Misappropriation of Photography Credit

Take a look at this picture:

Erica Shain of Two Becomes One

I took that picture last October for Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine.  The story, with a different picture, ran in an article a few months later:

Article in Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine

click for larger image

A month or so ago, the editor contacted me and wanted additional photos from the shoot. I sent her the picture above (the first one).  Well, on Tuesday I noticed the magazine’s Facebook profile picture was from one of their edition’s cover*:

Cover of Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine

Look familiar? It’s the same picture I took, only the subject has been cut out and placed on a different background. At first, I was excited to see one of my pictures on the cover. But my heart sank when I saw the photo credit was given to another photographer. I contacted the editor and the Facebook image was corrected immediately; but the printed issue went out with the other photographer’s name. Apparently the other photographer took the image of the background. The editor said she would print a correction in the next issue.

On the same day, she asked if I wanted to take on another assignment. Here’s where I need your opinion. My gut says “no”. I’m still a little hurt and peeved by the mistake. A tiny correction inside the magazine which most people won’t read or care about does not compare to the COVER of a magazine which another photographer got credit for.  So, right now, I’m inclined to not take any more assignments from them. What do you think? Should I burn that bridge? Or am I overreacting? I understand it was an honest mistake (read below), but it deprived me of a lot of exposure.

I should note that I don’t get paid, per say, for the assignments. Each hour is worth a certain amount of ad space in the magazine.

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

*the magazine has several editions targeting different areas in Central Florida. Each edition is very similar but has a different cover image. So I understand how the mistake was made. They just replace the image and the accompanying headline, but leave everything else, including the photographer’s credit, the same.

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4 thoughts on “Misappropriation of Photography Credit

  1. Hi Harry – Even editors make mistakes. I would caution against burning that bridge and accept the apology and correction from the magazine. Brush it off an use it as a learning experience. I do certainly understand your frustration though.

  2. It’s not an overreaction per se, guy, but you have to ask yourself a few things: will they likely offer you future opportunities that’ll allow you to reach a wider audience or expand your creative influence? Are they sloppy? Is this the sort of mistake they make regularly? Do they pay well for your time/services? I’ve learned not to close any doors, and it seems like they’re trying to make amends by offering you more work.

    -LL

  3. I’m Erica Shain and have no idea what this is. I don’t see any of my photos, so must be someone out there with the same name?

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