I have been in contact with a bride who was in discussion with Steve Jackson Photography of 5 Duchess Park Close, Shaw, Oldham. Steve offers a low price videography service under the name of Advanced Videos, Sunshine Weddings and a photography service.
The bride and her friend asked for sample images and Steve emailed some through to her. She discovered that some images Steve supplied to her belonged to Pixsmiths when her friend used image tracing software on them. When she contacted Pixsmiths to question them and check Steve’s story, Sandy at Pixsmiths noticed that one of the images was mine and informed me.
Steve Jackson claims that myself and Sandy have worked for him as trainee photographers and so we are allowed to use his company’s images on our websites. This is not the case. Neither myself or Pixsmiths have ever worked for Steve Jackson Photography and the images he is using from our portfolios are used without our consent.
After discussing the matter with Sandy and the bride involved, I phoned Steve Jackson to inform him that I would be taking action against him for image theft. He insisted that the stolen images being used on his website are not his fault – he made excuses about the site being hacked. However, the images involved in this dispute do not relate to his website at all, he personally selected them and emailed them to the bride as samples of his own work.
This is one of my images as supplied to the bride by Steve Jackson:
Here is my original image, showing Helen’s arrival to greet Duncan at Bagden Hall:
You can see that Steve has removed my company information from the bottom right corner before forwarding it to the prospective client.
Among the eight images sent to me, I found another of my own. Steve found this image via Facebook, it was only taken on Saturday! It shows Katy & Chris marrying at Harrogate Masonic Hall and was one of a few Facebook previews uploaded for them on the night of their wedding. You can see my original here and below:
You will notice that Steve has cropped the original to remove my watermark and then re-edited the photo.
I have come across Steve Jackson Photography before as he was involved in a similar dispute involving him stealing photos for his portfolio in March 2013. At that time he was being pursued by 4-5 other photographers, one of whom is known to me.
Why do “photographers” like Steve Jackson steal other people’s photos?
The answer to this is very simple and something all brides need to be aware of. The images are taken from professional wedding photographers to be used in a confidence trick. The images are intended to make the bride think that the thief has the experience, ability and equipment to produce similar images for the client if they book the thief. It is an easy way to make money. Image theft is widespread in the wedding photography community and is one of the reasons why brides find it difficult to understand the variation in price between wedding photographers. After all, my rates are probably four times the rates that Steve Jackson charges, yet our work is “the same” quality because he is using mine and other photographers images as samples of his work!
*Update 30th October* Steve Jackson’s prospective client has emailed me more images that he sent her as part of his portfolio. There is another one of mine among them. This time we have a “delightful” montage… but who took the images? The one at the bottom is mine from Sarah & Steven’s wedding at The Bridge, Wetherby.
Below is my original image, before Steve cropped it to make his montage. This image appears on Facebook as one of the previews created for the couple immediately after the wedding.
Please note: This post relates to Steve Jackson Photography of 5 Duchess Park Close, Shaw, Oldham, OL2 7YN. He is not related to a photographer of a similar name in Peterborough.
Steve Jackson of Oldham also trades as advancedvideos.co.uk
You can see a selection of images belonging to other photographers at the start of one of Steve’s promotional video here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xx2m2t_s-jackson-photography_people
In what appears to be an attempt to avoid people linking Steve’s business to him, the name of his Facebook page has been changed since last night. It is now simply https://www.facebook.com/weddingsphotos
Steve has also opened new Facebook pages to target the Liverpool area: https://www.facebook.com/weddingphotographyliverpool
Steve Jackson’s Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/steven.m.jackson1
Steve Jackson Photography Twitter account: https://twitter.com/stejac12678
Steve’s Google+ page https://plus.google.com/118214486558387917106/photos
Update 31st October: I have reported this matter to the Police via Action Fraud. The crime reference number is
Update 1st November: I have now had time to download the other images that were sent to me by Steve Jackson Photography’s prospective client. These are some of the images Steve emailed her when she asked for samples of his work taken at Leasowe Castle. The images he stole from me were not taken at that venue, so I assume these could be from anywhere and belong to any photographer.
The owner of the image above has been confirmed as David J Barker Photography. It was stolen from Facebook during the last two weeks and re-edited to black & white before being passed off as Steven Jackson’s own work. Steve has cropped the top of the image to remove David’s watermark.
Update 2nd November:
Steve is attracting brides via a Yell advert which also has stolen images on it. (The stolen images were removed and three of his own added after the issue was highlighted here.)
Update 3rd November:
Steve has deactivated his Twitter account for S Jackson Photography https://twitter.com/stejac12678 but his Advanced Videos Twitter account is still working: https://twitter.com/advancedwedding
Update 3rd December 2013. Steve has relaunched his company under the Sunshine Weddings name.
Update January 2014. I have been contacted by a bride whose wedding was photographed by Steve Jackson last year.
“Wish I had been able to read your article before our wedding, he totally ruined our wedding photos am so upset. The photos we were shown in his portfolio quite clearly weren’t his but sadly there is nothing we can do now.”
The bride has supplied me with samples of his genuine work and the images are terrible. She is very distressed. Unfortunately, the images are of such poor quality that all I could do was turn them black and white to remove the yellow/orange colour. The camera exif shows that the cameras used were a Canon 5D mark 2 and a 600D. The problems with the images appeared to be due to operator error, poor technique and incorrect/lack of processing.
You can read about a similar image theft case in Cornwall here. Wedding photographer Paul Keppel was surprised when another company began advertising using his image. They too had a fake portfolio. Incidents like these are not unusual, sadly they are rather common in the wedding industry.
Article By Paula Brown of Ollievision