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Be Careful What You Share!


Reposted from Jason Frost.

I started my ‘Black Women Read’ - ‘Black Men Read’ photo campaign roughly five years ago. The purpose was to showcase our love of books, our love of reading, our love of writing, and to put into the ether images you normally wouldn’t see. Or at least normally see often. I don’t mind my photography being shared, that’s kinda the point. But I’ve always maintained: tag the photographer, tag the model, and keep the creative license intact.

A week ago it was brought to my attention that one of my photographs was being used by Ashley Antoinette on her website and various social media platforms. OK, not the first time an author has used one of my photos, and won’t be the last. My work is good that is to be expected. Just do the right thing and tag me. Tag the creative of who’s work you’re using. If you love someone’s work enough to plaster it on your social media, then respect the artist enough to let your followers know who created it.

Over the past week I have sent numerous eMails, messages, and commented on her posts. And every single one has been ignored. Oh she’s posted on her social media AFTER I’ve sent messages so I’m positive she, or her people, have seen it. Hell, she even posted the SAME PICTURE days after I sent her the first messages! There’s literally no way she could have missed every single message. And every message has been polite.

Pointed, but polite.

When I worked for a Black publishing company a few years back I made the mistake of using a photo that belonged to a photographer. One of their fans saw it and told them. They told me. I took the post down with apologies. That’s the way it should be done. It took ONE message to correct my mistake. She has brushed aside the NUMEROUS ones that I’ve sent. This type of behavior is unprofessional at best, unethical at worst.

This is not about my photo being shared. This is about my photo being shared without proper credit.

In this digital age that should not happen. It is unfortunately that is what people do. But other creatives, artist, and people who create media should know better. Be better than the sheep that share and steal material, mindless and indifferent to the person that created it. I wish this could have been handled without a mini rant, but it seems that now a days people only respond when something is made public.

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