This week we would like you to meet one of our Individual Creator Members, Fine Art Photographer Kalliope Amorphous
1. What was the inspiration behind becoming a fine art photographer? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I have worked in many artistic mediums, so rather than approaching the camera like a photographer, I approached it like I did any artistic tool. I really enjoy the magic of photography and how it is basically a conversation between time and light that gets translated by a mirror and you end up with a still image frozen in time.
2. When did you first become aware of copyright and why?
I have always been interested in Intellectual Property Law, because I have been an artist my whole life and my rights are very important to me. I’ve basically self-educated myself on IP law for the past ten years or so. I even wrote my own lengthy legal briefs in a recent copyright infringement case. So, this area of law has always been important to me and it’s something that I frequently study.
3. Have you experienced copyright infringement and if so how has it affected you personally and financially?
Unfortunately, my work gets infringed often. It affects me financially because the work gets stolen without being paid for, and it affects me personally because a lot of my work comes from a very emotional and personal place. The greatest impact on me is financial, because I have found that it recent years my work is actually being stolen far more than it is being purchased.
4. What is your best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
Register everything before you put it anywhere on the Internet. Register it with the United States copyright office and don’t fall for these new companies that are popping up who are preying on creators who don’t understand copyright law. I’ve seen a lot of these companies recently that are preying on artists and trying to get them to sign up for bogus “copyright protection” services.
Registering copyright can seem intimidating to people who aren’t familiar with it. The truth is, it is very easy and it’s not expensive if you register your work in bulk before publishing it. I pay about $60 every two months to register all of the photographs that I had taken over those two months and it takes me literally fifteen minutes.
5. What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?
Getting people to understand how important it is for visual artists to be able to make a living from their work in the age of image saturation. We hear a lot about the music industry and how musical artists are suffering in the current climate, but I want visual artists to be part of that conversation as well. Because basically everyone is a photographer these days, it’s important for people to remember that there are those of us out here who sell physical photographic prints and we cannot afford to have our work used without permission. I think it’s challenging in this environment to try and get people to understand and respect the rights of creatives.
Are you one of our Individual Creator Members? Participate in our Five Questions series! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you aren’t already a member of the Alliance, you can join today – at no cost – by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form!