From Kelsey Keathly of Norfleet Marketing & Photography
Hey y’all! Let’s talk about something near & dear to my heart: sharing screenshot images from a horse show.
If you’ve never worked as a horse show photographer, you may not truly understand everything that goes into the job, and why we say that you cannot post screenshotted proofs off our website. I know I certainly didn’t before I became a show photographer myself!
I mean, it IS a photo of you, and the photographer’s watermark is on it, so it’s just free advertising for them, and it’s not like they had to edit it or anything, so it shouldn’t be a big deal… right?
There are two big reasons screenshotting of show photos is not allowed: the law, and my finances.
Legally, although *you* are in the photo, Norfleet owns the photo. Therefore, if you screenshot a photo off the Norfleet website, you are stealing… and stealing is bad, friends. That image only becomes yours when it arrives in your inbox.
But if I can be transparent for a moment, the sale of images at horse shows is the only way I can afford to be a horse show photographer. It’s one of the (many) reasons I left horse shows back in 2021 and was hesitant to return this year. While I love my job, if I were losing money while at a horse show, I would much rather be in the show pen alongside you on one of my own horses.
99.9% of the time, I am not paid by show management to be at the show. In order to be able to pay for staff, travel, accommodations, food, equipment, web hosting, liability insurance, and the other countless expenses that come with being a horse show photographer, images need to be sold. For instance, I need to make $5,000 at the show I’m shooting next week just to break even. That is 142 social media released images.
In an ideal world, I’d make enough off horse shows to be able to re-invest into the business, pay my rent, or maybe even show my own horses. It’s a REALLY good horse show if that happens. With a $35 web image, a good chunk of that goes to taxes & business expenses. I can promise you I’m not getting rich off photographing horse shows, I largely do it because I love it- and I can guarantee most photographers at your shows are the same!