"his stuff is all over the internet. he's grateful that the old stuff isn't totally forgotten. interior design is all fashion and people tend to disregard and even sneer at everything that isn't the latest. thanks for keeping it alive. and thanks for giving photo credit!"
The above quotation is from correspondence I had with the partner of a very well-known and excellent photographer – I'd said I hoped he, the photographer, was not offended by my use of his images and that where possible, and it usually is, I always give credit. I won't name the photographer (his is one of the best-known names in the business) but it occurred to me as I received a reply to my email that, though credit is given, rarely are photographers discussed as the creators of a genre of interior design imagery – imagery than impacts our perceptions immensely. Anyone who has ever seen realtor photographs or a blogger's photographs, of known interiors, and compared them to the professional photographer's images, knows the contribution made by a professional.
It would be invidious to compare the work of the photographer of, for example, of Howard Slatkin's apartment on New York Social Diary to that of the photographer of Slatkin's book Fifth Avenue Style, because the circumstances under which the two bodies of work were created were completely different. Yet making a value judgement is unavoidable and, to my eye, one set of images makes the place seem disorganized and cluttered. Given the same set of circumstances, in either case, the differences are likely to be those of accent and emphasis.
These days it seems every photo ever taken, attributed or not, is all over the internet. I was amused to come across one of my images, to which I make no personal claim, which I recognized by the streak my scanner had left down the image, on a blog the other day. Though my blog was credited, I was surprised to read that the image was "compliments of ... " Really, compliments of me?! Who's complimenting whom?
None of us who borrow images from magazines or books has rights to them. We may use them as narrowly defined by copyright law (Fair Use) and no profit may be made from them – the reason I won't allow any advertising in The Blue Remembered Hills.
The quotation I opened with indicates to some degree the frustration professionals increasingly feel at the overwhelming plundering of images that continues unabated.
I took the photograph above with my iPhone and for what it's worth you may copy it all you like.
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