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Mandi Payne Photography aka Mandi Lei Photography in Omaha, Nebraska

Website:  http://mandileip.wixsite.com/mandipaynephoto
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MandiPaynePhoto/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mandipaynephoto/

Mandi recently underwent a rebranding of her website to reflect her new style of photography.  Unfortunately that new style is made up of mostly stolen images that show the film style editing which she aspires to shoot but isn’t quite nailing yet (based on her actual images she’s taken which remain).  This is a huge reason why I have this website, she’s selling herself based on beautiful images which she hasn’t taken.

One should also note that there are a ton of stock images she’s using as well on her Facebook and Instagram.  I am not listing those images as there is no way for me to know if she’s purchased them legally or not but I still find it unethical.

She also may be in the process of rebranding to Element photography based on an Instagram.

I started this post before my wedding yesterday (and posting it as I’m heading out for my second one today) and some things have been taken down after being called out by the original photographers but not all.

Website

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Facebook

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Instagram

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  • Connie Campbell

    I always ask myself WHY??? After 20 years of photography I still have not perfected anything. But, my imperfections are mine to learn from… why take from others, why can’t they just be happy in their own imperfections and learn from it?

    • Me, Myself and I

      Because they need to trick clients into hirring them since they would not get hired otherwise?

      • Phoxy_Photog

        It’s pathetic because her own recent work is fairly decent. Not someone I would hire personally, but on her way to marketable at least. I mean with a little more practice she COULD have become good. Lighting needs some work.

        • Yeah, lighting is her biggest challenge. I’m not a fan of her work. It’s pretty average for a beginner, (I also have a bad taste in my mouth because she doesn’t respect copyright) but I see potential there. I really like the one image of her friend and her groom in the mirror though. Very nice

          • Liar Liar Pants On Fire

            haha IF it’s really her friend or even her photo! hahaha! This is ridic.

          • Phoxy_Photog

            Good point. At this point we don’t even know what’s her work and what isn’t. Her earlier work was worse, but I figured she improved over a few years.

    • Some just think they can buy a camera from Costco and become a photographer.
      Others go to workshops, study photography courses, be a second shooter for years, find a mentor.
      In the end you can see the difference.

      • Raephoto

        Let out on the internet every mistake you made and rub it in your face and bully you!! How about that!? Enough is enough

        • Theft isn’t a “mistake”, it’s intentional.

        • Me, Myself and I

          Investigative reporting /= bullying

        • You can’t fix stupid

          What the mistake that you got caught? Mandi Payne Photography from Nebraska you stole images and got caught that is not bullying. How did you make a mistake a post the same stolen image onto 3 different sites.

        • Who did I bully? I just made a comment on the difference in the quality of photographs of those who buy a camera and start a business and those who study to become a photographer.
          Want another example? Would you hire an electrician who bought wire strippers and worked on your house, or one who went through an apprenticeship? Could you sleep at night worrying if your house was going to burn down?

          • Me, Myself and I

            Also you can’t bully a business.
            Also investigative journalism isnt bullying.
            Also even if this site was lying, this would fall under libel / defemation laws or maybe tortuious (sp?) Business Interference… maybe… but certainly nor bullying.

            These apecial little snowflakes comit crimes and then cry when they are caught … I fear for future generations.

  • Phoxy_Photog

    Gee, I wonder what her clients think when they get something so sub-par compared to what she is advertising as her style. Does this thought process even enter their small minds?

    • Raephoto

      That’s enough! Stock photos exist! Get over it!

      • Phoxy_Photog

        The photos here are not stock photos… They were lifted from photographer’s blogs.

        Also, if you did in fact purchase any stock photos, you’ll see if you actually read their Terms of Service that you cannot claim them as works of your own. Copyright still belongs to the original creator; the purchaser buys a license of use though not to portray as their work. On a photography website or social media page, it is understood that the images are your own work that you’ll be able to reproduce similarly to clients who book you.

        So stock or not, you have used them illegally or improperly.

        • Raephoto

          You go check every photographers page and tell me every piece is there own and then every stock photo and show the photographer credit on it! I am on Instagram everyday and I see the same photos on people’s sites and I know they didn’t all take that photo. Get out behind your computer and quit judging other people! My god! This is stupid!!

          • Phoxy_Photog

            Actually, legitimate professional photographers do not use stock photos or others’ photos in their advertising. Nothing on my website or page was work other than mine ever.

          • Me, Myself and I

            So because others are comitting a crime we shouldn’t bring to light people who do?

            People steal cars all the time, last I checked it’s still a crime people are being prosecuted for so … yeah …

          • You can’t fix stupid

            Real photographers don’t use stock images or steal images. Mandi Payne Photography stole images and posted them as her own. (well your own) THAT is stupid.

          • StartedFromTheBottomNowI’mHere

            I hate to break it to you Mandi, but I guarantee no legitimate professional photographer would ever use stock photos or photos shot by other photographers on their websites. ALL images on my website were shot by me. We all started from the bottom. Personally I reached out to professionals and asked them for guidance and experience. They allowed be to shoot for them, even paid me in fact, and I built my portfolio over the years. Now I run my own business and I am still constantly learning and trying to improve. Don’t take shortcuts. Put time into your craft. Take your camera out and capture your own images. No more excuses. Had you owned up to this immediately, this post wouldn’t have made it this far and you may have earned back a little respect.

          • Me, Myself and I

            I have one picture in my blog that isn’t mine … it is properly attributed and I links back to the author and it’s because I am talking about that specific picture and so my use falls under fair use and I followed all the LAWS in regard to fair use as prescribed under the laws in my legal jurisdiction.

          • Phoxy_Photog

            Oh yeah I actually had posted a photo once as an “editing challenge” that was asked for and allowed by the original photographer! Haha I guess Mandi got me there. Of course, the image was properly attributed and linked to the photographer as well as “used with permission” written on the image.

          • You got caught

            Ummm every photo on my site IS mine. I would never display work that isn’t mine. You are so ridiculous it’s not even funny.

          • Michael Goolsby

            Again, a poor argument that does not mitigate the original sin.

            And I can assure you that EVERY single photo on my website is mine, and has been since my first website was put up in 1998.

      • You’re stealing other people’s work. Get over it!

      • Me, Myself and I

        87-302.
        Deceptive trade practices; enumerated.

        (a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of his or her business, vocation, or occupation, he or she:

        (1) Passes off goods or services as those of another;

        • Julie Jensen

          Great way to use copy and paste! How hard was that to find on google? Retard!

          • Not nice

          • You can’t fix stupid

            Please stop using different names. You say it was easy to find on Google so why didn’t you? You should know the laws.

          • Me, Myself and I

            Obviously top hard for Mandi …

          • Phoxy_Photog

            Julie Jensen, aka Mandi Payne, please do not use the word “retard” as an insult. There are developmentally disabled individuals and those close to them who will find this extremely offensive as it is something they do not have control over. Clearly Mandi Payne of Nebraska does not understand sensitivity.

      • You’re claiming to be in the very profession that you’re ripping off. Stock photos were created for a purpose by people who worked hard to hone their talents. By people who are trying to make a living with their camera’s. They aren’t creating stock photos for other people to claim as their work! I highly doubt you even paid for the licenses to use them, and if you did, you still went against copyright law and the contract you agreed to by claiming/implying you own the copyright. Thank you, for finally cleaning up and removing what doesn’t belong to you. Don’t do it any more. You’ll get caught, or worse. This blog may have saved your future livelihood.

