This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Bri Whigham.
1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a professional photographer?
Growing up around an award winning builder, my father, most certainly acquainted me with an eye for detail. I have always loved photography since I was little. It wasn’t until the birth of my daughter that I turned my hobby into a career. I am a creative. Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places of everyday life. The environment in which people thrive feeds my vision. I believe it is important to capture life’s events as they happen. Although I specialize in traditional portrait photography, I excel in the raw atmosphere known as candid photography. Candid is everything that traditional is not. It brings the elements of emotions into play. I enjoy capturing that nanosecond where a simple glance can be immortalized to tell a story. While combining my excitement for new challenges, meeting all walks of life, and anything and everything photography-related, I passionately push on every day with this little journey of mine.
2. What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Creating everlasting memories. I get to do what I love most for a career, every single day, and in return I create memories for clients they will never forget. Seeing their faces light up when they see their final images and realizing a simple smile was captured or a glance they weren’t expecting. That makes it worth it.
3. What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
Many people believe images create themselves. These days, anyone with a DSLR thinks they can be a “photographer.” They don’t understand the production value of what it took to create an image. They don’t realize the blood, sweat, and tears (that photographers) pour into this little journey of ours.
4. Have you experienced copyright infringement and, if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?
Not to my knowledge, I haven’t. I am very diligent of informing clients, businesses, and other companies I work with about copyright law. Not being credited for my photos on social media feels like an infringement on some level and that happens frequently.
5. What is the best piece of advice you’d give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
As soon as you press the shutter, that image you created and captured belongs to you. Know your rights. Educate yourself. If your client wants to own your image, make sure you know the value of your work and get paid fairly for it. If you don’t, you devalue the work of every other photographer and set a precedent that devalues the work of an entire industry. Also, make sure you add your copyright to the metadata. It’s an important step in the post production process and is easy to do. It’s against the law to strip away that copyright notice. I also encourage everyone to consider adding a watermark to their images. I recently revamped my website (WhighamImages.com) and have disabled the ability to right click and save an image. I know you can still screen shot the images, but at least it discourages some people from infringing, so they might move on to images that are easier to steal.