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UfD: Protecting You and Your Images

Recently I was given an opportunity to put some work into an exhibition. It seemed like a great idea and I have to say I took a lot for granted and through it I learned a lot. There are things that many of us who don’t exhibit often don’t know or don’t think about.

The Exhibition

The work I had in the exhibition was in a public place, but it wasn’t being watched. I wasn’t the only one with work there and two out of my three pieces were stolen, or have disappeared. Others have experienced the same.

The problem then arises as to who is responsible?

LC01-Lake Charm at SunsetWith almost all exhibitions the gallery or place where you exhibit your work takes no responsibility for stolen or damaged work. When you put your work in to be exhibited you usually do it at your own risk. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really aware of it for this exhibition. It wasn’t until I had gone too far into it that I realized the work wasn’t going to be supervised.

Not long after that we were told that the digital files of all the images would be given to the people who held the exhibition so they could print them out for exhibitions elsewhere. I have to say I was never easy with this idea, but waited until I had a chance to talk LC02-Guiding Lights-wmto someone about it.

What I found out was that the images have just been given to them without any conditions placed on them as to what they can do with them, well as far as I can tell. Everyone has got carried away with the idea that their work might be in further exhibitions. Though we all found out about this before we were aware that images had been stolen from the original show.

So now these people have three of my images, which are all high resolution images, so they can be printed and I have no control over what happens with them. I have asked that they delete them, but who can ever be sure that it actually happens.

Protecting Yourself

I am just going to list some ideas on how you can protect yourself from this happening again. I’m sure others have had similar ideas, so please, if you can contribute please do.

1 – Make Sure You Know the Factsscbarwonheads-4hpm0376-2

By this I mean, make sure you know exactly what is going on. Never assume anything.

2 – Will the Work Be Supervised

Really as soon as I knew it wasn’t going to be I should’ve clicked. The work is not protected from anything. There is no one to stop people from just taking the work, or from destroying it. You really shouldn’t agree to work not being supervised unless it is behind glass or protected some other way. Our work was just pinned to boards.

3 – Find Out About Compensation

If the conditions are like ours, where the work wasn’t secured at all you need to find out if you will be compensated if something happens to it.

4 – Have an Agreement in Writing

LeanneCole-pinklakes-6286-5hpmGet a contract, make sure you know what you are liable for and what they are. Don’t try and be nice, this is your work and you have every right to protect it.

5 – Giving High Resolution Images

It should be, never give them to anyone. Once people have them they can do what they like with them, unless you have a contract. If you have one then you can stipulate what they can and can’t do with them. You have something to protect you.

Our images were given away basically, so we have nothing set up to protect us.

Competitions

Many competitions require you to send in your images as well and again, you need to be aware of what is required. sccity-3hpm1824Read the fine print, find out what they can and can’t do with your images. It will be there in the Terms and Conditions. You can’t argue with them, and either you agree with them or you don’t, so then you have to decide whether or not you will enter it.

Don’t ever enter a competition where they have full rights to  your images. You might be signing away all rights and they might make millions from your image. You just don’t know.

I hope these points all help you to understand how you can better protect yourself. The part that is the most concerning for me is that we have given away our images and there is control over what they can do with them. They could use them for advertising, they could sell them or they could just give them away. We don’t know.  I am not quite sure what to do now, I’ve requested that my images be removed from them, but I don’t  know how to check that it has been.

So protect yourself, be sure you know what you are doing, be aware of the details, read the fine print, get things in writing.

The images today are ones that I would use for exhibition purposes.

110 Comments
  1. I’m shocked by the lack of professionalism among the exhibition organizers. When I was the Secretary of an art club, we took our responsibility very seriously when it came to running exhibitions. Works were always supervised and kept secure during closed hours and we had insurance for if something went awry. The “possession” thing is troubling too. The whole thing just smacks of poor planning and poor attitude. I’m sorry that you’ve been let down so badly in this way.

    July 3, 2015
    • I am not sure if it was their first time doing it or not, it was our first with them. It should be like that, though maybe we should have organised supervision as well, but we have had not control at certain times. I think it is the poor planning, and also on behave of both sides and having too must trust and perhaps not enough knowledge about what should or shouldn’t be done. It is all learning really. Thanks Laura.

      July 3, 2015
      • In our case, the insurance was our starter point and that required us to put certain other safeguards in place that we might not otherwise have considered. We also regarded exhibiting the work of others as entering into a contract with them. I guess my control freakery was beneficial in that regard. It’s all a learning curve, of course, and next time you will be more vigilant and know what questions to ask.