      • Photo Stealers

        One of the original photographers requesting the removal of this image.

      • Photo Stealers

        The instagram conversation about the same photo from Facebook where someone mentions the original photographer has been blocked.

        • She honestly thought there was nothing that the original photographer could do :/ Thank you PS. Your blog is so important. These bullies need to be stopped

      • You can’t fix stupid

        Yes they exist but not on a page to advertise YOUR so called professional business. Just admit it Mandi Payne photography aka Mandi Lei Photography of Nebraska, you were caught stealing and now you are trying to pass the blame. Man up and take the blame for what you did.

      • You got caught

        You are such a scam artist to clients.

  • Photolei

    Seriously stop the bullying! People use stock photos everyday!!!! It’s building a business and working with others to do so! This website is so shameful! Just contact the photographer! Come on!

    • Stolen photographs are stolen. Here’s a tip: Develop your own talent so you can get clients on your own merits instead of stealing other people’s photos. Then you also won’t get sued for theft and fraud.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      I assume you’re the photographer in question? If so, if you’ll reread what was written in the listing, you’ll see the stock images were not considered. It focuses on the images lifted from other photographers without their permission. That is copyright infringement and is illegal.

      You should also know that as a photographer, you are using these images as a representation of your skills, and in fact, you never say you didn’t take these images. A potential client would look at your social media and web site and hire you based on those images. If you can’t see how that is misleading and deceitful, then you are in the wrong business. Use your own work. The end.

      Also note, you should know most stock agencies do not allow people to use photos in a misleading way, such as a photographer posting them as if they took them.

      • Celine (peaceetc)

        Another thing — those stock images you used (not the ones stolen from other photographers, but actual stock images), you did pay for licenses for all of them, correct? And you read the licenses carefully to make sure you are using the properly? Because that’s how stock photography works.

      • You got caught

        But she DID take credit for photos! People would comment saying beautiful shot or photo and she was engaging saying thank you! She’s a damn liar!

    • Me, Myself and I

      Nebraska Law

      87-302.
      Deceptive trade practices; enumerated.

      (a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of his or her business, vocation, or occupation, he or she:

      (1) Passes off goods or services as those of another;

      I think you get the point.

    • You can’t fix stupid

      Yes people use stock images. Professional photographers don’t. Stock images are not allowed to be used to promote your business. If you are advertising as a professional photographer , Mandi Payne Photography, then you should have your own photos. Only thieves and fauxtographers use stock images.

    • Photo Stealers

      These are not all stock photos and you were asked by at least one, if not more, of the original photographers to remove the work.

    • Michael Goolsby

      Seriously, stop trying to educate photographers when you are, yourself, quite uneducated on the subject. Even stock photography involves licensing terms which, almost always, preclude the use of representing the stock photography as your own creation.

  • I hope both parties are in the US and those images are registered. Mandi’s in for a WORLD of hurt in her pocket book. Hope she knows a good bankruptcy lawyer.

    • Phoxy_Photog

      Yeah, with PPA’s help with legislation, it’s now more possible to take action against someone in small claims court over copyright infringement. This is a huge victory for creative professionals all over.

      Which means, now it’s easier to get monetary payout from the person who stole your work. Tread lightly, Mandi.

      • You can’t fix stupid

        I read that article. It is great being able to go to small claims court for this. Mandi Payne Photography from Nebraska, you can be sued because you stole photos and posted them as your own.

  • Iphoto

    What if images are from the site used to create the site.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Do you mean placeholder images, like from Wix or another web site creation place? Even then, you can’t use them as if you took them. Be sure to read whatever terms of service agreement you had to agree to when creating the site. Either way, a photographer shouldn’t be using others’ images, because it’s extremely misleading for potential clients.

      But, again, this listing isn’t about stock images.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      And please stick with one username on here. I don’t know why you keep switching them, but it’s unnecessary.

    • You can’t fix stupid

      Why were the same images on her IG, Facebook and her Website? Last I checked you have to load up images to FB by yourself. Try another excuse.

      • Celine (peaceetc)

        Good point. That’s not an accident.

  • Bob23325

    I’m SMH over the “bullying” BS. I have a mental image of someone caught after walking out of the bakery with a beautiful cake that isn’t theirs. They post photos of the cake while promoting it as one of their own creations. She got caught red handed. Now she (or her family/friends) are all lurking in the PS parking lot crying foul that she/they are being bullied while ignoring the fact she got caught stealing someone else’s hard work and creativity. Sound about right?

  • Ok so let me get this straight. Mandi Payne Photography gets notified that she has been using other people’s photography without consent, to sell her professional photography services. She’s given take down notices and ONLY takes down the few that were claimed work and leaves all the other stolen work up? After she is told it’s wrong and why (even though we all know she already knew). After some of her victims stand up for themselves and their clients, she still leaves other stolen photographs up to advertise her business in an attempt to pull one over on the public. Steals other people’s hard work to scam people for money and has the nerve to come here and yell “You all are bullies!” And rubs salt in the wounds that she created. Ummmmmm… Who’s the bully?!

    • Phoxy_Photog

      So are the handful of images that are still on her page also stolen? She posted that she “loved shooting this wedding” so if that is not her photo, that’s even more intentional as a lie/theft.

      • I think she has finally cleaned up completely. Earlier, when I first read this listing, there were many more photographs than there is now. Instagram is down and so is the one site that’s posted. This is what should have been done after the very first time she was notified she was caught. Ridiculous

      • Me, Myself and I

        And she opens heraelf to prosecution under Nebraska false advertising laws.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Based on what she posted here (provided lphoto, raephoto, and photolei — all the same person posted under different names — are actually her), she seems to think what she did was just using stock images. Perhaps she fails to understand what stock photography is, and that it isn’t just taking whatever she likes from the internet and using it as she sees fit. Whatever it is, she needs to educate herself, because she has an awful lot to learn.

      Stock photography has its place, and that place is NOT on a photographer’s social media and web sites. Regardless, what this photographer did went far beyond simply using stock images and outright stealing, based on the evidence presented here. Pointing that out to the public isn’t bullying, it’s doing a public service.

  • Another one of her sites to keep an eye on http://mandileiphotography.weebly.com

  • Photo Stealers

    I removed the three photos of which I couldn’t find a source for on the website since the photographer is raising a fuss about stock photos. There’s still enough that was beyond those three that remain.

    • ashley nicole

      Do you have screenshots of the website that you can share with me? From the looks of what you posted graphics and details from my website were also stolen. I can’t tell from the images above because they’re way to pixelated.

      • Photo Stealers

        Here’s a few

        • ashley nicole

          Thank you!! Yes this confirms she stole artwork from my site as well. The word “Investment” is hand lettering painted/designed by my web designer specifically for my site.

          • You can’t fix stupid

            Wow, this is really something. Stealing the lettering. Sorry that it was stolen.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            Wow. Brian Miller can’t blame Wix for that one. I’m sorry this happened to you.

          • Mlphoto

            What!!! A font now!!!! I googled fonts! There was no copyright on a font!! This is absolutely ridiculous!!!

