Couple Scammed by Fauxtographer Passing Off Stolen Images as His Own

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear about fauxtographers stealing other photographers work and passing it off as their own. Heck, there’s an entire website dedicated to shaming the scam artists who do this. But despite the distinct possibility that you’ll be caught and have your career destroyed if you do this, it continues to happen.

Case in point is a recent situation involving Lin and Jirsa Photography and the tale of how their images were stolen and used by an unnamed photographer to entice new wedding clients with work that wasn’t his own.

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As the video above explains, Shawn and Amrita hired what they believed to be a respected photographer with a healthy portfolio of work. It wasn’t until after the photographer captured their wedding and returned subpar work that they began to question his authenticity.

Not long into their pseudo-investigation, the couple realized that they had been had. The photographer who had photographed their wedding had stolen a number of images from Lin and Jirsa Photography and played them off as his/her own.

To say they were disappointed is an understatement, considering Shawn and Amrita spent “a couple thousand dollars” on this photographer whose images just weren’t on par with what they thought they were getting.

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But thankfully, the story doesn’t end there. There is at least somewhat of a happy ending.

After hearing what had happened to Shawn and Amrita, Pye of Lin and Jirsa Photography decided to take them out on a complimentary shoot and give them at least a few photographs whose aesthetic they had originally hoped to receive.

At the risk of sounding click-bait-y… faith in humanity restored.

(via SLR Lounge)

  • David Liang

    That was really cool of Pye to do that.

  • Ralph

    Can’t you sue people like this? It looks a lot like false advertising, isn’t that illegal? (and that’s beside the whole copyright issues).

  • overhere2000

    I would give the photographer an A for effort. However, the approach is wrong. The key is to license (or rent) a partial catalog until you have built up the professional catalog to replace it.

    And, of course, carefully study and practice the ‘money shots’ that couples are looking for.

  • Mark Turner

    No. No. No. Do not represent yourself with images that are not yours. Period.

  • pgb0517


  • Justin Case

    This is, of course, sarcasm. I know it is hard to get sometimes in writing.

    I mean c’mon, no one who follows PetaPixel could actually write this nonsense seriously, right?


  • R Walker

    Okay, the fact that someone can seriously suggest licensing images to pass off as your own– on a photography website– shows completely skewed our perspective has become. Never, ever present other people’s images as your own. And how about this for a rule: if you run a website or blog, never use stock photography. If it’s your blog, it should be your images unless your blogging about another photographer’s work. And if it’s a website, find and credit.

  • Shane Elliott

    How much money will you get from a complete, lying loser? Probably a lot of hassle to win a default judgment against someone who will never show up in court. This is why is it good to get referrals from other wedding vendors as well past clients possibly.

  • Shane Elliott

    If you license photography, yes, you avoid copyright issues, but if you present that work as your own you are still misleading the public about both your experience and your skill. If you did not shoot it, you did not do it.

  • jchrtra

    License or rent Images are you kidding me why dont you build up your portfolio and put them on your site. Unless you will put in large letters these are not my images your as much a thief as their fauxtog. What the hell is wrong with you people. Steal music or images all the same.

  • inrsoul

    Professional integrity and personal pride be damned.

  • Zoe Cappa

    What the hell are you talking about? Buying stock photos to fake your portfolio really is no different than stealing them. It is equally deceptive to the buyer = fraud. Go second shoot for established photographers and have agreements with the photographers you work with about how you may incorporate images you shoot into your portfolio. When are people going to learn transparency is key to successfully building and sustaining your career. Not fake it ’till you make it.

  • Justin Case

    Actually, most of the time you DON’T avoid copyright issues just by licensing an image. Read the fine print on nearly any photo stock contract: it is ALWAYS illegal to claim you took a photograph if you didn’t.

  • Shane Elliott

    I agree with what you are saying. However, I’ve seen “photographers” use stock photos, which they licensed, on their contact and pricing pages. It wasn’t in their portfolio, so I don’t think they were violating anything other than common sense and honesty.

  • Some Guy You Dont Know

    I’m really hoping you are in some strange way trying to be sarcastic, if so, it is a really poor attempt at it.

    Let’s put it in this perspective, you have to go to a doctor for a surgical procedure. Do you choose a doctor that has valid credentials or a doctor that uses the credentials of another well established doctor?

    I know wedding photography is not a matter of life or death, but you don’t mislead a client with photos that you didn’t take.

    There is a difference when “saying” your photos are of a certain style, but if you can’t back it up, then you need to practice more or you should not behind a camera, or at least charging for the style that you are “trying” to achieve.

    Overhere2000, your methodology really shows your lack of ethics and I question your morality. Shame on you.

  • Patrick Day

    way to take the high road. Good Job!