        July 3, 2015
      • I wish we had you here when we were organizing this one, oh well, teaches me not to leave everything to others.

        July 3, 2015
  2. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    My daughter learned the hard way, too, about art shows. A print was damaged and the folks giving the show were responsible because they did not follow what they said they would do at the end of the show. She wouldn’t let go; she stated facts and had proof. The show sponsors eventually forked over the money but look at the time and aggravation it took to get it. Show sponsors often write their own rules and artists and photographers assume all risks. Like you said: Get the agreement in writing.

    July 3, 2015
    • Good on your daughter for not letting go. It is something that you have to be very careful about, here, in Australia, most exhibitions you enter into you do at your own risk, but I don’t know about this one. Thanks Jackie.

      July 3, 2015
  3. Leanne I’m sorry your work was stolen.
    As independent artists we are in a vulnerable position.
    Do they have social media accounts where you can call them out on? I would do Google reviews, Yelp, anything that can redirect their users attention back to yourself.
    You need to re-establish the link between any publicity they give your work and your name.

    July 3, 2015
    • We are, though, I’ve been through the gallery experience many times and I should have looked more into it myself, I was too flippant as well.
      I don’t know if they have that, though I’m not sure that would help, we don’t really know what happened, that is the problem and unfortunately fault can be found on both sides.
      I need to make sure they don’t have my images and that they destroy the digital files. I will have to get some advice from an organisation here for that. Thanks Ave.

      July 3, 2015
  4. Many people are often excited at anyone showing interest in their work and don’t think about these things.

    I try to be very protective of my images, and everything I put on the web had a digital signature on it. It’s also rare that I would give anyone a high-resolution version of a photo.

    Really, it’s not that someone might make millions from my work; it’s the idea they would use it without asking. I might very well let someone have it as long as they ask and attribute the work back to me. But yes; if they are going to make money from it, then i think I should receive a share of it.

    July 3, 2015
    • So very true, and when I started asking questions I realized that that is exactly what had happened.
      I do the same with all my images.
      the problem here is that it is a commercial company representing lots of other companies that now have our work, so we have no control over what they do with them. They could give our images to companies to use for websites and who knows what else. I am going to get some advice on what I can do, if anything now. I agree, if they are going to make money from your image you should be paid for it. This idea that everything should be free these days is crap, if you ask me. Thanks Disperser.

      July 3, 2015
  5. Thanks for the post. I’m not a professional, I’m a rotten (and un-trained and -educated) photographer, and I don’t show in exhibitions. However, I like knowing about things I don’t participate in as well as those I do.

    July 3, 2015
    • You never know Kathy, you might start entering some images, and so it is good to know what you are doing.

      July 3, 2015
  6. Valuable information…not good enough, but still. Lovely images. Inspirational as always.

    July 3, 2015
    • No, not good enough, but it happens to frequently I think. Thank you.

      July 3, 2015
  7. That is awful. I really hope that they did the decent thing and didn’t take advantage of having your high resolution work.

    July 3, 2015
    • So far they still have it Molly, as far as I know and I don’t know what’s happening to it. I need to be so much more careful in the future. Thank you.

      July 3, 2015
  8. Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

    July 3, 2015
  9. This is an excellent topic Leanne and thank you for sharing this. I think it might be safe to say that perhaps a contract is extremely important and to read it in full – and not be afraid to question anything one might not feel they are in agreement with. I am sorry your images were stollen and I would never imagine someone would steal images at an exhibition.

    July 3, 2015
    • You’re welcome Debby. It is extremely important and you should be very careful with where you exhibit your work. Thank you, I know, who would’ve thought, but guess it does happen.

      July 3, 2015
  10. Some very good tips, but so sorry that happened to you.

    July 3, 2015
    • Thank you, a big lesson learned.

      July 3, 2015
  11. Great things to consider, Leanne. I never thought about some of these things either, and I am so glad you brought them up. Thanks so much!
    – Jo

    July 3, 2015
    • You welcome Jo, I think that is the problem a lot of the time, unless you’ve been through it how would you know. Thanks.

      July 3, 2015
  12. Those are excellent tips on how to protect your photographic work Leanne!

    I’ve been dealing with people stealing images but if one day I am invited or decide to showcase my captures at a gallery I’ll keep in mind your advice.