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            No, she’s not claiming the font, as I understand it. She’s claiming you stole the graphic (“investment”) from her site. Graphics can’t be used without permission, just like photographs.

          • ashley nicole

            Exactly!

          • ashley nicole

            It’s not a font. It’s hand painted artwork painted exclusively for me by my designer that I paid. It’s copyrighted as stated right on my website.

          • Shaun B

            Fonts absolutely can be copyrighted. The ones that come with your computer are licensed to you, and there are a lot of freely licensed/royalty free fonts available online. There are also a lot of fonts that are licensed for a fee. A font is a creative work.

          • Me, Myself and I

            Ffs … yes, fonts are protected by copyright!!!

          • Marc W.

            Yes, there are copyrights with fonts. Some are free, some are not. It’s like music, you buy and/or license them.

            http://blog.crowdspring.com/2011/03/font-law-licensing/

        • Phoxy_Photog

          Even if it were a font we were referring to here (which ashley nicole said it not, it’s a graphic she had commissioned by a designer for) you can’t just download free fonts and use them commercially. If you use a font for business items, you must purchase the commercial license. These typically run $8-$25 depending on the font. I get most of mine on Creative Market and they do not cost much at all!

    • Me, Myself and I

      Stock photos
      .. she doesnt see the problem with uskng stock photos?!? Maybe I didnt write it often enough?

      Nebraska Law

      87-302.
      Deceptive trade practices; enumerated.

      (a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of his or her business, vocation, or occupation, he or she:

      (1) Passes off goods or services as those of another;

    • DT

      Photo stealers- I am getting a threatening message from, what I assume is her husband, saying that I started this and if I don’t remove this they will be suing me for slander. Which in fact, on the bible, I did not report her or Had anything to do with this at all. Just want to make that very clear. I didn’t even know this was on here until tonight!!!

      • You can’t fix stupid

        They can’t sue you for slander. What you have said is true. (If you did say it) So they are just trying to threaten and scare you.
        I am sorry it is happening. Please keep screen caps as threats are not on.

      • Me, Myself and I

        He can threathen to sue you for libel but since you havent posted anything his lawyer will tell him hes an f’ing moron.

  • Mlphoto

    I am sorry. For any images used. I am not here to throw out any excuses. I am sorry to those offended outraged on this. I have a family. I am now receiving Harassment messages and calls. This is not something i intentially did. It’s hard working with website companies and understanding and getting this all right. I myself took any stock images or wix images off all social media and web. This will not happen again. Again i am sorry.

    • You can’t fix stupid

      Well done for admitting that you were wrong but please also address the stolen images not just the stock images.

      Not all your images were stock. Please don’t try to play it that you only had stock images because you didn’t.

      As for the threatening messages and calls you can have them traced. I suggest you go to the police with that.

      • Mlphoto

        ^^ Any images used.

        • You can’t fix stupid

          You said ” I myself took any stock images or wix images off all social media and web.”
          Not “stock” images but stolen images.

          • Mlphoto

            I am sorry

    • AF

      Ummm what web designer are you using that goes and replaces your images with someone else that are better? That’s a bold face lie, and you know it. (I’m a web desinger & photographer) WIX of all places does not just happen to use NEBRASKA based photographers work in their shit templates. You have a lot to learn about BUSINESS and photography.
      Steps to not getting threatened or bashed by the photography community:
      1. Find a mentor
      2. LEARN & WORK for your money.
      3.DON’T STEAL

      People like you make our field look bad. It’s a PROFESSIONALS job to protect their art and the privacy of their clients. To you it’s a pretty photo, but that is someone’s hard earned work and their clients memories. You’re a thief OWN it, LEARN from it. Stop playing the victim when we all know you’re not. Just trying to make a quick buck.

      • Mlphoto

        I’m not playing a victim card. I am apologizing. I don’t know of any Nebraska photographers photos being used. All images have been removed that were not my own! And I have learned from this. And will continue to learn.

        • AF

          Good. It sucks you started in the field this way but as you can see stealing or “using” images that are not yours is a HUGE deal to us. Learn, grow, and you will eventually get to that level.

          • Mlphoto

            Thank you

    • Marc W.

      How would you feel if I used your engagement photos… or even, your kid’s engagement Photo, added a fake story and name to my post? Yeah, that’s pretty much what you did.

      • Mlphoto

        I understand. I would reach out to the photographer for sure. I made a mistake. I will not claim work as any own or use any images from any site “Pinterest, wix, etc again.

    • First lesson, photographers are a tight nit community. We have eachother’s back. Work WITH photographers, not against them. Reach out to your local photographers, build relationships, and treat others and their work as you’d want them to treat you and yours. You’ve broke some bridges and started off on the wrong foot for sure. Time to buckle down, work hard, build and repair bridges. Have you thought about paying the photographers for use of their images, reaching out to them personally? Just a suggestion.

      • Mlphoto

        I have searched over and over and am trying to make this as right as I can.

    • Me, Myself and I

      You do realise that on top of copyright law you also violated nebraska law right?

      87-302.
      Deceptive trade practices; enumerated.

      (a) A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in the course of his or her business, vocation, or occupation, he or she:

      (1) Passes off goods or services as those of another;

      This isnt only a civil issue but potentially a criminal one …

      Being in business means not only knowing which end of the camera to point atvyour client but having a general understanding of the laws that govern your industry and business law in general … laws like anti spam laws, copyright, contract law, tax law, employement laws, advertising laws …

      • Mlphoto

        Yes and I have removed any images not my own. I don’t want to sit here and defend myself and give excuses. I can only learn from this and do better. I understand everything I’m being told and faced with! I’m getting this at all angles. Just trying to protect my family and I

    • Brian Miller

      I wouldn’t listen to any of these comments. I would go to your local police department and talk to someone about this issue. I don’t believe your in the wrong. If anyone takes the time out of there lives to actually research wix.com they will find there problem there. Instead they wan’t to hide behind there keyboards and do nothing about it. Maybe talk to a lawyer. This website seems to be taking away from your business and is full of “Keyboard/Couch Lawyers”

      • You can’t fix stupid

        Again, please read what this is about. It is about her, Mandi Payne Photography aka Mandi Lei Photography using stolen images on her sites. She stole photos and uploaded them to her sites. Don’t try and pass the blame.

      • You can’t fix stupid

        As for the “keyboard/couch lawyers” just do some homework again, you know like read all the facts first.
        1) She can be taken to small claim court for each image stolen and posted on each site. 1 image was posted on 3 sites so that is 3 claims
        2) It is a violation of Nebraska law

        Please take some time and just google it because you are looking like an idiot.

        • Me, Myself and I

          Has ghat passed yet? I was jnder tbe impression itnwas still only in the works.

      • She did indeed steal photos and use them in her portfolio and business advertising. This is indeed against the law, not to mention extremely unethical. All images posted above were stolen from photographers, not wix. No wix photos or stock photos she was using in her marketing and in her portfolio are even featured in this blog post. You are advising her to sue for defamation, yet calling us keyboard/couch lawyers?! Arguing with photographers about copyright law?

        • You can’t fix stupid

          He is her hubby so that explains it all.

      • Me, Myself and I

        If she is being threathened she should be going to the police. None of the regars here condemn that behavior.

