Thursday, February 9, 2012

Oh, But No!

I just received this email advertising an upcoming production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

I should be proud.

Do you know why?

Well, you see that little picture toward the bottom, the one being used to advertise a walking tour?

Why, it looks like a picture I made a few years ago. It looks a lot like a picture I made a few years ago. You can go here to compare the one I made with this one.

There are some differences, of course. The tint is slightly different, and my little signature logo in the bottom left-hand corner of the original has been chopped off. But other than that, it sure looks like the same picture.

You see, it's a composite image made up of several shots stitched together, and the finished picture also has a textured effect layered on. It's literally a one-of-a-kind image.

I should be very proud that an outfit as reputable as our Southern Rep Theatre Company would want to use my picture.

But I can't help wonder why they didn't ask me to use it or why they didn't mention that I made it.

I'm not a difficult person. If they had asked, I probably would have told them to use it with my blessing. Other people have asked me to use some picture or other before, and I've let them. One of my photographs was even used as the cover artwork for a record released by a Norwegian garage band several years ago. They sent me a copy. I still have it somewhere. The text on the jacket said I made the picture and that I allowed them to use it.

I've responded to the email, asking where they might have found the image, but no one has written me back yet. They probably won't. Why should they? I'm a nobody who just takes pictures for his own personal pleasure, and they're important Artists-with-a-capital-A.

Or is there another word that might be more appropriate?

Update, February 10, 2012:

The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of both Southern Rep and myself. They've apologized and offered me credit and a royalty.


  1. I can think of a number of bad words (in English and Italian) that would fit them perfectly!

  2.  LOL, would you believe I can still remember some of the Sicilian words from so many years ago. Funny what you never forget ;-)

  3. i think you should have someone with ESQ after their name send them a letter asking about credit and compensation. after all, it is being used for a money making venture, which means they need your prior permission and they need to pay you.

    this isn't like when i giddily put your pictures up on my blog because i love them so! i wasn't making money off of you, and i did say they were yours, right? (a little twinge of guilt over here because I didn't ask first... sorry)

  4. I had a similar incident last summer. OffBeat published a photo I had taken of The Healing Center without credit. I tweeted about it and Jan Ramsey promptly contacted me & removed the photo. She said she found it on google images and followed the link to NOLAFemmes where she actually said she didn't see a copyright posted. Well. Copyright has been prominently posted on my blog from day 1. I think people will try to get away with whatever they can and it's really inexcusable for so-called professional people/orgs to do it.
    Fie upon them.


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