The New Photographer’s Dilemma

Yesterday hubby & I went to one of the local horse show venues that was brave enough to host their show in spite of the wet conditions that had literally shut every other horse related activity down. I was excited to get to practice taking shots of equines that were not my own. In the end, however, the experience caused a moral dilemma for me.

Upon arrival we announced to the venue host that I had my camera and was going to be practicing taking photos. She said “No problem! Just don’t sell them, because we have a professional photographer on site”. Seemed a pretty reasonable request and certainly not a problem.

As it turns out not enough people had arrived so the show was cancelled. The three riders that did show up were allowed to use the show ring for practice and schooling and there was a photographer out there with them. Hubby and I spent a couple hours at the side of the arena as I played with my camera and experimented with different things. As the day came to a close two of the riders and the photographer exited the arena and left for the day. I figured that last rider would be heading out as well and so we began to wander back to the car. Then, I heard her tell her Father (at least I am assuming it was her Dad) to raise each of the jumps by two holes. We hung back and I shot several images of her taking on the higher jumps.

As we were leaving the man I’d decided was the Father asked me if I sold my images. I replied that I did not, that I was just an amateur there to play around but that there had been a professional there earlier in the day. He gave me his email anyway.

As I flipped through the images on the back of the camera on our way home, I realized those shots during the last 10 minutes of the day were going to be my best ones. This created a conversation between hubs and I, about if it was right or wrong to send them to the guy. Was I stealing business from the pro? Does the subject deserve to see/have them?

After much conversation and a night to think about it, I ended up sending the man my images. I had several reasons in my mind as to why this was the justifiable decision. That being said it doesn’t mean I couldn’t be convinced that not sending them would have been justifiable as well. It is such a gray area and if any of the photographers that read this blog would like to respectfully chime in, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Here is why I DID send them:

  • I complied with the hosts request. There was no sale of photos, I shared them for free
  • The best shots I got of that rider were ones the pro had missed out on since she had stopped shooting for the day
  • The man approached me about the photos, I did not seek them out to share my images
  • I wouldn’t think twice about sharing photos I’d taken on a iphone. Should the tool used change the rules
  • Selfishly, I wanted someone to want my photos, to appreciate and see my work
  • My shots are a far far far cry from professional grade shots, there is a reason she gets paid for hers and I don’t. Theoretically the pro should provide a product people want to pay for.

Right or wrong? I guess that all depends on the side you fall on.

4 thoughts on “The New Photographer’s Dilemma

  1. Thank you for coming by!
    My love for horses only extend to photographing them (not professionally) or painting them. In my younger years I rode one twice, but since it takes me half an hour before me “sea sickness” is over, I was not very motivated to continue, although I still think riding a horse is cool!
    Tend to agree with you, you had no intent of selling, and he came to you to ask. What you did sounds okay, unless the professional photographer has a deal with the owner of the venue, that she has exclusive rights to take all photographs. Also, she had already left!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I don’t know what the right word for it is, maybe “motion sickness?”
    Whenever convenient, check our my post(s) of ALL SEASONS –
    it’s about the experience of the season – so, beyond landscape, weather, etc., but it could be an event, birthday, holiday, etc.
    Most people link Sunday, Monday, but the link is open till Friday noon (California Time).
    On the post, at the end you need to click on “Click here” to see the images the people posted and/or to link one photo yourself.
    (WordPress can’t do it supposedly on the same page, because it does not javascript)
    You are very welcome to join!


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