        And yes, she should contact a lawyer and have him/her explain the her the various laws she broke. She shouldnhave consulted a lawyer when shebstarted her business to get a feel for the laws she needed to understand to operate her business but kbviously didnt.

      • Michael Goolsby

        You need to stop handing out legal advise.

    • Michael Goolsby

      Yes, you have much to learn. Put your camera away for a while. Take pictures of your family. Learn about the craft of photography. But stay away from the business of photography until you learn a great deal more about the business side of things.

  • Brian Miller

    It sounds like Wix.com has been the mistake here. It seems no fault to her at all. I created an account with this website and it allows me to add all of these as “stock images” . Search on there page for all of these photos and you will find them. I think she has a defamation of character law suite!

    • You can’t fix stupid

      I really think you need to read what was posted. She had stolen images on all 3 of her sites. It wasn’t just about stock it was about stolen images.

    • Yes, wix has stock photos for use in making websites. No, stock photos cannot be used in a photography business’ portfolio to show potential client’s their product/photos. It’s not their photo. They are not meant to be used as your work. The copyright does not transfer to the website owner, ownership stays with the original photographer. The photos that are shown in this blog post, are NOT wix stock photos. They are photos that were stolen from photographers. She was given take down requests and chose to ignore them. Please look at the attached screen shot

      • You can’t fix stupid

        He doesn’t care for the facts, he must be her hubby trying to pass the blame.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Are you related to Mandi in some manner? I ask because you share the same IP address as her. That’s fine, obviously, I’m only interested in full disclosure here. In other words, you aren’t some outside observer offering up an unbiased opinion.

      Someone in another comment screencapped where Mandi was complimented on a photo that wasn’t hers, and she accepted the compliment by saying thank you. She did not indicate the photo was not hers. This is important, because it shows she seemed perfectly happy to let people believe she took images she did not take.

      Again, this goes BEYOND stock photos. So don’t blame Wix, and look at the bigger picture.

    • Me, Myself and I

      Hahahahaha … yeah, thats right SHE has a lawsuit all lined up. Ignore Nebrska false advertising laws and how we’ve identified photos from other photographers… ffs.

    • Marc W.

      Just because they provide stock photos to fill your website, doesn’t mean it’s still right/legal to use them to represent the work you do. For example iStock has this in their License Agreement:

      “No False Representation of Authorship. You may not falsely represent that you are the original creator of a work that is made up largely of licensed content. For instance, you cannot create a painting based solely licensed content and claim that you are the author.”

      Source: http://www.istockphoto.com/legal/license-agreement

      Yes, a photographer putting stock photos in their portfolio/website does imply they took them. It’s like me putting photos of tattoos on my tattoo website, people will think I did those and I can produce that level of work.

    • Michael Goolsby

      When you so obviously no nothing about either copyrights or defamation, you probably should not be spouting legal theories and suggestions of lawsuits. (Geez, you don’t even know that it’s a “lawsuit” and a not a “law suite”.) If Mandi it going to have a champion, he should as least be a capable one.

  • Shame on you

    She is such a liar! Not only did she STEAL photos. She was on social media groups trying to poach brides and clients to let her photograph their weddings or video them for free. And she “snuck” images where professional photographers were hired at her friends wedding, was asked to step away, and took pictures of the hired Photographers set up. This girl is so delusional and trying to play the victim card. She needs to be brought to light to all Potential clients.

    • Mlphoto

      Now your just pulling at straws! My friend said I could take any photos I wanted that day!! She gave me full permission! No one ever asked me to “step away” This has to stop! now accusations are being made!!

      • Mlphoto

        People everyday literally Google, Pinterest ect Photos every single day and use for personal use, business use , as examples, as inspiration, or whatever they please! That’s the Risk people take putting photos online. Not every photo has a copy right attached to it. Some people take photos. Edit them and sell as their own. website creators use photos and allow people to use them to build sites! There are hackers out there stealing identities and far worse crimes and you your sitting here firing at this!? There are thousands of new photographers and designers out there trying to build there businesses, buying photos, designs.

        • You can’t fix stupid

          You are just mad because you got caught stealing images. You stole, blocked people and now you are mad. I was so happy when you said that you were sorry but it seems that your hubby won’t let it go. The more he tried to shift the blame the less people will likely support you.

        • Celine (peaceetc)

          If you understand how copyright works, you would know that a watermark is completely unnecessary. And what other people do is irrelevant. Just do the right thing, no matter what other people do. Building a business based on lies won’t get you very far, and you will be caught.

          • Me, Myself and I

            Watermarks haven’t been needed for copyright protection in the US since I was 3 years old (1978). She is so f’ing clueless about the laws and rules of the industry it is frightening.

        • Bee

          You are SO delusional!!!!!!!! We do not use other images to promote our companies. We use our photos we took that yes WE OWN THE Copyright. We clicked the button we own them! You are dumb!

        • StartedFromTheBottomNowI’mHere

          Oh Mandi..you poor poor girl. We all just want you to learn from this and it’s clear from comments like this that you have not.

        • I’m so bummed. I really thought you had the potential to be not only a good person, but a good photographer too. I was really thinking “this one is going to make things right, and do really well” (it happens. They even get removed from the blog). I really hate it when I waste my time trying to help someone, and they just end up being a person that completely sucks. You’re right. There are far worse crimes. But, this blog is about fauxtographers that steal from photographers. I know it’s strange to think that photographers would be interested in this, or feel they need to help somehow. Very strange indeed. Why oh why would people who like to create photographs even care if photographs get stolen?! I can’t believe you don’t get it. You must not care at all about your clients or your pictures. Why are you even in photography? There has to be easier and more lucrative ways to scam people.

          • StartedFromTheBottomNowI’mHere

            I thought the same thing, Melinda. When this all originally came out, I thought, as soon as this girl is let known that this is wrong, she will probably feel terrible and remove stolen content immediately. She can learn and become like the photographers she admires. I almost felt bad (even though I knew she needed to be outed). I do also believe that this post would have been removed as soon as she showed remorse and made things right, I think I read this on the PS FAQ page. Sorry Mandi Payne. You continue to defend and claim innocence. This is not going to work well for you in the future. I’m sad for you.

          • Mlphoto

            I do care! I apologized and now people are just grabbing at anything they can to out me down!

          • I’m not grabbing at anything!
            “That’s the Risk people take putting photos online. Not every photo has a copy right attached to it. Some people take photos. Edit them and sell as their own. website creators use photos and allow people to use them to build sites!”
            What the actual $%&! Who do you think you are talking like that?! I’m glad you got posted to Photostealers. You definitely belong here. Go find some other hobby.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            She’s lacking knowledge in a lot of areas. I hope she gets over being angry and takes the time to actually educate herself on the laws and other things relating to being a professional in any area of business. She’s too busy assuming and blaming, instead of looking at what she actually needs to do to be on the right path.

