The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Where’s My Photo Credit?

Kinda funny, it that not so funny sort of way…
 
To tell the story…. I’ve been a photographer way longer than I’ve been a filmmaker. I shot photograph all over the world long before I ever picked up a movie camera. So, when it came time for me to start making movies, it would generally be me on the set taking most of the Production Stills. Okay… No big deal. Never thought that much about it. That’s just something I do.
 
The other day, this guy asked me to sign an old magazine where they had done an article on a film that Donald G. Jackson and I had made. I flipped through the pages and there were tons of my photographs. What was missing, any photo credit. I mean, the guy who wrote the article got named credit and I imagine got paid to write the article. But, all but one of the photographs that accompanied that article, one that I was in, was taken by me. And, I remember that photograph with me in it was taken by one of our cinematographers, with me guiding him, using my Nikon. But, I received no credit. Didn’t anyone in the editorial office of that magazine question, “Who took those photographs?”
 
I think in a lot of way, that’s what happens in life. People get cheated out of the credit they deserve. Or, in some cases, other people steal the credit someone else is due.
 
The publisher of that magazine sold who knows how many copies of that issue. At least part of those sales were based upon photographs I took but was not given credit for. Is that right?
 
So, what does this tell us? I don’t know, what do you think? I mean, we all do what we do. We do it for whatever reason we do it. Some of us get good at some things. But, whether what we do is considered good or bad, it almost doesn’t even matter. We did it. Shouldn’t we be the one credited with doing it?
 
I guess this all goes to the overall reality of life. I know, in the past, people who work in the nine-to-five have talked to me about how their boss is always taking credit for what they’ve done. They were the actual one to do it, but their boss gets all the credit for the accomplishment. How is that right? Has that ever happened to you?
 
I don’t know that there is an easy answer for this. I guess it goes on all the time. But, I believe it is we, each of us, who must never be duped by the illusion. If we see something like a photograph, we should question, “Who took that picture?” Even if it isn’t stated, someone created that something, we need to find out and know who it was.
 
Always let the person who did the deed get the credit.
 
Me, after looking through the mag, I smiled and signed it for the guy.
 
Beyond all of this, I’ve long thought I could do a grand book of all of the Productions Still I’ve taken through the many years I’ve been making movies. It would be a big job to scan them and to put them all together, however, as many of them/most of them were taken in the days of films… Remember film? But, I believe it would be a fun viewing experience.
 
Anyway… Think about what you may not think about when you view, read, or hear whatever it is you are viewing, reading, or hearing. Don’t just let it go by without a thought. Find out and know who created that whatever. Don’t they deserve the credit?