    Yes I’ve also been reading more attentively the fine print when it comes to submitting your images to contests. We must take the time to do it before we lose our rights! TYVM

    July 3, 2015
    • thank you.
      I think we all deal with that in the internet, but showing in exhibitions is a different matter and so is competing in competitions.
      That’s good to hear, be careful you aren’t signing away your images.

      July 3, 2015
  13. Contracts, contracts, contracts! Sorry this happened to you my friend. 😦

    July 3, 2015
    • Exactly, I was quite surprised when I heard that one hadn’t been signed. Lesson learned. Thanks Carol.

      July 3, 2015
  14. Thanks Leanne. This is really informative and a good warning to us all. Beautiful photos too.

    July 3, 2015
    • You’re welcome, and thanks Michelle.

      July 3, 2015
  15. Reblogged this on photographyofnia.

    July 3, 2015
  16. Sorry to hear this dear Leanne, I haven’t any idea about exhibition problems. Thank you for sharing, I reblogged for my followers too. Love, nia

    July 3, 2015
    • I think that is part of the problem Nia, people don’t understand. You’re welcome and thanks for the reblog.

      July 3, 2015
  17. Good, if not unfortunate thoughts.

    July 3, 2015
    • Thanks Robert, good to keep it in mind.

      July 3, 2015
  18. Just thinking about this now as I have an online gallery for a school kids shoot and feel I need to ask parents not to save or print off from web, even with “Do not copy or print” plastered all over the pictures. So sad!

    July 3, 2015
    • I know, the web is so weird too, everyone thinks if it’s online it must be free to take. It is very sad. Thanks for that Eloise.

      July 3, 2015
  19. What an infuriating experience, Leanne! I haven’t participated in photo exhibitions, but have with quilting and similar rules apply. I would add to your list to check the delivery and return process, insurance while in transit, how your work is identified as yours (watermark, identification at the back of a frame and linked back to a master list, etc), whether it is part of a travelling exhibition, and the transport arrangements for that. It is easy to get excited about being invited to participate and to be somewhat naive about how it is all organised.
    Once bitten twice shy though! It sounds like the organisers were totally unaware and way too casual and that in itself should send alarm bells ringing. But it’s easy to be wise in hindsight. Thank you for alerting us to the risks and safeguards.
    Love your set in the gallery particularly the curly bridge with the sheep!

    July 3, 2015
    • All important points Chris, very important.
      I think absolutely, way to casual and didn’t really understand what they were doing. Very easy. You’re welcome.
      Thank you, I love my sheep shot, I need to do more of those.

      July 3, 2015
  20. Reblogged this on Best Of and commented:
    Protecting You and Your Images

    July 3, 2015
  21. I really hate that your art was stolen. Although I’m just an amateur and will never show any of my photographs, it’s very kind of you to pass your experience along to photographers who might. Beautiful shots, the lighthouse and bridge on the lake are two of my favorites of yours.

    July 3, 2015
    • You never know Shawn, it is something that you just need to keep in mind. thank you.

      July 3, 2015
  22. I am so sorry that happened to you! Unless there was some “fine print” you didn’t see when you signed up for the exhibition, you still own the all rights to the image. All your metadata, including ©, should still be in the file and most reputable printers will not print without a release. That being said, nothing stops them from printing and selling them themselves. Again really sorry you learned the hard lesson about exhibits.

    July 3, 2015
    • I know I still own the copyright, but it doesn’t stop them from doing what they like to the images unfortunately. It was a hard lesson, but one I should have known about really, oh well. Thanks

      July 3, 2015
  23. j9tigger #

    Do you already have your images in a copyright protected space? If so, and you can show they existed with whatever copyrights you determined, I would think you could cease and desist someone from also selling them without you express written permission, or compensation.

    July 3, 2015
    • It doesn’t really work like that in Australia, if you have the original image and can prove ownership then it is yours. I have to investigate what has happened a little more Thanks.

      July 3, 2015
  24. An important issue well explained. Needs to be stated!

    July 3, 2015
    • Thanks Victor, I agree, a good reminder.

      July 3, 2015
  25. It’s surprising that people in this day and age would do something so petty.
    This isn’t something anyone should have to worry about.

    Still, a post with good advice has come out of it and you’ve made a lot of people aware of what to look out for.

    July 3, 2015
    • I know, you would think you would be okay.
      I’m glad about that and if it helps others, then even better. Thanks

      July 3, 2015
  26. Also, if you are exhibiting where your work can purchased, find out how much the commission percentage is, that the gallery will take. I was foolish enough not to ask, being naive and thrilled to have my work exhibited for the first time and when it sold the gallery took 50%!!!!!!

