photos. If you steal photos, you have to pay a large sum of money to the author of the image. If you want to have pictures to show, you have to shoot them your own images. There is no other secret

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  7. Joshua Grasso

    Thanks for the lead! I just sold him like 20 images. Woot who said you can’t make money off photography …

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  8. Ian Homer

    I’m no lawyer but isn’t this ‘passing off’ if the low-life is successful? I don’t think it matters whether they own the copyright through the purchase. That said, what self-respecting professional is going to sell copyright out on even one image for that paltry sum let alone to some charlatan who is going to drag the profession down still further?

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  9. Esther Demaría

    Now with the digital era in Photography, we can find there are thousands of “profesional photographers” as they call their selves, that copy-steal the porfolio of real profesional photographers to scam their clients and they are just simple mediocre amateurs. Here where I live there many of them. For that it is very important that the client do a properly research and if it is possible ask for the qualification of that photographer, no just a digital porfolio.

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  10. Ed

    Reminds me of the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer sold Peterman all his good stories.

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  11. Dennis

    Another great article Hansie. I really appreciate all your contributions to us that are working really hard for our brides and grooms.

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  12. George Roberts

    This is just disgusting. So this guy wants to take the shortcut route? Obviously, his work isn’t good enough to put in his own portfolio. What about using his $150 to take a class or buy a DVD and learn, practice on a few friends and shoot some friends’ weddings at a lower cost? That’s how many of us started.

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    • david superville

      right, or they can pay $150 to a professional wedding photographer and be their assistant for 3 weddings. that way they get experience in the field.

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    • Hanssie

      I agree. I worked my butt off learning how to shoot weddings my first year. I was lucky enough to have a photographer willing to take me under his wing, and pay me to assist.

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