Copyright Stealing And What It Means To An Artist | Frustrated | Virginia Beach Photographer

I woke up this morning to a message on my Tashena Shaw Photography ‘Like’ page… Showing me links to an Instagram account. Thinking nothing of it I take a look and see my work all over this page. As I go on looking I see this lady is claiming them as her own. Images such as my wedding ring, an image I won an award for of my Daughter’s hand hold a flower, valentines day flowers from my husband, my coffee images with my camera, images of my trip to Iowa, even personal images. AS I looked on I noticed this person was doing this to a LOT of fellow photographers. Claiming work and moments in others lives that are NOT her own. And this started to get me upset.

(Screen-shots of my images on her Instagram account.  Along with MANY others work I am sure!)

****And before anyone says anything.  I have already tried to contact her about this.  SHE BLOCKED ME and fellow family members who have even asked her to take them down.  I have even reached out to her on her Facebook page.  This is also another reason for me sharing this.  I normally wouldn’t do this…  But I am OVER people cat-fishing, claiming work as their own, and stealing artist work.  We live in a world were watermarking our images isn’t working.  It’s time to speak up and make sure people know this is WRONG!****

I know to many this is trivial. Something to not get upset over. And yes in this day and world this will happen a LOT! But this also needs to STOP!

Let me break it down for you in a way that might make you think differently when you see another’s art, photography, crafts, and/or life on social media. I will break this down by screenshots I took of a few images she is claiming as her own. And yes I am going to leave the name she has up there. As I am sick of people trying to be so politically correct and protecting people. Those who claim work that is NOT there own is WRONG!

If we continue to hide, delete, and shield those who take our work… We are saying it is okay for them to take our life! And I will NOT block my Instagram or any other social media because of people like this. This is MY LIFE! This is how I make money to bring food to my families table. And when you claim it as yours… You are stealing and breaking the law!

1.) As you can see with this image… She cropped it. I took this image of the Valentines flowers my Husband bought for me as a surprise. I was having such a bad day… Everything was going wrong… And when I stopped to look at these simple flowers I was reminded that I was loved, and my Husband was someone who in simple ways reminds me of this. SO yes, this image of flowers and every day life was stolen from me and claimed as another.


2.) A brownie and oils. Yes, another simple image. But one I took after my sister Brittany left my home from visiting and sharing her peppermint brownies she made with me. There were stories told and moments in that day i can not forget. Another image and moment of my life stolen.


3.) A Christmas Coffee and my camera. I had just finished up a full weekend of family photo shoots and capturing a Mothers life. Working in the cold and snow to help capture memories for those clients who paid good money to me. I stopped with my Mom on the way home to warm up with a coffee. To this lady this image is NOTHING. To me it holds clients memories, and memories of when I was building my photography name.


4.) An image of my supplies! Because I had just been told by another photographer, “Your camera isn’t good enough.” and so many other hurtful things. That it inspired me to Blog about it. Showing others the work I capture… And that the camera doesn’t make the photographer. But that the photographer makes the camera. You can find and READ that link to this image and blog HERE. This image and BLOG was also shared on the ‘Shoot and Share’ Facebook page. I was published for this blog and this images that went with it. Another image she is claiming as her own. Another image she took away from me.


5.) Now this image is what got me the MOST! I entered this image in a contest with a very well known photographer called ‘Jana Williams Photography‘ who then left love on my Instagram because of my entering it. I captured this image of my daughter when we came in from walking home from Tropical Smoothie. She had seen that flower and picked it for me. She told me how she loved me and that the flower was a, “Pretty Mama Flower!” and I just had to use my camera I was learning with to capture that moment. Another image this Lady stole and memory stolen from me.


6.) MY WEDDING RING! I was having such a bad day. A personal fight with my husband. And in the moment I looked at my ring and was reminded of all we fought for. All the years we struggled and kept our love alive. Those late nights of giggles and love. Those moments of bring our daughter in to the world. The days and 9 months of pure struggle and the doctors telling us our son would never be born or born with many struggles. Personal moments this wedding ring reminded me of. Over 12 years worth of stories, struggles, and love stolen from this Lady.


7.) My camera with my zoom lens on it for a wedding I was just capturing. An image she tilted as a ’70D’ camera body. Which in fact is ONLY a Canon rebel t4i !!! I used this camera to capture a Bride who had her wedding on a beach. I had jumped in the car with my Husband to rush back to the reception to capture this Bride walking in to her guest. This images reminds me of the hard work and struggles I face when I am creating my business. This image reminds me that I bust my ass every moment to make sure my clients get the best. And her this Lady wants to claim it and the hard work that goes with it. She again stole my work, life, and memory.


Now you all are probably thinking I am crazy. Over dramatic. But if you are a true artist… Everything you capture, create, and make holds memories of the good and the bad. Memories of HARD work and LONG nights. Moments of beauty and giggles. Memories of those moments you spent your very own money to capture such an image.

These images also hold testimonials of my clients and their love for my work.

These images, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and all other social media sites I own hold memories, clients, work, and my life! Images and work that bring me more clients. So when this Lady takes and claims MY WORK as her own… She is stealing and pulling my work and life as her own. Which is then pulling potential clients somewhere else.

I could go on and on about how wrong this is. And yes I know this can happen many more times as it has in the past. But I am NOT one to just sit by and allow my HARD work to be taken as a joke. Or stolen to make another low life feel better about who they are.

I’m NOT sorry for sharing this. I am not sorry for standing up for myself, my photography business I am growing, my life, my clients, and my family.

I worked my ass off for all of this. And I for one will NOT allow people to take credit or claim work that is not their own.

So if you are someone who does this… PLEASE STOP!

And trust me I understand wanting to share beautiful work. To be inspired by others. To be able to want to be on the level of another artist. But do it RIGHT! Don’t crop or edit the image. Post and share correctly! Give credit to the photographer or artist! I for one love sharing others work. But I make sure everyone knows this is NOT mine. But that it is this artist! I add links, share pages, and even send potential clients to them as well.

I hope that by sharing this and giving a little story to each image you may then look at others work with more of OPEN EYES and RESPECT when you share or try and claim something as your own.

Published by Shaw_Blog

Affordable Family, Weddings, and Portraits Photographer Based In Virginia Beach, Virginia. Let Us Help Capture Your Memories For You!

8 thoughts on “Copyright Stealing And What It Means To An Artist | Frustrated | Virginia Beach Photographer

  1. Thank you for writing about this issue. I find it sad that people cant create their own memories but have to take ours. I worry about sharing my work on social media and networking sights for this exact reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I worried to hun! But no matter what we can’t stop sharing for fear. I will just make sure I attack if I have to. Just as I am doing now. I tried to be nice. And well I was even pretty nice here. But I won’t stand for this any longer.


  2. Wow. This is sickening. I am so sorry that this happened to you. It’s one thing to steal a photo, but those are some extremely personal photos! I hope you can somehow get her to take those down. I can’t even imagine the feeling of violation… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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