          • I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, but… If she doesn’t even value her own photography or value her clients and their feelings, how will she ever value what others do, or the people in their photographs? She’s not a photographer, she’s fauxtographer. It’s just pictures to her. Not people, not memories, not art, not work. Just pictures. “What’s the big deal?!”. I mean she saying “go ahead, take this photo of my best friend’s wedding. Use it on your blog, shove it in your portfolio. Post it on Facebook, and make up a story about how you loved photographing them. No big deal. Use it to market your photography and book clients. I’m cool with that. That’s what I do with it. That happens when you post photos online. They automatically become free for anyone to use how ever they want”. This is not how a photographer thinks. My first picture that I took care taking and felt it was a work, one of my friend’s quick, made it her profile picture. and it was indescribable how it felt. lol this was just a friend that admired my picture and wanted to make her Facebook pretty, and I felt like one of my fingers had been yanked off. I had no clue on copyright laws. I just knew how I felt. I can’t even imagine if it was a picture of a person that entrusted me to take their portrait, a child, or a wedding client and a stranger took it to sell her photography services. It doesn’t get any more creepy than that. and this girl is so flippant about it. She can’t be taking care in her own photography and feel as she does about other’s photography. She belongs on this blog

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            I understand your frustration. My inclination is to give people the benefit of the doubt, too. But I don’t think Mandi gets it, or she doesn’t want to get it, because she’s not willing to really accept the blame. She won’t change until she does, and sees the harm that comes from lying.

          • You can’t fix stupid

            I was so happy when she said that she was sorry, then she quickly made it worse by lying about other things. And her husband threatening people also left a bad taste in my mouth.

        • Me, Myself and I

          EVERY PHOTO IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW THE MOMENT IT IS TAKEN … LEARN ABOUT THE FING LAWS THST GOVERN YOUR INDUSTRY BEFORE GOING FORWARD.

          http://www.photoattorney.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Excuses-excuses.pdf

          • Marc W.

            So, you’re saying even though I paid for a magazine subscription it doesn’t mean I can take those photos and use them as I wish? Claim them as my own? 🙁

          • Me, Myself and I

            LOL.

            Man, buying a soundtrack for my next short film would be so easy …. “What I paid for this U2 cd, what do you mean I’m not allowed to use the music on it as the soundtrack to my short film”.

        • Michael Goolsby

          Copyright notice or not, if you used any of my images either as your own or without permission, I would have sued you.

          I would highly recommend that you learn more about the BUSINESS of photography before you continue to try to have a photography business. It is so much more than just buying a camera.

        • Me, Myself and I

          There are hackers out there stealing identities and far worse crimes and you your sitting here firing at this!?

          Wow … we’ve never heard that one.

          So police shouldn’t stop people for speeding cause there are murderers and pedophiles out there?

          So we shouldn’t expose a landlord who refuses to rent to non-whites because there are people using suicide bombers to attack civilian targets?

          You are f’ing out of your mind lady …

        • Gee Wilkes

          Wow! Just WOW!

        • Phoxy_Photog

          Wow is all I can say. You truly cannot fix stupid.

          And, grammar. Learn it.

      • ER

        Hired photographers clause states no other person can professionally take images that the original photographer is hired to do. Even if your friend told you, you both violated the contract and that is a fact. Grounds for lawsuit as well.

        • Me, Myself and I

          My contract has thst clause. I added it after the best man at a wedding brought his own professionsl photographer.

    • You can’t fix stupid

      Wow, now that changes it. Going behind a photographers back and offering a potential bride a free wedding shoot is just wrong.

      • Mlphoto

        There was no free photography being offered!! Now people are making stuff up and this is how slander is created!!!

        • lippold

          Yes you did. I have the messages to prove it.

          • Mlphoto

            Bc I was looking to be a second shooter with permission!?

          • Lippold

            No, you offered to shoot my wedding for free and several other brides. I have the messages and the post you made saying free shoots.

          • Mlphoto

            I was looking to work with other photographers in the area. The barn was beautiful! I wanted an opportunity to work there. I didn’t want step on toes. If you had a photographer I by no means would take that away from them. and asked if it would be ok with them or asked to get permission to work along side them

          • Then why didn’t you do just that? You seem to know that it would be better to ask a photographer if you could second shoot, or work along side them, but instead you went straight to their clients and offered to shoot for free before talking to the photographer first?!

          • Mlphoto

            Then client was asking me about the condition of the barn! I told her it was beautiful and I really wanted to photograph a wedding there. I never Asked her to hire me! I would have loved to talk with her photographer but didn’t want to over step. And left it alone.

          • Michael Goolsby

            I am a 23+ year wedding photography veteran. My contract with my brides specifically states that I am the sole designated photographer, paid or otherwise, and that having another photographer there constitutes a breech of contract. The reason should be obvious to anyone who knows what they are doing.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            And photographers are the ones who bring in their own second shooters if needed. They don’t want some untested random photographer coming in and possibly screwing things up for them.

        • Gee Wilkes

          FYI – Slander is spoken, Libel is written. Doi!

    • Brian Miller

      I’m just saying I would get in contact with the police. Whoever started this has tried to ruin her business and making a big mistake or maybe contact a lawyer or go to small claims court. The company wix.com has a user agreement and has allowed the user the rights to non-copyrighted images. I don’t see a fault at all on her behalf, Blame Wix not her… You also can’t blame someone for trying to better themselves. We’ve all been new at some point in time!

      • You can’t fix stupid

        You keep on posting the same thing Brian. You must be her hubby because you refuse to read the facts that it was her fault.
        1) Wix has images that are on templates that can not be used to promote a business. (Read the law of Nebraska – it has been posted a few times)
        2) She stole images, blocked the original photographer when she was called out.

        How the hell can that be Wix’s fault?
        As for being new, yes everybody is new at some time but not everybody steals!
        Your wife Mandi Payne Photography aka Mandi Lei Photography from Nebraska STOLE images and posted them as her own. Simple

        • Brian Miller

          I’m just reading what I see. I could care less..

          • You can’t fix stupid

            Well if you actually read it you will see that it is about theft. Photo theft.

          • Brian Miller

            How? Have you read wix.com user agreement? Sign up for an account. You will find all of the “evidence” you need for these photos.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            Can you understand how misleading it is for someone presenting themselves as a professional photographer to use images other than their own to present themselves to potential clients? People would naturally believe the photos on a photographer’s web site and social media were taken by the photographer, and would hire them based on that work. That’s wrong.

            Regardless, she didn’t have permission to upload others’ images to social media. She did.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            Someone further down in the comments said some custom artwork on her web site was stolen by Mandi and used on her own site. Wix had nothing to do with that. Please understand this goes beyond the Wix stuff.

          • You can’t fix stupid

            I did read that. It states about copyright not about being okay to steal images and use the images to promote your business.
            AND FOR THE LAST TIME : the Wix images were not the ones that were on her sites. It was STOLEN images.
            Here is the link for you to read : http://www.wix.com/about/terms-of-use

          • I was just going to say the same thing. “I don’t think you read wix terms of service or user agreement”

          • Me, Myself and I

            Ok Brian … let’s ignore the WIX images and Nebraskas false advertising laws for a moment … we shouldn’t but lets do it anyways.

            What about the first two images listed above? Those are not WIX template images. They are from other photographers.

            Oh and also …from WIX.

