I have quite the journey in the last couple of years, with others stealing my images for their blogs, their websites, and even to book their own sessions. This is a good opportunity to discuss the most recent theft of my image.
Brittani Taylor Photography of Houston area, was using my image to advertise for her Christmas Santa sessions. I only found out about this, after someone tagged her in a post, where she was caught leaving confetti in a protected forest locally. I decided to click on the tag, to see who she was, only to find my image pinned to the top of her Facebook business page.
I then commented in disbelief, on her post "Are you seriously using my image for your Christmas sessions?!" That comment got her attention to immediately remove it, but I had already screenshotted it all. She had already used my image for her commercial use, booking 12 slots in her Christmas minis. Typically when you use an image for commercial use, you pay a higher rate than just purchasing an image for personal use. She did not even mention that it wasn't her image, but she had downloaded it from Facebook, and re-uploaded to her own, resulting in loss of detail, that made my watermark harder for others to read. In none of these screenshots do you see her mention that it is NOT her image. Never does she tag my business with credit for the image, nor did she ever contact me for permission to use my image for booking her own sessions.
Not only did she use it on the post on her page, she created a Facebook event using my image, pictured above
Brittani Brister aka Brittani Taylor Photography (Houston, TX ) contacted me after she deleted the post and event. She lied and said she found my image on Pinterest, and thought it was cute. You can see how I caught her in the lies, in the following screenshots, which now only show Facebook User, since she blocked me after.
My Pinterest runs 1 million to 2 million monthly viewers, so every image links back to me, to make sure I benefit from it
As you can see, she changed her story, after I pointed out that wasn't possible, based on her saying it was the same Santa in her post with my image.
As I pointed out that she lied and knew it was my image from the beginning, she then just apologizes, but never admits that she knew it was my image, knew she was using it without asking permission or paying for usage, to which I chose no further reply. Did she apologize? She apologized for something, while lying the entire time. That isn't an apology. An apology would entail admitting to what you did, and not lying about how you got it, and then telling everyone that you didn't do anything wrong
Copyright infringement is a huge problem in the art world. Using someone else's image to earn business, without permission and/or without payment, is stealing. She chose only to find my business to message me, after she was caught. My watermark is right in the middle of the red chair, in the middle of the image, she could have easily looked me up, the same way she did after she was caught.
At this time, Brittani Taylor Photography has removed her business social media accounts to avoid losing follows and avoid facing what she has done. She has made no public apology for using my image to profit off of, in fact she denies doing it to everyone else. She claims she did not use my image to profit off of, and that she has every right to use it for inspiration, as long as she doesn't type "this is my image" on her post. Mind you, none of her own images say "this is my image" when she posts them, so to not say "this is not my image" and to not mention that "this image belongs to Kimberly Fryer Photography" is intentionally leading people to believe it is her image.
This has caused me to have to constantly make public service announcements that I do not condone bullying of her for her trash left in the forest (another local Photographer cleaned up 99% and asked for help in a public forum, [with images of her actively cleaning] to clean up the remaining few pieces, to which Brittany Brister showed up and got the last 1% and took credit for cleaning all of it), that I do not condone bullying or destroying her business over any of this. I have had to waste a lot of time making posts, answering questions, contacting Professional Photographers of America for help with the copyright violation, and now this blog to educate others on the situation.
Most importantly, I do not condone cancel culture of the clients or Brittani. Brittani has a right to have a business, regardless of her level of service, she can handle things how she wishes to handle them, and has that right. I do not condone bashing, bullying, threatening, or wishing harm on someone. While it is illegal, and it is a big deal, it is not worthy of destroying someones business, and certainly not for harming the clients character, that had no idea that they were doing anything wrong.
The image above, is to show that my SEO is set up, that even if you google my previous business name, that my website and google come up immediately. If she had wanted to find me to ask permission, she had the ability to do so, just the same as she did after I caught her using my image.
Below you will see that my old website is still active, it redirects to my new one, as I own several domain names that redirect to my website for my SEO
In conclusion, don't use images that are not your own for your business, do not advertise and profit off of someone else's work.