    July 3, 2015
    • Yes, that happens here too, usually they are fairly up front with how much commission they do or don’t take, but good reminder Cate, thanks.

      July 3, 2015
  27. Hello there.
    Thanks for this great information.
    THEY do not know how to appreciate the works of other people THEY just STEAL them for their PERSONAL NEEDS.
    However, I so LOVE your photos…. AMAZINGLY AMAZING!

    July 3, 2015
    • Thank you, you are right, no consideration was taken, I’m sure those people wouldn’t like me taking their stuff.

      July 3, 2015
      • maybe that’s what they want you to do…. just kidding… maybe they are feared or threatened because YOU are better than them. Just a thought. 🙂

        July 3, 2015
      • Not quite sure it was like that, though think they just thought they were sitting there who would notice. 🙂

        July 4, 2015
  28. Leanne, they didn’t disclose, upfront, the fact they would Keep and Disperse at their pleasure your images? I don’t think thats actually legal? I’m not a solicitor though. I’d say they do not have that right. Period. and by chance, do your images have your name signed across them? social media could be a way to either retrieve the ‘missing’ images or lead you to them. It doesn’t come as a big shock that shows are unsupervised at times, & theft can occur. 😦 But organisers absconding with your property…hmmm that is shocking indeed, at just how lazy people can be with wanting to earn money off someone else’s hard work and labor.

    July 3, 2015
    • I’m not sure about the whole deal, but need to make sure that there is some sort of contract next time. No the images given to them don’t have my name written on them, but may be that is something I should do in the future. It is rather. Thanks Deb

      July 3, 2015
  29. Really great advise!! Thanks for the break out because you are right, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the exhibit and its easy to forget to ask about and beware of the details! I’m sorry you lost your work in the process, not a great ending to what should have been a wonderful experience and exposure for you.
    Great article!

    July 3, 2015
    • It is all too easy, and too easy to let people who are not familiar with exhibitions to handle everything. I know, thank you Kelley, we live and we learn, as they say, it won’t happen again.

      July 3, 2015
  30. Ah, Leanne–this is really terrible. I couldn’t like it because I am so sorry this happened to you. The fact that no one claims responsibility for this exhibition…wow. I hope this sets a precedence and does not happen again. Or that no one supports this exhibitioner any more. This is just not right.

    July 3, 2015
    • It is horrible, but I should have known better, I’m not new to this, so a lesson remembered. I will make sure it doesn’t happen to me again, that’s for sure. Thanks Lois.

      July 3, 2015
  31. Thanks for sharing this. Certainly good advice and I shall bear these points in mind going forward. Cheers.

    July 3, 2015
    • You’re welcome, and I hope you do, remember to protect yourself. Thanks

      July 3, 2015
  32. https://www.thebrownbilleffect.com/blog/sally-says/ this is an interesting link for those who are interested.

    July 3, 2015
    • Thanks for the link Chris, I’m sure others will find it useful.

      July 3, 2015
  33. As part of my TAFE course, we had to hand in photos of our work that made up our diploma exhibition. A few months later, we found out by accident that a local council had been given our photos and they were on display in their own exhibition. Yes, it was extra coverage for us, but many of us had used models who were happy to be part of our diploma exhibition and portfolio but hadn’t known their images would be posted through libraries and other council properties. It would have been nice to have at been told, though preferably asked.. I guess we live and learn don’t we?

    July 3, 2015
    • We do Livonne, and you certainly should have been told about it, what if you didn’t want to be part of it, you weren’t even given a choice, thanks for sharing that.

      July 3, 2015
  34. Stealing, copying, plagiarism seems to be the fad now 😦 I am saddened by what has happened with your pictures.
    Recently I found out my pics used in another food related website. They have cleverly cropped out the watermark. I have mailed them for this, till date no reply.

    As usual, beautiful shots Leanne. I love your clicks ❤

    July 3, 2015
    • Thanks Andy, though I have to take some of the blame as well. I should have known better.
      Tell them your lawyer has advised that you should contact the first with an invoice for the price of the image.
      I hate that sort of thing. It really annoys me which is why I put watermarks in my images so they are harder to remove.
      Thanks for sharing your experience Andy.

      July 3, 2015
  35. Very wise advice you are sharing Leanne, sadly though from your personal experience of having trusted people who clearly were either incompetent, mediocre or inexperienced. Your conclusions about making sure one has signed agreements is the only way to go.