            And specifically regarding your User Content:

            you own all rights in and to any content uploaded by you (“User Content”), including any designs, images, animations, videos, audio files, fonts, logos, illustrations, compositions, artworks, interfaces, text, literary works and any other materials (“Content”), or otherwise have (and will continue to have) the full power, title, licenses, consents and authority, in and to the User Content, as necessary to legally use, publish, transfer or license any and all rights and interests in and to such User Content;
            the User Content is (and will continue to be) true, current, accurate, non-infringing upon any third party rights, and in no way unlawful for you to possess, post, transmit or display in the country in which you or your User Website’s visitors and users (“End Users”) reside, or for Wix and/or your End Users to use or possess in connection with the Wix Services;
            you have obtained all consents and permissions required under all applicable laws, regarding the posting, transmission and publication of any personal information and/or image or likeness of any person, entity or property which is part of the User Content, and you will adhere to all laws applicable thereto.

          • Marc W.

            They also have a post about image copyright infringement on their site too:
            https://www.wix.com/support/html5/article/avoiding-copyright-infringement-images

            “Images found on the internet: When looking for images on the internet, keep in mind that some images might be protected by copyright. It is your responsibility to find out what limitations apply to the image before adding it to your site.”

          • You can’t fix stupid

            So you are her hubby. Please you are making it worse by trying to blame the web site. We have all heard it before. Unlike your FB friends we know how these things work. She stole images. How hard is that to understand?

      • Me, Myself and I

        Contact the police? Everything you mentionned here is civil in nature.

        Libel is not a small claims court case.

        Stop posting and contact a lawyer … you are apparenlty woefully unprepared.

  • You can’t fix stupid

    Unfortunately Mandi Payne Photography aka Mandi Lei Photography from Nebraska didn’t only steal photos but also a style font that was made specifically for another photographer.
    Please Mandi I was so happy when you said that you were sorry but it seems that you haven’t come totally clean. http://stopstealingphotos.com/mandi-payne-photography-aka-mandi-lei-photography-omaha-nebraska/#comment-2864734106

  • dobetterbebetter

    Mandi, I can tell you with 1000% certainty that the person you think turned you in for stealing isn’t the person who did. I know for sure because it is me that did. I am a very strong believer in that individual and their work.
    I can tell you that prior to turning you in to this site, I first contacted 6 photographers that you stole work from to give them a chance to contact you first, I have your replies to those photographers as well. I knew at first glance that the images were stolen, because no one improves that much overnight. I noticed the images that were yours had full faces shown or names tagged, the ones taken did not. I was most impressed by the ad for 25% off weddings that you posted the same exact day as the original photographer, since that was her ad, I felt wow, this is ballsy…..Unfortunately, many local photographers were also alerted to check your sites prior to turning you in here to make sure their work was also not stolen. You live in an area of very close friendships and relationships of photographers and videographers alike. We talk to each other, and often.
    AS photographers and others in this field, we already have to defend each decision we make, price we put on our work, fight for days off with our families, and so much more to make a living with the thing we love doing. When someone either rips clients off by running away with their money never to be seen, or misrepresents their work, as you were doing, we have to defend the name of photography that much more.
    Because I felt so sad for potential clients to be deceived by you seeming to offer one thing and more than likely delivering a completely different thing, and I saw your replies to the images stolen and noticed you didn’t take down the others even after being called out by a few photographers. It took turning you in here to make you take everything not yours down off your sites. Imagine your disappointment if you were your client: your photographer seem to have all these beautiful images, and you get nothing like them, you’ve invested money and now are so disappointed that you are pissed and take it out on photographers in general. This is a reality we deal with.

    I hope you have learned a hard, hard lesson. Let your work be your own, love yourself more, represent yourself better, apologize and move forward.

    • Liar Liar Pants on Fire

      YASSSSSSSSSS! Preach!

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Thank you for posting this. I had been wondering if she’d been contacted by any of the actual photographers prior to being outed here, and it seems she had been. That she didn’t take that as a huge clue that maybe she was doing something wrong is… well, confusing, honestly.

      You’re right — clients would be rightfully upset if the images they received didn’t match up to what was advertised.

      I hope Mandi takes your words into careful consideration, especially the final paragraph.

    • DT

      Thank you! Because I just got messages from some guy, I assume her husband and apparently I am getting blamed for this and they are threatening me!

      • Celine (peaceetc)

        He was threatening you? I’m sorry you’re being blamed, and for his rather unfortunate response.

        • DT

          It’s been filed and documented for harassment. If they attempt to contact me again, I can call for
          Continuing harassment. So, I’m staying off this site because it doesn’t involve me and I had nothing do with this not her business.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            Understood, especially since you aren’t even the one who turned her in. Take care, and I hope they leave you alone.

      • Me, Myself and I

        Legal threaths or physical?
        Legal tell them to have their lawyer contact yours … never going to happen.

        Physical? Call the police.

      • Helena

        Threats are totally unacceptable, and I suspect the invitation to talk to the person who submitted them to this site would end in a similar fashion. If the threats were physical, please contact the police.

    • Mlphoto

      Could we please talk?

      • dobetterbebetter

        I am willing to engage in any conversation you’d like to via here. I know you have admitted guilt. I think that is a good step in the right direction, even though some of it came late. I think you had to be busted in order to make sure you actually took away all work that wasn’t your own and for that I won’t apologize.
        I am sure you are a good person overall, who wanted to be better than they were at the moment. You perhaps didn’t even know the extent of the wrongness you were doing. I hope you have been educated, this is a hard field. We get criticized by others constantly, you need backbone. You need to make sure you are ethical in all you do, you need to believe in your heart in yourself. Love yourself more than the lie of what you think you should be. To me, by putting other’s work out there that wasn’t your own, you don’t believe in yourself enough….take those steps, rebuild. Start over, the right way….

  • Liar Liar Pants on Fire

    You should probably stop with the lies and don’t quit your day job. #byefelicia

  • ISF

    As a photographer that has had other so called professional use my copyrighted work to promote their own brand to be used in professional business in the photography landscape they really need to first understand what the meaning of being a professional is. Using other people’s work to promote their presence as a photographer is not a victimless crime, often over looked is what harm is done to the true owner of the copyright holder.

    One of the most disturbing trends I have witnessed is the doubt cast onto the true own of the images by future cliental when they find the same images used by other photographer ( not the true owner of the images) even when the true ownership is established there is often a seed of doubt planted in future cliental that can linger for some time. This doubt may not seem like much to these individuals of photo stealers but I can and does hurt the true individuals that are trying to build a brand and cliental base.

    Secondly when post images for advertising my brand I have obtained the legal right to use those images from my cliental in the form of legal contract allowing me to use it as promotional work. This is something that many of the photo stealers have no clue, nothing is more aggravating than having a client complains that their likeness is being used to promote something they have not agreed to or on a site that they have no dealings with.
    First things first Mandi please understand what it is to be a professional

  • Celine (peaceetc)

    Okay, kids! What have we learned from this listing?

    Copyright is still a thing and super important. Photos are automatically copyrighted the instant the shutter is pressed. Don’t mess with other people’s images and graphics unless you have PERMISSION. That means don’t post others’ stuff for inspiration, or because you think it’s cool, or that you think you can shoot like that so why not use others’ stuff. DON’T DO IT.

    Stock images should NOT be used on a photographer’s web site, advertising, and social media! Potential clients hire you based on the images you present, and if you didn’t take them, then it’s false advertising. I don’t care if it comes from a template or you legally licensed it from a stock agency. DON’T DO IT. And note: Google Images and Pinterest are NOT sources of stock images.

