“Steal this photo”
“Yes, steal this photo! Make it yours, own it, get it…”

This is what I have seen and experienced during the last northern light season. Some people have stolen my photos, some people have used them with permission.


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But what is “sharing”?

This question has popped up several times when I have confronted the people that have used the photo without my permission.

Social networks have a built-in “Share” button. When you hit that button, you decide if you want to share it in your wall, in a message, or any other place. This is sharing: you share something you like with other people, and the name of the photographer will follow the picture.

This is something we encourage you to do: it helps us reach more people, and hopefully more people will be interested in what we do. In my case, the goal of this blog is to go through the nuts and bolts of northern light photography (are you missing any information? Please, let me know!), others want to have publicity for their business, and others sell prints of the photo you are seeing.

So share and comment if you like a photo, that means a lot to us.

Another option is if you download the photo, then upload it to your profile. Here you will be in a tricky position: if you upload it and give credit to the photographer, that is still sharing, but if you upload it and do not tell that you are NOT the photographer, then you are using the photo inappropriately.

What is “stealing”?

Stealing is inappropriately taking something that does not belong to you. In our case, when you upload someone else’s photo and you do not say who was the photographer, you are doing it wrong: no, you will not get a SWAT team storming your house, and nobody will sue you if you just post a photo. The real problem comes when you sell the photo, or use it as a business presentation (“See what photo I took last night, join a tour with me” -but the photo was taken last week, and it was not him taking the photo-). A clear case of stealing is here, go and read!!

If you remove the signature from the photo (which is there not to annoy our friends, but to deter robbers), or you upload it as yours, or you use it for promoting your business, then that is called stealing. Even if you do not make money out of it, you are unlawfully owning another persons’s piece of work!

What if I want to share it in a social network, but you aren’t there?

This happened to me some weeks ago: I am not on Instagram, and I got a message asking if they could share my photos there. Of course you can! Go share! Post them wherever you want, just remember to put “Photo by Northern light blog”. If you feel like it, a link to the blog, or the facebook page: we will always appreciate that.

In summary, you can print the photos, share them or upload them to your profile/website, as long as you say “this photo was taken by XXX”.

Several of you have asked about this, I hope this helps clarifying how sharing and stealing work when it comes to photography. Do you have more questions? Drop me a line on my e-mail or on my facebook page!

Drop me a line on my e-mail or on my facebook page and I will gladly reply 🙂

By Northern Light Blog