    July 3, 2015
    • You’re welcome Denis, absolutely, and yes, contracts are the only way to go really. Then everyone knows what is expected of them. Thanks

      July 3, 2015
  36. Geez! That’s awful that your work was stolen! I think you should call them out on Social Media so no one else puts work in their exhibitions!

    I’m very blessed Big Baby Boy is a Lawyer and knows contract law very well. He helped me write up my contracts for licensing, and purchasing images, but I never thought about images in a gallery. It’s something to ask him about.

    All your images are lovely, but today/this evening I find the view and framing of the doorway to the little table with the potted plant the best! Tomorrow it may be different though. 🙂

    July 3, 2015
    • I have to be careful, we don’t actually know who is at fault here, and it could very well also be ours.
      I need someone like that in my life, can you lend him out, haha. I should have known better really, I’ve done this sort of thing before, showing work.
      Thank you, that image you like best is a scene that is no longer there, unfortunately. Thank you. 🙂

      July 3, 2015
  37. Great photo’s! It is horrible to think they are missing out there. Hopefully they will do the right thing and confirm deletion. Good luck to you, and thanks for tips.

    July 3, 2015
    • Hopefully not missing, but soon to be deleted, I hope. I hope so too, time will tell. Thank you.
      .

      July 3, 2015
  38. I have had an exhibition in Austria and Italy. Luckily it was in the days of hand printing so that I still owned all the negatives. What was good about them was that they could not be replicated as they were all one off images due to the post processing I had done. I am not so sure about exhibitions today with digital photography. Love your photos – they are fabulous.

    July 3, 2015
    • Yes, that was lucky. It is a whole new world today, thank you Raewyn.

      July 3, 2015
  39. Excellent post Leanne.

    July 3, 2015
  40. Such a violation. I’m so sorry you lost your work in this manner.

    July 4, 2015
    • It was, almost like the work was worthless, which is wasn’t. Thanks

      July 4, 2015
  41. WOW – this is unreal…. I have been exhibiting for years, and I have NEVER had anything stolen or damaged, and have never had copyright stolen -it this sounds like a dodgy exhibition to me!! …. but having said that, I guess it is good to think about the fact there are exhibitions out there that are not above board! Sorry for your bad experience.

    July 4, 2015
    • I should have looked into it more Dawn, I’ve never had anything like this happen before either. You don’t need to apologize a good reminder that I need to be more careful. Thanks Dawn.

      July 4, 2015
  42. Great advice but what a sad experience, Leanne. Thanks for sharing.

    janet

    July 4, 2015
    • I think sharing experiences is good, especially if it makes others more aware. Thanks

      July 4, 2015
  43. You raise some very good points Leanne. While I haven’t had any prints stolen, I know a number of people who have. It can be both flattering and annoying.

    As to giving the rights/hi res files. That problem manifests itself in many ways. Part of the whole mess has to do with different copyright laws around the globe. Beyond that, many of us rely on others to do our high quality printing. So far, I have no reason to worry about the person doing my prints, but I suspect there are plenty of unscrupulous folks out there.

    You are absolutely right about needing to read the fine print. The scenario you gave sounds a little extreme. If the fine print allowed those actions, you are probably limited to social media to tell everyone about who the culprits are. In many cases that will cause a change when more and more of the photographers they would like to exhibit won’t go near them!

    July 4, 2015
    • Thanks John, I’ve never had it happen to me before either. I’ve had work damaged, but again it was in a show that was a bit dodgy.
      This was all here, so the laws are the same. Really have to make sure that you are very clear on what people can do with your images.
      I am limited and unfortunately people do have work with them, and I don’t want to make the situation worse.

      July 4, 2015
  44. ouch Leanne. live and learn! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    July 4, 2015
    • Absolutely Cybele. YOu’re welcome.

      July 4, 2015
  45. So messed up when people take what’s not theirs or when people take advantage of other people’s talents.

    July 4, 2015
    • It is RoSy such a lack of respect. Thanks

      July 4, 2015
  46. We used have friends who owned a gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. Among other things, they had exclusive rights to exhibit prints of Alfred Eisenstadt and many artists who lived on the Vineyard. For years, they had no problem with security. It’s an island, after all. You can only get there — or off — by ferry, private airplane, or boat. Then, one year, they had a break in. Some very expensive bronzes went away. They had thought thieves wouldn’t bother because it would be impossible to get the goods off the island … but they were wrong.

    When my husband was a working reporter, he covered the Gardner museum heist in Boston. Millions of dollars in paintings, none of which were ever recovered. Art theft is a high profit business.