    If you do something stupid and get caught, OWN IT. We have seen it all before, and you will not succeed in deflecting the blame. Understand there are legal consequences to copyright infringement because it is illegal, so yes, this is a big deal. Accept it. Deal with it. Own it.

    I still think there is a shot that Mandi might actually learn something here. I hope so. So please take what we’ve written here and understand how very important it is. If you do it again, you will be caught again. It’s up to you to do the right thing, Mandi.

    • Helena

      My doubts come from the obvious steps taken to make the images unidentifiable (I.e. cutting off their heads). I doubt this was a simple error, but that’s the cynic in me I guess.

      • Celine (peaceetc)

        Shh, I’m trying this whole optimism thing. I want to believe.

  • IntegrityIsEverything

    Mandi at this point if you ever want to be able to build a good reputation and become a respected photographer, you need to do these things:
    -Humble yourself and apologize completely, no blaming Wix, etc.
    -Completely stop arguing/justifying in this forum.
    -Stop having your husband, “Brian” justify your actions in this forum.
    -Go to the photographers you stole from and really apologize, and I mean sincerely.
    -Ask the photographers that you stole from how to make amends. Maybe some of them won’t take legal action if they feel your are genuine in regretting your actions.

    And lastly, go and learn the laws and business practice of photography before taking any more clients or “advertising.” You have a great deal to learn, and you could be great if you do all of the things listed above. Go get a job in a photo studio and learn about photography or go take a few courses. This will be your opening into second shooting at weddings. My hope for you is that you seriously repent of this wrongdoing and be a better person and photographer.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Yeah, it would be good if they stopped with the threats and the attempts at minimizing her actions. It only makes things that much worse for her.

      Some really good advice has been posted on this listing. I hope she takes it to heart and flies straight from now on.

  • Mlphoto

    I have been interested in photography for a while now and I aspire to be a good working photographer who others can look to for inspiration and as an example of how to do things the RIGHT way. Unfortunately, as this is a relatively new venture for me, I made a major mistake along the way. I now properly understand (and should have known all along), that it is misleading and wrong to use anyone else’s photos for ANY reason, on my actual business sites, and since my business shares my real name, most other sites as well. And of course, it is always wrong to use anyone else’s photos without permission and properly cited credit at any time. I can offer no valid justification and I offer no excuses; I can only apologize, do my best to correct the situation, and ask for forgiveness:

    I would like to apologize to everyone here, to any potential customers who may have been misled by my site or any other internet activities, and to any photographers whose photos were used in a manner that could potentially mislead someone into believing their work was my own. I am working to correct all sites under my control and/or associated with my name or businesses to ensure that they are all legally and ethically correct, not at all misleading, and contain no photos without expressed permission and attribution in as much as I am able (I am unsure how old Facebook posts work, but I will do what I can). I am truly sorry for my mistakes and I have learned a great deal from this experience and from what so many of you have said here. Again, I humbly ask that you all forgive me… After I do everything I can to correct this situation and have demonstrated that I understand and have learned from my mistakes.

    I would also like to say that I am genuinely thankful for those who commented for helping me understand what I did was wrong. l will work diligently to resolve this situation so that hopefully, one day with great effort and hard work, I can earn your respect, or at the very least your forgiveness.

    This will be my last post here. If after that anyone finds issues with the site that I overlooked, please let me know (here is fine) so I can fix those issues as well.

    Thank you all for your help and for your understanding.

    MLP

    • You can’t fix stupid

      Well done. Glad you learned a good lesson.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Thank you, Mandi. Good luck to you, and may you carry what you’ve learned here forward and onward to positive things.

    • Me, Myself and I

      There. It took a while but we got there.

      Contrarily to what dome people believe we (I don’t dpeak gor tge site … I’m not sffiliated in any way with it … not even a moderator) don’t do this for shits and giggles … we just got fed up with frauds and thieves stealing our shit and ruining our industry.

      Hopefully this appology was real and you move forward from this.

      Good luck.

    • Phoxy_Photog

      This is a good ending. And I will echo what “Me, Myself, and I” has said in that this site is one way to help keep our industry honest. It’s hard enough getting clients to realize that what we do takes skill and is worth the money we charge. When someone, anyone, comes in and does something to devalue the industry or cause mistrust, it hurts the entire industry. The photos we take are like our babies in that we have nurtured our skills and made mistakes along the way to get to where we are currently. So when someone gains instant success without any effort, on OUR effort (and time, money, blood, sweat, tears, etc.) it’s especially hurtful. This website serves as a form of checks and balances so that there are at least some consequences to the dishonesty.

      • Me, Myself and I

        Better said … I have a cold and so I’m not particularly patient or eloquent right now.

    • chuck knuckles

      Mandi,

      Congrats on seeing the light. I hope your eyes have been opened.

      Apparently you woke up this morning with a purse full of
      integrity. Unfortunately it wasn’t
      there when you went into business.
      Integrity isn’t measured by how much you say you have – it’s built up over a lifetime of actions viewed by your piers. Since you’ve been running backwards as fast as you can for quite a while, it’s nice to see you take your first step forward. Keep moving those feet forward!

      I’m wondering if there was anything beyond a passion for photography that made you want to go into business as a professional photographer? You should know that EVERY photographer, weather good or bad, has that ‘passion’ for photography. Passion is a poor, poor, poor, poor, terrible substitute for education and experience. Let me say that again – Passion Is A Poor Substitute For Education and Experience! These are the two things that would have prevented this whole thing – had you had either of them.

      Maybe you could work on the education and experience parts before starting a business that is sounds like you don’t know much about – beyond your ‘passion’ (and as I said – ‘passion’, around here, is as common as a UV filter)

      After all, I’m passionate about Baseball – but is certainly doesn’t mean that I’m any good at it!!! lol And I doubt I could ever get hired as a professional – just for my
      passion.

      Good Luck

    • Adrian J Nyaoi

      Good to see that you now know that right path. Hope to see you doing well, in the near future. I am sure that most people here will gladly forgive you.

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      Someone on the Photo Stealers Facebook page just posted that Mandi’s friend private messaged them with threatening comments about “gunning” for them. That’s after someone else said Mandi’s husband threatened them. What the hell? Mandi, this isn’t high school. Tell them to knock it off, because they aren’t doing you any favors. And if you were in in any way involved… grow up. We want to believe you are sincere in what you wrote above. Prove it.

      • You can’t fix stupid

        No, no, no, no….. why?? Come on Mandi you were doing so well and now your friends are threatening. Please tell them to stop or this will get worse.

      • Me, Myself and I

        Mandi … your friends might want to consider the CRIMINAL implications of their actions.

      • Marc W.

        Yep. I figured the two apologizes were fake.

