There are photographers who steal images for their portfolio. Their number is surprisingly high, and today we would like to focus on few factors that show why who steal images has a very short professional life.
We can start from the assumption that, as photographers, our portfolio showcase our work standard. For how appealing having great images in it, there are (at least) five good reasons why you should never use other photographers’ images in your portfolio.
1. Lack of Morals
If you think that to steal images from other photographers is acceptable, you can close this blog post and go away from this website. The lack of morals of those who steal images from other photographers to enhance their portfolio is an appalling behaviour. You are cheating the world, your customers, the photographers who spent their careers producing a fine body of work. To steal images you did not produce is as bad as telling the world you have a PHD when you barely passed the A-Levels.
First and foremost to steal images is to behave in a terrible way.
2. Inconsistency in the Portfolio
In many portfolios consisted of photographs stolen from many photographers, what is evident is a lack of consistency. Different lighting, different moods, different approaches of photography that don’t blend one with the other. A portfolio is not made by sheer quality of images, but it is made by consistency. You are saying to the world that you have a style.
To steal images and mix them with your own, or to steal images from many different photographers means to create an inconsistent portfolio. If you wish to be hired to photograph someone, you are just shooting yourself in the foot. Plain and simple.
3. Over-promise, Under-deliver
One of our ideals is to under-promise and over-deliver. What the customers see in their images blow them away, as they don’t expect all the quality we provide; for each and every one of them. This higher the perceived value of us as photographers and boosts our customers’ confidence.
What do you think it is going to happen should you steal images from other photographers to boost your quality and then deliver worst photograph to your clients? Over-promising and under-delivering will make you being perceived as cheap and you will not convert sales.
4. Customer’s Word of Mouth
All our customers speak highly of us. This makes the word of mouth one of our strongest marketing practice. It is as simple as it gets: people we photograph refer more of their friends to us. This is because we produce great images for each and every one of them, and we under-promise and over-deliver.
If you steal images and deliver inferior quality images to your customers, do you think they are going to refer you to their friends? Or maybe they will let them know that you are not worth it?
5. Photographer’s Word of Mouth
If you think that in the world of the Internet, you can steal images from other photographers and walk free, I may doubt of your intelligence. It takes one trip to google images to check where my portfolio’s images are used. When it happened, a DMCA takedown notice and a message to Stop Stealing Photos created the right amount of word of mouth.
Would you really network with photographers who need to steal images for their portfolios?