It has come to my attention after several talks with folks that the ownership of photos, especially digital images is not clear.
Digital images of artwork are intellectual property that belongs to the artist unless a proper trade has occurred for the artwork.
If you see a watermark, a large logo through the center of the photo, it means that the rights are that of the owner, the artist. When you purchase a print of a photo you will often see a signature or "printmark". When you purchase full right images you retain the reproduction rights to full resolution photos - you get to print as you wish, share on social media, promote the subject of the photo.
People put hours of their life into their art. Recently saw this "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it"- H.D. Thoreau
We do way beyond what one sees to ensure that we get a photo to you. For example, to better ourselves we practice. Then we pack up travel to show, set up, shoot 8-10 hrs a day. We edit. We do special requests. We process orders. We spend a lot of time trying to make art you will like and make a living. We encourage you to support small business and please know that we wear many hats to get our product to you.
If an item, whether it is physical or digital, is removed in any fashion and put in possession of someone else and it is not paid for, this is stealing. Picking up a greeting card and walking out without paying is the same as taking a photo with a cell phone of another photo with a logo. It's the same as right clicking and downloading. It has become your possession. On your phone, on your computer, or your social media or websites it is intellectual property in your possession. Property is not your possession until a proper exchange has happened.
Some forms of etiquette have been around for centuries, online etiquette is young in comparison. Digital intellectual property is paid for just as any other canvas painting.
In the new internet age it has made it hard for all artists alike to get paid for the work they do. Right click and save as is taking from someone trying to earn a living by selling their artwork online.
We have seen how Napster was taken down due to the illegal trade of musician's intellectual property. We now have music stations like Spotify that pay the artists cents for their music. For photographers, we have stock sites like istockphoto.com that we can submit to sell photos for use.
Any artist who has worked on something for any amount of time deserves to be paid for it, if you like what you see. Just like the clothing store deserves to be paid for their jeans. If you don't like something enough to pay for it leave it be and walk on by.