    After the break in at the gallery on the Vineyard, many photographers began taking their pictures home at night and re-hanging them in the morning. Talk about high maintenance.

    I’m old and cynical. Life hasn’t given me reason to expect good behavior. I’m especially suspicious of anyone who says “Trust me.”

    July 4, 2015
    • Wow, that must have been so horrible for your friends. It is amazing how people don’t really think photos are valuable, but are happy to steal it. Thank you for sharing that story Marilyn.

      July 4, 2015
  47. Leanne I find this appalling .. To think that digital copies have been given away is bad enough, but to have your work stolen. The organisers need to be accountable. I can’t see any benefit in showing your work when this happens. I’m annoyed ..

    July 4, 2015
    • I know, the stealing happened first, but didn’t know that it had happened until after the images had been given to them. I need to be careful where I show it in the future, make sure it isn’t just left without supervision. Thanks Julie.

      July 4, 2015
  48. Thank you for a very enlightening and informative post! I will have a better idea what to look for as I begin to venture into showing some of my work.

    July 4, 2015
    • You’re welcome, just be careful and make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself in for, is the best thing. Thanks

      July 5, 2015
  49. Thank you so much for posting this, Leanne! What a painful experience to go through and my sympathies to you and the other exhibitors. It’s possible in future I may want to show mixed media pieces, I can see several points applying in the same way.

    It’s a disgrace that the exhibitors have treated you and other photographers’ works in such an off-hand, careless and dodgy-sounding way. I hope that you will be able to get some kind of resolution to this without having to go full legal action.

    July 5, 2015
    • It has been,but something that could have been avoided. Glad it has helped you.

      Yes, I hope so too, working on that now, I just don’t want them to have access to my digital files now.
      Thanks

      July 5, 2015
  50. I’m surprised at the unprofessional attitude taken by the exhibition organisers but, as you say, it always pays to check all the small print. A lesson learned the hard way but at least you’re aware of it now – and so are we all thanks to you!

    July 6, 2015
    • I think the issue really was that there wasn’t any small print, and I think we were all very naive about the whole thing, I should have looked into it more. I am, it has taught me a good lesson, and one I did know, but is a good reminder. Thanks Noeline.

      July 6, 2015
  51. I’m sorry to hear about this, Leanne. I guess the stolen prints will be hard to recover, but don’t you still own the copyright on the digital images? You might check into what legal penalties there would be if the exhibitors made money off of those full-size images. That would be an interesting chat you could have with the people. Your images are beautiful!

    July 6, 2015
    • I do still own the copyright, it is more hoping that they don’t use them in ways they shouldn’t, like in advertising. I think the legal thing would be the same of any stolen images, or stolen goods, though artwork doesn’t seem to rate highly with priority. Thank you Pam.

      July 6, 2015
      • Thank you for sharing your experience. At least you stepped out and shared your work and learned something valuable in the process.

        July 6, 2015
      • No problem at all Pam, it is good that I can do that, if I can help others, and make them think, that is a good thing.

        July 6, 2015
  52. I’m so sorry Leanne. It happens to everyone once, and it’s usually the first time you try to sell a photograph or enter a competition. I was lucky enough to be born paranoid, and I am also a second generation photographer so I was taught early on not to do anything without a contract. It’s like the old saying, “It is as bad and you think, and yes they are out to get you.” They’re all shysters. If the idea of this exhibition was to sell prints, then it should have been run like a gallery and their should have been a contract. If one of your art works sold, what was the split; usually 50/50, 60/40 (the gallery getting 60)? With competitions, there are no contracts but there are rules (which are their contract with you). You really don’t have to read the rules. They’re all the same. They get everything. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from entering. Just know what is going on. If you think you have the image they want and you’re willing to gamble to get that grand prize, go for it. Twenty years ago, someone talked me into entering two photo competitions. I got lucky, won both of them, and it launched my career.

    July 10, 2015
    • I couldn’t have agreed more, all very true, I’ve exhibited quite a bit before and I should have known better. I am usually a lot more careful about it, it looks like it has ended okay, though the prints that were stolen are still gone, which is a shame. That’s fantastic, you did well. Thanks for sharing that.

      July 10, 2015
      • Everyone drops their guard once in a while. I had two images stolen by huge, worldwide corporation and were in use outside the US. I didn’t have the time or resources to fight it so I decided to let it go and move on. Live and learn!

        July 14, 2015
      • It is one of those things, learning to fight your battles, this was small time, compared to you, but we do have to watch out.

        July 14, 2015

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