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Plagiarism Hurts Everyone

(Above: examples of stolen content on other dog photographers' sites)

The danger of the Internet is that any and all content is up for grabs. Whether copyrighted or not, anyone can come to your website and steal literally all of your content - imagery, copy, design, brand identity and more. There is literally no way to stop this from happening. 

The Internet is also the great leveler. It immediately puts all photographers on the same level. Instead of having to put in years and years and years of hard work, sweat, tears, terrible reviews, countless rejections and self doubt - to then climb your way to the top and establish yourself as a successful working artist -- now everyone can be found on the exact same playing field. The beginner hobbyist (and great that they are out there making work and having fun) can be listed in a Google search above a photographer who has literally been around for decades, with an incredibly deep catalog of exhibits and tear sheets. This makes the Internet a very dangerous place because quality does not drive the internet. In fact, what drives the Internet (especially social media) is lies, copying and vapid personalities. 

(Above: another example of my content being stolen word for word)

 

But what gets me the most heated is how amateur photographers believe that they can steal copyrighted content without getting caught. As if they can simply steal someone else's (Let's say mine, for example) creative and professional identity and pass it off as their own. And sadly, that's what happens to me more frequently than I'd like to admit. Beginner photographers and established photographers alike come to my website and steal my copy, word for word, as well as my design and copyrighted content. The fact that it's truly illegal (as all my copy, design and imagery is officially filed with the Copyright Office of the United States- there's nothing fake about the copyright symbol on my sites, and there's certainly nothing fake about my amazing IP lawyer) isn't what gets me so upset. It's the fact that any other artist has the gall to take advantage of my incredibly hard work, the years and years of building up my career, learning how exactly to articulate myself visually and through very well written copy and design. These artists just come along, and because they are simply not smart enough or confident enough to create their own creative identity and brand - they simply copy and paste mine. It's maddening, and it doesn't just hurt me and my business, it hurts every other true professional out there. Because I know it's happening to them, too. 

Instead of listing publicly the names of all the artists who have plagiarized my content over the past few months (the list is embarrassingly long), I'll just give you a few anonymous responses to my well crafted Cease and Desist letter. As much as these people infuriate me, stooping so low as to list their business names here would be simply unproductive and immature of me, and then I'd be acting like the plagiarists.

(Above: more copy stolen word for word from my website)

 

Instead, enjoy some really funny responses from actual 'professionals' after being caught red handed:

"Hi Jesse
I am horribly embarrassed. I had assistance with the writing and design on my website. I'm sorry I was unaware that they were using information from other resources. (And here I thought, man she nailed it on explaining me and my process). 
If it makes you feel any better, it’s obviously well written.  I’m going to blame it on youth. The internet has robbed many of them of any scruples when it comes to copyright. I'll work on the correction immediately. The new site just went live and I'm still working out some bugs and things I see that need to be changed. I'll make that top priority today. I'm sorry this happened. I take IP seriously as well. I've had a lot of problems with this with my photo booth series. 
Please let me know if
anything is needed."

"You are right Jesse. I am working on a new website and it was supposed just to be a starter to rework later. Turns out the making of a website is very difficult indeed. I will remove it immediately
My sincere apologies."

"Hi Jesse,
First of all, I apologize for any inconvenience this might've caused. I recently had someone update my website and I can assure to you the images are 100% mine. I did outsource a content writer, so if you can please send me the screenshots of the similarities I'd be more than happy to take a look at it and of course, make the appropriate changes. As an artist, it's my intention to make sure everyone's work and talented skills are respected. I will revise the content by the end of the day, but it will be extremely helpful if you can provide me with the information you believe it's been plagiarized. I also need to take appropriate action with the person who worked on my content, because that was unprofessional of her. Thank you so much."

"I will remove everything. I am currently out of the country so it will take me a few hours to get back to my hotel and take it down. But I should be back in about 7 hours or so and will remove it then.  I have apologized, I didn't realize it was illegal, I just started a business for the first time in January. As I said, ignorance is the reason. Regardless of how poor of an excuse you think it is, now that I know it won’t happen again, and it’s better than the alternative which is that I knew it was wrong and did it anyway. You don’t have to keep coming at me, I’ve admitted fault, and committed to fixing the problem. Our situation is resolved."

 

I use a great company called CopyScape which automatically scrolls the internet to find websites that have stolen copyrighted materials. It's amazing, and worth the small monthly fee. Check them out here: http://copyscape.com

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 11.56.22 AM.png

(Above: companies illegally using my images to advertise their products/services)

 

Multiple companies have even stolen my images and used them on their websites to advertise their products. Clearly, they have stolen from many other photographers, all of which is 100% illegal. And just so deeply rude and inappropriate. Artists deserve to be paid for their work, but the internet makes it just way too easy to take things for free. All the images above were stolen from me by over-seas companies. 

 

I know that I'm not the only artist out there being plagiarized. I hear about it happening constantly - stories of colleagues having their artwork stolen by large companies who make a huge profit off the content, yet are untouchable because of their hefty legal department. It's a sorry state of affairs, all thanks to the double-edge sword of the Internet. However, artists persist. All we can do is protect our work via filing it with the Copyright Office of the United States (all my copy and images and design and Intellectual Property is now officially filed), keep tabs on their websites by using programs like CopySentry, and open their eyes to the new generation of 'artists' who believe mimicking what's hot is how to succeed (spoiler alert: it's not!). 

If you've got a good copyright story, please share it in the comments! Or shoot me an email and we can commiserate and support each other. 

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New York Dog Photography: Upcoming Sessions June 16 - 18

New York Dog Photographer

New York Dog Photographer

I can't wait for my upcoming New York dog photography sessions. I'll be in New York for fine art dog photography clients June 16 - 18, 2017 and have two spots still open. Spring will be sprung, flowers will be out, the sky will be clear and New York will be in bloom - what a perfect time to be photographing! In the Spring, New York dogs get to do dog things, like sniff and play and run in the grass. Everyone is happy that Winter is over, especially the dogs, and it's such a wonderful time to be in the city working with my private dog photography clients. 

There's always something about New York dogs that I love. It's that unique balance of tough, yet loving; hard yet soft; city slickers who still love to get out to the country. You can book one of my last New York dog photography sessions by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking 'Contact.' 

NEW YORK DOG PHOTOGRAPHY SESSIONS
June 15, 16, 17
Two Spots Left

New York Dog Photographer

New York Dog Photographer

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Polaroid Dog Photo Booth + Book Signing: A Benefit for The Little Guild

Instant Dog Photobooth

Instant Dog Photobooth

I'm excited to be bringing my "Instant Doggie Photo Booth" to RTFacts Gallery in Kent, Connecticut tomorrow for a big Mother's Day book signing event. I'll be signing copies of Finding Shelter, as well as talking about the book to guests and Little Guild volunteers, staff and supporters. 

I photographed The Little Guild for Finding Shelter and am so proud to have them be part of this amazing book. They were one of the very last groups I worked with, and tomorrow's event is an important way for me to give back to their volunteers and raise funds for their shelter. You can purchase tickets on Eventbrite (link here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pics-for-pups-tickets-34345297710?aff=es2) for a private Instant Doggie Photobooth sitting (see above for a handsome portrait of Pancake helping me test tomorrow's set up), or pre-purchase a copy of Finding Shelter to bring with you to the event to get signed. I'll even put a special message in the inscription as a gift for Mom!

PICS FOR PUPS
Book Signing + Polaroid Dog Photo Booth
Benefitting The Little Guild of St Francis

DATE: Sunday May 14
TIME: 11am - 4pm
LOCATION: RTFacts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd, Kent CT 06757
TICKETS: Eventbrite

 

setting up for the photo booth

setting up for the photo booth

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Butch + Rocco: A Bonded Pair

Photographing dog siblings is a really special opportunity. Just like human siblings, dog siblings have their own language, their own complex relationship structure, and their own complicated kind of love. Some dogs get along perfectly with the other dogs in their family, and some just have a harder time. Whatever the situation, I love when clients commission me to photograph two dogs together. For me, it is a chance to illustrate a complex relationship that often times is hard to describe in words. How do you speak about the tenderness between two sibling dogs, when words inevitably fall short of carrying the weight of that emotion and connection we can only understand visually? How do you describe the flop of one dog's paw over it's sibling's paw without making everything sound one dimensional? 

Rocco and Butch were two Italian Greyhounds I photographed in San Francisco a few years ago. This fine art dog photography session has always meant a lot to me because Rocco passed away not too long ago, and all of us - my clients and I both - felt a deep sense of relief amidst our sadness knowing that we had created such a strong series of dog portraits to memorialize him. My job as a dog photographer is to form a deep connection to my clients so that I can understand what kind of meaning and value is wrapped up in their relationship with their animal companions. With that, I'm able to look more critically at their entire worlds, and illustrate who their animals are and what their animals mean to them. That's all wrapped up in one or two or three or four beautifully crafted dog portraits, which are then installed in my clients' homes to serve not only as reminders of a deep, deep love - but also to add depth and beauty to their homes. My San Francisco dog photography session with Butch and Rocco was a perfect example of this whole process.  

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East Coast 'Finding Shelter' Book Signing Events

I've got two really exciting Finding Shelter book tour events coming up this month (May) on the East Coast - one on Mother's Day, and one the weekend after. If you're anywhere near Connecticut or Massachusetts, I'd love to see you there! Make sure you come up and say hi. I'd love to meet you and any/all dogs you want to bring my way :)

 

FEATURED EAST COAST BOOK SIGNING EVENTS:

PICS FOR PUPS
Sunday May 14th (Mother's Day)
Location: R. T. Facts, 8 Old Barns Rd, Kent CT 06757
Time: 11am - 4pm
Benefitting: The Little Guild

Come celebrate the launch of renowned dog photographer Jesse Freidin's latest project, Finding Shelter, a touching tribute to the symbiotic relationship of shelter dogs and their loving volunteers. Wonderful volunteers and dogs from The Little Guild are featured in the book!

And sign up for the rare opportunity to get your pup photographed by Jesse himself with real instant Polaroid film! Tickets required: www.eventbrite.com/e/pics-for-pups-tickets

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
11:00am - 12:15pm - Photobooth
12:30pm - 1:00pm - Book Signing
1:00pm - 1:30pm - Talk by Jesse Freidin about his book project
1:30pm - 2:45pm - Photobooth
3:00 - 4:00pm - Book Signing

 

COFFEE HOUR SPEAKING SERIES + PHOTO CLASS
Saturday May 20th
Location: Berkshire Humane Society, 214 Barker Rd, Pittsfield MA 01201
Time: 2 - 4pm
Benefitting: Berkshire Humane Society 

Join us for our next Coffee Hour Speaking Series event featuring award-winning photographer Jesse Freidin . Photographer and his new book Finding Shelter

Finding Shelter is a portrait project about animal shelter volunteers and the animals they care for, by Jesse Freidin . Photographer, featuring some wonderful Berkshire Humane volunteers and dogs! Jesse will join BHS on May 20th for a talk about the book and his experience photographing shelter volunteers and animals across the country. He will also be signing books. 

If you are interested in pre-ordering a discounted copy through BHS, please contact Elizabeth Nelson at enelson@berkshirehumane.org by April 30, 2017.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
2 - 2:30pm - Photography Class (open to all levels)
2:30 - 3:00pm - Artist Talk about 'Finding Shelter'
3:00 - 4:00pm - Book Signing + Reception w BHS Volunteers

 

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Book Tour Update: On The Road with "Finding Shelter"

The 'Finding Shelter' book tour has been amazing so far! I've been doing book tour events on both the East and West coasts with more events happening through the Summer (you can see a full list of Finding Shelter book signings here: www.findingshelterportraits.com/events). It's been a thrilling combination of totally exhausting, completely rewarding, and genuinely fun and exciting. 

Selling books is great and all, and as a full-time artist making a living off of my photography is an enormous part of my job. But the true value in this book tour for me has been meeting so many deeply stellar people (and dogs, of course) along the way. At every book signing for 'Finding Shelter' I made sure to shake hands with the people who gave money to my Kickstarter campaign, take time to chat with each and every person who got their book signed, draw attention to the shelters and rescues the co-sponsored each event with me so that visitors got introduced to their work and also donated to their causes. It was a real group effort, and I felt a lot of love from the shelter and rescue communities, especially the volunteers who showed up. 

'Finding Shelter' will continue to have a positive impact on the shelter/rescue world - I'm very sure of that. 

Another great thing that happened in the past two weeks is that 'Finding Shelter' became a #1 New Release on Amazon! Now that's pretty cool. 

I hope you can join me at one of the upcoming book signing events (info here: www.findingshelterportraits.com/events). And in case you missed the last two weeks of events, here's a quick recap: 

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Finding Shelter is available on Amazon!

Whoa guys! The book is really here! 

I almost can't believe that after three years of hard, consistent work on this little passion project, 'Finding Shelter' has been published and is officially for sale at Amazon, Target,and  Barnes + Noble (and your local indie bookstore on April 1st). To be honest- it feels surreal. Never in a million years did I imagine getting a book deal for this project, and never in a million years did I imagine having a creative side-project of mine be for sale on the world's largest book retailer. I'm almost too exhausted from this whole process to be excited. 

But- I AM EXCITED! And I'm really proud. And more importantly I'm so grateful for all the shelters and volunteer coordinators and volunteers and staff across the country who made time for me and helped me bring this to fruition. The book thanks all those people, and lists every shelter involved. 

I'll be embarking on a 'Finding Shelter' book tour starting in April, going through May and probably into Summer 2017. You can keep up with all book-related events on the 'Finding Shelter' website: www.findingshelterportraits.com/events

 

 

I'm thrilled to be sharing this book with you, and hope you'll come out to a book signing event, or buy a copy on Amazon, or send a copy to your favorite volunteer or dog advocate. I'll be sharing lots more behind-the-scenes content and unpublished photos here on the blog in the coming weeks - so stay tuned!

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Pancake in the Snow

Pancake and I are on Cape Cod for a little time off, and to work on a personal project for a bit. This morning we woke up to an amazingly beautiful and fluffy snow storm. Big chunks of snow were falling and the ground already had about 4 inches! As a sensitive terrier, Pancake does NOT LIKE precipitation of ANY KIND at all - rain, snow, puddles, mist, fog, sprinklers, etc. So after putting TWO jackets on him and opening the door this morning, it was hilarious to watch him peek his head around the corner and just look so dissatisfied. It took him a good three minutes to muster the courage to run out quickly and zoom back in before shaking and trying to desperately dry himself off (drama king). 

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Patience is a Virtue (especially when photographing dogs)

I just read an article online about a man who spent 6 years - that's 4,200 hours and 720,000 frames- photographing the same Kingfisher bird hunting it's prey in the wild. Now, that does sound a bit extreme, I agree. 6 years?! 720,000 attempts?! You'd think that after the first year or so he'd just give up, or realize maybe he needs to learn a bit more about nature photography. But I have to say, though the numbers were high and this man's approach to photography was a bit mediocre, I connected to this story because his approach is exactly the same as mine. 

Do I take hundreds of thousands of frames during one dog photography session? Well, no. But I do take hundreds. And though I always ends up with a strong ratio of good images versus frames that just didn't hit the mark, I know— just like the guy photographing the Kingfisher for 6 years straight— that patience is a virtue when it comes to photographing animals. Or, really anything. You simply can't force your subject to do what you want, and you can't force the elements (when shooting outside) to cooperate perfectly, or the light to hit at just the right moment. No. When photographing dogs (and birds) you need to let go of all of that and simply be in the moment with your subjects. 

Just like the bird photographer, I always photograph my dog subjects in their natural element. I meet them in their space, not the other way around. That's how a good photograph is created. This guy revisited the exact same spot over and over again for 6 years, meeting the Kingfisher in it's natural environment. And the work he created was great, because it's almost as if the photographer was invisible. Well, he probably was as he was wearing camouflage. When I photograph dogs, I teeter on the balance between being an invisible presence and being a piece of the story. By observing and letting dogs simply be themselves— on their beds, out in the yard, running at their favorite beach— I am making sure that the portrait is not about me as an artist, but simply about this beautiful animal I am observing. 

Read the full Kingfisher article here. 

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Fine Art Printing + Production Wrap Up

The past month has been very busy in the studio, with multiple rounds of production and countless fine art dog photography prints going out the door. I love being busy, I love seeing the floor beneath my mat cutter covered in scraps, and my production table stacked high with weighted prints flattening before getting sleeved and boxed and shipped to clients. 

Black and White Dog Photography

Black and White Dog Photography

I love seeing matted and signed black and white dog photography prints as big as my table (and my production table is enormous)!

Dog Photography fine art prints

Dog Photography fine art prints

Fine Art Dog Photography

A busy round of production is such a great way to wrap up the year. Thanks to everyone who made 2016 such a great year! Fine Art Dog Photography Sessions are booking now for 2017 in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and beyond.  

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