If It Is Good, It Will Get Stolen (Instagram is like the wild, wild west)

Kendall Strampel at the gate to the medical ward at Eastern States Penitentiary

Kendall Strampel at the gate to the medical ward at Eastern States Penitentiary

Not sure why people do this? In all of my quest to become a great photo editor I have spent countless hours working in Adobe Photoshop. I have spent countless dollars taking classes, reading books and traveling to conventions and attending live seminars. I have studied under some of the best in the industry. One thing that is known by all is; if you post online you will have your images stolen. These are the most recent images that have been reported to me by Digimarc. Although I find it an honor that someone likes my image enough to steal it and repost it. Or in the case of what goes on at Instagram where people take the photo and re-edit it in some horrible manner that doesn’t lend any goodness or in anyway make the photo better than what it was to start with. Digimarc is a digital watermark that is embedded in the properties of the image kind of giving the image its own personal address. Wherever the photo goes, so does the watermark and can be traced. The watermark can be stripped out but it will greatly reduce the quality of the image.
I have never stolen an image and called it my own, nor have I taken someone’s image and re-edited it. I have however bought (as in paid $$$) stock photos from istock.com to use for editing purposes. My latest photo of The crazed Kendall at the gate to the medical ward at Eastern States Penitentiary was only online a few days before it started to travel around on its own. I knew this would happen because the photo was very popular as soon as it went up online at the various places I posted it. The biggest amazement or I should say “question” that everyone was asking me was “how did you get her on the other side of the gate to photograph her?” Because any photographer who has ever been to ESP knows that the gate is kept locked and it is a forbidden area to photograph. You can take photos of the gate, but you can not go on the otherside. So just how did I get Kendall in this spot? I think you know the answer to that.

As for Instagram; I have been getting all kinds of activity over there. I get the normal people who “like” my photos and follow me. Some ask questions or advice and this I find no problem or fault with. But I get DM’s (direct messages) all the time from girls who want to shoot with me. So called models. I say “so called” because they are for the most part just girls looking to get in front of a camera so they can say “yeah I did a photo shoot today.” So I tested the waters on this and had a 50% failure rate… or success rate depending on how you want to look at it. The first girl was amazing. An amature for sure but what a great person and she took direction well and we had a great shoot with awesome images created in the end. Second was a total dud… a miss-fire so to speak. I scheduled the shoot with hair and makeup artists on hand and the girl was a total no show. Ahhh… what do you want its Instagram, its like the wild, wild, west.

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