This was a very intense week and I went away too fast but I owe you all an explanation.
Once again, I found out that my images are being stolen and used on websites and Facebook.
I’ve came across people that share my images and link to this blog and talk down about what I do and how I do it. That’s fine, I’m a big boy and I don’t own the truth and I certainly do not possess the talent.
I’ve also came across people that like the images and the blog and I feel like… some kind of embarrassed happiness… which makes me feel good about myself and we all need a bit of that now and then.
And I’ve came across people that just steal my images and use them as their own.
I’ve invested hours, days, months and years, and a lot of money, on this lame blog. I do it for passion, I do it for fun and for the good spirit of sharing information.
I’ve tried to make this blog a small community and it makes me real proud to look at the “search terms” and seeing that some guy was looking for something and he found it in here.
On the other hand I must be the King of Suckers. Once something is on the internet… that’s it! I’m old enough to know this and I’m smart enough to understand it so… what am I complaining about?
Most of you have experienced similar situations about image stealing, I’m sure, so why is this last event any different from others in the past.
For a simple reason… this time was one too many.
Every single time I come across with one of my images on the internet it has to do with Portuguese users or Portuguese websites/Facebook profiles/blogs. Why is this strange?
I don’t participate on any Portuguese forums, I don’t belong to any Portuguese photography community. I don’t have a Facebook Cooking Film page, I don’t belong to any groups apart from the “Hexar AF” group, I don’t do “likes” on pages, just for friends. I have 200 friends and most of them are from all around the world, not Portugal. I don’t visit Portuguese websites or blogs. I don’t buy gear in Portugal, apart from one person, and every time I sell something to a fellow countrymen, it’s a never ending story of problems and complications so I don’t sell any of my gear in Portugal, with very few exceptions.
No I’m not being a pretentious snob about my fellow countrymen. It is was it is.
Most of my real life friends are not into photography and that’s, obviously, cool. Photography was never a “sine qua non” condition to make friends. But when it comes to photography, which is the main reason for my virtual existence, I’m mainly connected to people from other countries.
Sure I have real life friends that share the same passion for photography, but I know that none of them would share something without linking it back to here.
For the first time I saw the followers list of Cooking Film. Not many Portuguese people there, in fact 99,9% are from other countries. I look at the stats, not many visitors from these parts too. I have more visitors from Tanzania than I do from Portugal!
So why is it that every time I stumble upon on my images it is posted on a Portuguese website?
Because that is… the Portuguese way. Not only when it comes to photography but also, when it comes to so many other, and more important, things in life.
One of the most praised qualities here in Portugal is being a “smart ass”. I’m not cut to be a smart ass, I’m the Sucker.
But you fellow countrymen… you are proper smart asses, you are winners at life but you are not welcome here.
This was not the first, or the tenth time, this has nothing to do with with publicity, nothing to do with the value of the images, it has to do with respect.
I’m still deciding what to do.
I can delete this, make it private or leave it as it is and being played for a sucker from time to time.