Sophie Mayanne, photographer
24-year-old Sophie is based between London and The Cotswolds. In 2017 she began a project called Behind the Scars, which celebrates scars of all shapes and sizes, and the stories behind them. It has since attracted attention and press around the globe.
I began noticing issues with my work not being credited around January 2018. One photo from the series was posted on Instagram, which garnered a lot of attention, and was then circulated by press. Most of the articles didn’t bother to request my permission, and there were a number of mistakes with crediting.
Since then, I’ve seen my work appear on TV shows, magazines and newspapers completely uncredited, so have had to chase it up. I also worked on a campaign with a similar aim to mine, and sadly I faced the same issue with lack of crediting.
It ended up having quite a big impact on my mental health, so I decided to take a break from posting any new work on social media. It got to the point where I felt like every time I posted something new, it was taken, reposted and shared without credit. I started to post about the experience each time it happened, and found that many other photographers were having similar issues. Some even said that they had work stolen by brands and large companies.
I initially reached out privately to people sharing the project without credit, but I wasn’t getting any response. I took steps to trademark the project, and am still looking into legal advice to further safe-guard the project. However, I don’t think it should just be from my side.
An image will always have an author, and journalists know this, but many of them will take it and use it anyway. They take the attitude of ‘fixing it later’ – posting the article, and only adding credits when you have specifically requested it. I’ve had other magazines edit the background colour of images and crop them without permission. The list goes on!