Want to borrow my lawn mower?

I'm a Canadian. I wasn't born here, but I have lived here most of my life and I am proud to call this my home. Part of the Canadian identity is being friendly to a fault. We are happy to share with our neighbours (spelled the Canadian way). 

When a neighbour comes from next door to borrow a shovel or a lawn mower, we are happy to oblige. And we would never expect them to tell their friends their lawn was cut by our lawnmower - though it might be nice of them to brag about their great neighbours who lent it to them.

But what if they were telling people your yard was actually theirs? What if they were implying that all the hard work you put into making that yard look amazing was actually them? Wouldn't that be wrong?

If we hire someone to look after our lawn, we pay them. And if we are asked, we tell them who the "professional" was who did the work for us. Yeah, when people compliment it we might say thanks and move on, but if they continue to go on about how good it is we usually brag about who we hired to do it.

As a photographer, I see my images posted on my friends facebook pages and elsewhere sometimes. I know they don't mean to imply that they took the great image (some of them are actually in the image so that would be impossible), but they seem to imply that the image is theirs somehow. I know they don't mean any harm, but truthfully it hurts.

Every year I take photos at the Robin in the Hood Festival
in Elmira. The Festival is given copyright permission to use
them for promotion, but in spite of my trying to protect the images,
some people still "screen shot" the images from my website to share
on their own Facebook pages. Other photographers are there as well
and I am sure their images are shared without permission too.
Why not give credit to the person who took the image?
It's not that I mind really except that I'm trying to make a living from it and in some cases they never even asked permission to use those photos (some do and some have even licensed them legitimately). Many don't even give credit to me as the photographer. The photos are simply displayed without any indication of where they came from.

Now, if I provide someone the use of one of my cameras to take a photo, then the photo they take is theirs and I don't expect them to give me credit for having lent them the camera - like borrowing my lawn mower. But if I take a photo, isn't it only respectful to at least say that I took that photo? It's such a little thing that means so much.

Even if you are not a professional photographer and you were in the right place at the right time - or maybe you planned to be there - you saw the amazing image and took the time to commit it to computer memory to share with others. What if someone took a copy of your image and posted it as if it was their own? Would that seem right to you?

Whether you are using an image from a professional or just a friend, do the right thing - ask them if you can share it. And whenever possible, give credit where credit is due - tell everyone who really took the photo. Be proud of your neighbours and brag about their generosity and great work. And if they are doing it to put food on their table, for heavens sake, please pay them!

Maybe you'll get to borrow that lawnmower again some time...

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