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Monthly Archives: September 2020

I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to feel like this. But I do, so I will.

I am a damn good photographer. I have a good eye, I have a lot of experience, and I have invested thousands of dollars in pro-grade gear. Unfortunately it’s late in my life and I have not to this point created the opportunity to do what I love doing professionally, but I am working on it. I have kids that I don’t want to see a parent not go for it.

So I have shot some events without profit in mind, but with a goal of exposure. I’ve been pretty relaxed about allowing use of images – if you’ll let me use the image to promote my photography business, I’ll let you use the image, so long as it isn’t modified. Let me explain why this is over.

I captured this image August 18, 2019, 11:24:32 AM during the 2019 “DMV Rideout.” The rider here is Siraj, and although the shot isn’t great, I cropped it down as a focus on him, watermarked it, and made it available along with many others. Siraj was one of the people who reached out to me, asking permission to use the photo, and granting permission for me to use the photo. He made it his Facebook profile photo on August 27, 2019. He didn’t mess with it. I’ve got no problem with Siraj.

Unfortunately Siraj was killed in a motorcycle accident on September 12, 2020. In an outpouring of love and respect, the motorcycle community he was a part of reached out to his family, raised funds, and have been generally very kind, considerate, and respectful.

But they shit all over me.

 

I am fairly well known in this community. The profile pic was watermarked, and people took it upon themselves to alter my image. Nobody reached out to me to ask my permission. Nobody asked me for the original. They decided to alter it, print it, use it to promote supportive event, etc. without anyone ever reaching out to me in any way. I feel disrespected and violated. And the worst part of it is that if I had been asked, I would have happily provided the full image for the best result. I’d have given permission to alter it – with the right to approve the final product of course. But nobody tried. They just violated the law, and my trust.

To quote Mom: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Things just changed.

 

Always a good time!

If you’re into bikes in any way, you’ll find something interesting and make new friends at Bikes & Breakfast in Clifton, VA, the second Sunday of each month. John Esposito brings his passion to other people in a way that brings out the best of motorcyclists of all kinds.

This was the first time I had attended as a team member of Brooks Cycle, and we sponsored the event with a drawing for a new set of tires.

These are some sample photos, the full gallery is here. Photos are downloadable from the full gallery.

Enjoy!

Tom

I truly appreciate the opportunity to serve as photographer for the 2020 Veterans Next Mission Golf Tournament! The weather was so much nicer than last year, and I enjoyed spending the time out with everyone in such a wonderful setting. Thank you.

Here’s a sampling of the photos from the tournament. I didn’t take as many action shots as last year, I focused more on getting the group shots, most of which I am happy with. I may have been a little cocky in not taking backup shots, but photography is always a learning process.

The rest of the photos that made the cut can be found here, you’ll be able to download the images from the gallery, and find instructions for ordering prints.

Again, thanks for having me!

Tom