Photography can be very rewarding, but most of the time, it’s a thankless job. One photographer took to Twitter to express that, and it opened the flood gates.
Breanna Seward, 25, is a woman of many talents. She is a multimedia artist, licensed aesthetician, and photographer whose work has been featured on sites like HelloBeautiful (part of the iOne Digital network), BuzzFeed, and Allure Magazine. She took to Twitter this week to share a story about the time she took a photo of Migos member Quavo back in 2019 that he liked so much that he had time to take off her page and repost but didn’t give her credit for. In the tweet’s caption that included a screenshot of the Instagram post, she wrote, “I wonder how many bookings I would have got if homie had tagged me.”
Seward also pointed out that the photo was so good that Quavo’s label, Motown Records, took the photo and used it without giving her credit. She did try to reach out to the label to correct the issue but did not get a response Seward revealed to BuzzFeed.
Breaking down how the photo opp came together, Seward told BuzzFeed, “she was working as a photographer and shot the photo of Quavo outside a New York Fashion Week event,” back in September 2019. Seward explained to the website that she didn’t speak with the rapper, but she was one of the few photographers at the event that he willingly posed for.
The picture was obviously dope enough that the “WORKIN ME” crafter felt he had to post it on his page on September 24 without crediting her, weeks later after she first posted it on her Instagram account on September 8. Seward only found out he used the photo because friends immediately began to tag her in the post that received over 200,000 likes.
Like every photog who has been a victim of this ridiculous behavior, Seward told BuzzFeed, “At the time, I was hurt that they just took the photo from my page without thinking twice about tagging me, so I commented on the photo itself.” When explaining why she felt the need to reshare the moment 2 years later, she said, “she reposts her work all the time on Twitter, and good content is timeless.”
Little did she know her experience would go viral on Twitter, sparking other photographers to share their stories of times their work was shared without them receiving a lick of credit.
While many photogs shared their stories and support, others told her she should watermark her photos, a practice she told BuzzFeed she now does despite them being an eyesore on photos.
“I do use them now, but they can be distracting from the story being told,” she told the website. “This is the only time it happened to me. I just wonder if they would have used the photo if there was a watermark.”
To answer her question, more than likely not. Our resident tech and gamer, Bernard “Beanz” Smalls, who is also a photog can tell you off the experience if a celeb likes your pic, they will find a way to crop out your watermark so unless your slapping it on their foreheads or placing it so inconspicuously on their clothing or somewhere in the photo they won’t share it.
While watermarking is one of the solutions, in the end, it’s really not asking too much to credit the photographer in that long ass caption properly they typed under the photo. Or you could tag the photog. Instagram and Twitter give you many options to ensure that credit is given when it’s due.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz83