Dear Nubian Reflections,
Today, I saw one of my photos with 500+ likes on your page. This is way more than I ever had on my own Facebook page Davon Henry Photography.
Yet, it didn’t feel as good I wished. I was not happy.
I naturally have more success on my clients’ pages who are mostly singers, musicians or organizations than on mine. It makes me happy.
The main difference is that not only my clients pay me, but they also give me proper credit for my photographs. It allows viewers to know who took the photograph and maybe get interested in the photographer’s work. You totally erased me from the production of the photograph and took all the credit for yourself.
One truth that is hard to deny is that it is very difficult to have positive images of Black people within mainstream media. The object of your page seems legit. What a better way to have a good representation of yourself than being in charge of that representation ?
This is with that mindset that photographers, including me, started producing work representing the images they imagined of Black people. I can’t count the photographers putting their energy into this craft : Derrel Todd (USA), Dallas J. Logan (USA), Ocean Morisset(Haiti/USA), Damien Jélaine (FR), Yanick Folly (Benin), Josué Azor (Haiti), T.C. Maila (South Africa), Saddi Khali (USA), Adrian McDonald (Jamaica) to name a few. I can go on for pages with photographers who purposely create a dignified image of black people and who do so with talent.
This takes time, dedication and money.
When a blog like you promoting a positive representation of Black people picks one of our photographs, it should feel great. It should feel like we are achieving something with our art. The interest of your audience should mean a lot to us.
You deny worth when take our work and do not even consider compensation.
When you fail to mention the photographer it just feels like you are happy with the work but you are ashamed of who produced it.
I went around Nubian Reflection page and I realized that you purposely erased or cropped out all credit of professionally-taken photographs. This is a lie to your fans who may not be aware of what is at stake.
While I am confident with the result of a court action, I feel like we would lose from it as a community. We are one. We work together for a better representation of ourselves. Let’s not get there. Let’s grow together.
Dear Nubian Reflections and as a matter of fact, all similar afro-centric blogs or Facebook pages, I am asking you starting today:
- To not use a photograph unless you have the owner’s authorization.
- To credit all the photographs that you use on your Facebook page and Facebook-mention the photographer’s page.
It is also ethical as an art-creating community to support and mention those who helped creating the photograph : make-up artists, art director, models, retouchers. Celebrate the people who created the photo. So I am also asking you
- To mention the creative community who helped the photograph happen.
- To clearly identify fan-submitted images. Your process makes me feel that you are picking pictures from people’s profile pictures and that sounds creepy.
If your goal is truly to support a positive image of black people, I trust you to support the people who create these images.
My request is supported by a large community of photographers and activists. I am expecting you to take action now for the greater good.
Next time you want to use one of my photos, please mention Davon Henry Photography as the photographer. The models are Eva Sapazafew and Young Jos. She has a Facebook page Never Too Much, and he is a singer. His Facebook page is Young Jos.