A click away

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 aΒ 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.

  1. anette said:

    I’m so sorry to hear that! Gosh, that’s such a terrible thing to do! I always thought this can’t happen to me and luckily, I had never problems with it or I don’t know about it yet. The truth is, this can always happen. The internet has different sides, good ones and bad ones. For that reason I decided to describe my unfinished projects without any details. People don’t have to know everything, since you never know who will read your blog.
    I really hope that you go on with your blog, I would miss it a lot! I’d understand though if you’d decide not to … Well, another possibility could be thinking about signing all your photos. I have to think about that too. Maybe this can be helpful, but I don’t know if this would be enough …

    All the best,

    • Thank you for your words. It was a bit childish of me but it drives me crazy that this is happening so often. This is a blog about sharing stuff, if anyone wants something, just have to ask. If someone wants to use a shot, that’s fine but there’s a right way of doing thing and a wrong way, but who am I to throw the first rock…

  2. Anonymous said:

    That’s the spirit Paulo πŸ™‚
    Glad it’s opened again πŸ™‚

  3. dehk said:

    I think half of the world assume there won’t be any trouble picking up someone’s photos or words and use it as their own online. On the other hand, your country man must really like your work.

    • So you think I should take it as compliment? πŸ˜‰

      To be totally honest I needed this outburst. We are a small community here in Portugal and we know each other. It’s not that hard to drop me a line and just ask. This is an inside job I tell you!

      • dehk said:

        I am not sure you should take it as a compliment. But I guess it’s one way to look at it!

        I have fairly good luck on people asking permission. But I guess I just wouldn’t know those who didn’t ask for permission…. Ha ha ha.

        That’s right, people, listen to him! Basta perguntar!

      • ahahahah Amazing! Excelente! πŸ™‚

      • dehk said:

        Did my google translate did a good job on “Just ask? ” lol

      • I think we should become shareholders. Those Google guys are on to something good. πŸ™‚

      • dehk said:

        So he did good!! That’s great. I know most of the time they translate into other language into a laughable way.

      • Not this time, perfect job. πŸ™‚

  4. Son of Sharecroppers said:

    I’m sorry to hear that people are stealing your artwork. That is a terrible thing. You are a dedicated artist, not just someone taking disposable snapshots.

    Best of luck on dealing with this issue. I wish I had some advice.

    • Thank YOU for the kind words it really means a lot to me. Cooking Film is the main, maybe the only, reason I come online on my free time. I have found a wonderful community of kind people on this WordPress adventure and I really don’t want to make this private or to delete it but… I guess that these are the rules of the game. I must play it or leave it.

  5. glebe said:

    You have a really nice blog and I enjoy reading it every time. And now I feel obliged to answer πŸ™‚
    Don’t take photo stealing personally. unless you’re ok that your photos flowing freely over the network, just add a tiny copyright message on them. But anyway, i think that won’t change much. You own that talent and passion exposed through photos and through your posts, and other is not so important. And someone’s stealing from you, that is the best indicator that your work is worth it.

    Keep up posting πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much my friend but please don’t feel obliged to comment. It is me who feels honored for having you guys around and I don’t mind you being silent. Your words make me feel like… damn, like my lame stuff is really worth something and they motivate me to keep on posting bad shots on silly posts written in bad English πŸ™‚

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