The Case of the Pseudo Photographer

I thought I would take a moment and share this with you guys. Not car-related again, so just a warning.

As a blogger, I do daily checks on how my site is doing – how many hits, where are they coming from, how are they finding it, etc etc. You know, just to see if I can improve it somehow or by coming up with new ways of exposing it. Over the last few days (or maybe even weeks), I’ve been getting reference hits from this site called “stopstealingphotos.com”. Whenever I see reference links like that, I usually go check it out just to make sure it isn’t spam or anything. Well lo and behold, this website is, and I quote “dedicated to photographers that feel it’s okay to steal others’ work and post it as their own”. I didn’t know what it had to do with me, nor did I know why my website might have been linked on there, so I read on…

Turns out a “photographer” took a bunch of photographs from other well-known photographers, removed their watermarks, and presented them as her own. Where I come in (little ol’ me) is she stole the photo that I took of Almond’s wife in her Louboutins in front of his Mercedes G-wagon and played it off as if that was her. That’s the TLDR version. Here’s the link (http://stopstealingphotos.com/sjk-photography-aka-picture-stacie-klein-delray-beach-florida/) If you’re slightly interested in a few more juicy bits or how the story pans out, read on…

So over the last few days, I’ve been revisiting the site and checking the hundreds of comments. There is back lash, there is revolt, it is just messy. Although, rightfully so, in my honest opinion… Nobody should get away with it, and part of the reason I’m posting it is because this has happened to me on numerous occasions. It’s also the reason why I reblogged Stickydiljoe’s post on taking pictures and using them to try and get followers and e-fame. People take photos and post them for their own benefit or to simply come across like they own the subject or that they photographed it. That is the unfortunate truth about online media but to go to these lengths is just a shame. But I digress…

Anyway, a few days go by and I start to care less, the people of stopstealingphotos are doing justice on my behalf, I guess and there’s not much else I can do besides thank them. But wait, there’s more! A few days ago, another link showed up on my referrers section and it’s yet again another summary of the wannabe photographer and the twisted plot. http://bullshizer.tumblr.com/post/110577110704/stolen-photos-legal-threats-blackmail-and-cake

Again, I don’t expect any of you to care that much about this. In fact, I really don’t care that much either – perhaps it’s due to the fact that there are literally hundreds of other people doing “justice” already. The point of it all is still the same: don’t steal photos and claim them as yours, don’t bastardize them, and don’t become a pseudo-personality… It will bite you in the ass.

Below are some excerpts of the long and winding posts from bullshizer’s tumblr.

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The photo above is a clip of her facebook profile where she cropped/removed my watermark in the corner and then posted saying that it was her. Not sure if you can read her reply to all the “Is that you” questions but it says: “Yeppers ya’ll… This was taken in Boca awhile back. Forgot to use it LOL! Love my red bottoms! :):):)” Give me a break… I wish I took that in Boca. LOL

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Another excerpt where she gets defensive about it actually being her when someone calls her out and links her to my actual blog post. She even calls the girl a whore when all the evidence is right there LOL.

Anyway – thought it was amusing. I do keep up with it when I have time… It seems it’s slowly coming to an end though. Apparently the “real” Stacie Klein has control of her account again, denies it was all her and says that it was a childhood friend that hacked her account. Super twisted… But there’s some hump day entertainment for “ya’ll”.

10 thoughts on “The Case of the Pseudo Photographer

  1. Jesus christ people are crazy/will stop at nothing to cultivate a certain “image” of themselves on the internet. Hey you gotta be doing something right if they’re willing to go through so much effort over your pictures lol.

      • Thank you sir! I appreciate that.
        At the end of the day, there really isn’t much that I can do besides sit and let them get what they hopefully deserve. Being a keyboard warrior can only go so far 🙂

  2. Great article. I’m nowhere near your caliber of photog skills but learn to appreciate them as you also try to give back to the auto / photographer communities. ie: how to take rolling shots. The question here is…Is it worth the time and money to get a lawyer and pay the copyright fees for your work?

    • Hey Harry – thanks! I do enjoy hearing that I’ve helped at least some people out on their photography journey. I always wished someone gave me the guidance, so I can only offer what I did not get!

      You know what, I admit that I have thought about it but I’m not entirely sure about how much it would be worth. Issues do pop up from time to time but have yet to come across a really serious offense. It’s almost impossible to avoid in this new world of online media. It’s everywhere.

  3. Wow, that woman is nutty haha.. the Tumblr page which compiles every bit of ‘photo-theft’ she’s done is crazy!!
    I dunno why people do that kinda thing.. perhaps it provides a feeling of self-fulfillment? Looking for compliments? Unsuspecting (friends) commenting on the images making them genuinely *believe* in their heads what they have is real… so sad..

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