  • Michael Goolsby

    A few days ago, my wife and I met a young lady and the topic of my profession as a wedding photographer came up. Taking advantage of the moment to relate, she first expressed how awful her own experience was with her wedding photographer two years earlier. Basically, the young lady was cheap but unreliable and, with a few exceptions, delivered poor work. That seems normal these days. Unfortunately, her poor experience with the profession didn’t end there. A few months earlier, she was an attendant in her best friend’s wedding. The main photographer, a young lady, canceled about week before the wedding day. She quickly hired a replacement for $500. This young lady showed up late, and (through circumstances not quite explained) somehow didn’t even have a camera. The bride’s brother was somewhat of an enthusiast and loaned the young photographer his own camera. At some point during the wedding day, the camera stopped working. (The girl relating this story didn’t know why. Presumably, it could have been something as simple as a dead battery.) Without a camera, the photographer left. Unfortunately, she left the camera outside… where it rained. The camera was reportedly ruined. The photographer insisted that she left the photos she took in the camera. Indeed, what few (bad) pictures she took were there. And that was that. The bride had only her brother’s ruined camera with a few lousy pictures on it, no editing or presentation. Five hundred dollars gone.

    Admittedly, this is one of the more messed up stories I’ve heard. But there is no shortage of bad experience stories in this industry. And while the industry has, naturally, always had stories here and there about dissatisfied clients and ill-prepared hobbyists in over their heads, it just seems to me as if the industry as a whole in on a major downswing, fueled in large part by half-assed newbies with no clue what they’re doing, trying to make a quick buck after having just bought a “real camera” (Rebel). Ten years ago, these stories were far less common. Twenty years ago, they were rare. Thirty years ago, my old home town of 20,000 had three wedding photographers, and one was strictly part-time. Today, I see nearly two dozen photographers passing themselves off as “professionals”, despite the town being about the same size. Most are clearly beginners. Some are proficient. None are what I would call really good.

    Photo stealing is merely a SYMPTOM of an industry going through some pretty rough changes. With sites such as Pinterest, and digital cameras that provide instant gratification, new photographers are too often bypassing the learning and preparations part, and instead jumping right into the deep end. And why not? There’s NO REGULATION, little accountability, and everything on the internet is “free”. It’s the wild west where anything goes and it doesn’t matter who gets hurt.

    In this respect, the Photo Stealers website plays an important role, hopefully serving to deter at least this part of the sins perpetrated against the industry. So my thanks once more to the host and everyone here. Obviously, however, more needs to be done. And it is in the interest of every REAL PROFESSIONAL to address the common practice these days in which a total beginner can get a camera for Christmas, take a couple of decent pictures of their kids (that is, pictures that don’t look like they came from a crappy cell phone camera), enjoy a few non-critical compliments from their friends, and then suddenly start advertising on Facebook for a job that they are in no way qualified to do. And frankly, I don’t know what to do. With the aforementioned young girl, I simply tried to assure her that the photographers she observed were obvious hacks, and that no real professional would be so unreliable and unprepared. I passed along a link to my gallery to show her was real pros were still capable of doing, and asked to encourage every new bride friend of hers to consider that, when trying to save money on their wedding, to realize that paying less for crap service and crap results is far from a bargain and a total waste.

    Mandi Payne… I hope you have learned your lesson. But I also hope that you will learn many others BEFORE you resume your “business”. Your photo stealing is, to me, less evidence of you being a dishonest person and more a matter of you simply being in over your head. Professional photography is SO MUCH MORE THAN MERELY “TAKING PICTURES”. Indeed, countless people with more actual photography skills that you have closed up their “shop” for reasons having nothing to do with actual photography, and more with having to do with the business of photography. Fix that. Prepare your business first before opening its doors to the public once again. If you don’t have the portfolio you need, then take the time to build it. Offer free anniversary shoots to couples in which the bride can don her dress again, for example. It certainly seems as if there is no shortage of couples who were not happy with their original wedding day pics who may appreciate the opportunity. Use friends to practice other wedding day moments in similar conditions you might encounter on a wedding day, from preparations and cake cutting to the first dance and the bouquet toss. (When I was just beginning — way back in the film days — I paid a young couple to walk through every step of a wedding day together, using a local church to stage moments just for practice. Some things, such as the exit, were done repeatedly as I devised the best method for lighting, timing, etc.)

    Again, thanks to this site, and the people who support it and contribute to it, for the service it performs for our industry.

    • Me, Myself and I

      The photographer insisted that she left the photos she took in the camera. Indeed, what few (bad) pictures she took were there. And that was that. The bride had only her brother’s ruined camera with a few lousy pictures on it, no editing or presentation. Five hundred dollars gone.

      I hope they took the girl to court for breech of contract and destruction of private property.

      There is SOME accountability in the form of being sued to heck and back.

      That being said, I’ve seen the same thing.

      Had a wedding 2 years ago, couple hired a pair of videographers … here is a bullet-ed list of the problems for brevity:

      1- inappropriately dressed.

      2- didn’t know how to mount a camera on a quick release

      3- didn’t have a vehicle so the bride, looking quite embarrassed, asked if I could drive these bozos around

      4- forgot the batteries for one of the cameras

      5- shooting video with a flash mounted on the hots hoe cause …a flash ise usefull for video?!?

      6- decided I wasn’t close enough to get “good shots” (cause you know … 10 feet away with a 70-200 on a cropped sensor isn’t enough reach) so stopped doing video and started doing still and tried to sell the horrible stills to the client.

      7- didn’t edit the video and just gave them a dump of the raw files

      8- was using a zoom lens butter always at the wide end so would be almost touching the bride and groom to get closeups … they blocked EVERYONE’s view during the exchange of rings

      9- At one point, in the church the main videographer was lying on the gorund at the later to get low shots !!! Everyone turned to me asking, silently, what I thought he was doing … even though I had nothing to do with the video guys.

      I had to explain to guests that I had nothing to do with the video guys and the bride and groom contacted me to tell me about their horrible experience.

      Essentially they hired a couple of idiots who had a few cameras … these guys had no external audio, no mics, no stabilizers other than cheap tripods (they went hand held the whole time) …

      I have other horror stories … so many …

      Professional photography is SO MUCH MORE THAN MERELY “TAKING PICTURES”. Indeed

      THIS! This 100 X.

      Running a photo business is 10% photography and 90% business and so many people like Mandi go into it without doing any due dilligence. They don;t inform themselves on the laws and business practices that surround a photo biz or any business …

      I has camera, wilz travel

      What do you mean I can;t just email people to tell thema bout my photo business?

      What’s this copyright thing people keep talking about?

      Return on investment? What’s that I show up and shoot and leave with 200$
      what do you mean what did that 200$ cost me? It’s money, you don’t buy money STUPID!!!

      Here is a direct quote from a past thief.

      http://i1.wp.com/stopstealingphotos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/tumblr_inline_mz2frk7ieV1qcen36.png?w=474

      I actually had to explain to a photographer about business costs and hard costs … “I don’t understand all this math dude, I show up at a wedding, i shoot, I leave with 200$ in my pocket” not understanding that just going to and from the wedding on it’s own probably cost him 40$-60$ in travel costs.

      • ISF

        The problem only can be solved when we start to hold these people accountable for their actions.

        Thankfully in the last few years I have witnessed more people taking these individuals to court for breach of contract. Other thing I have noticed that many venues are now demanding prior proof of liability insurance to cover the actions of many of these uncle Bob’s outfits when at these venues, it could be a turning point as I think may are feed up with the actions of these so called photographer. Not so long ago I had an augment with an individual shooting at a dance school and felt it was outrageous that someone would question him not having liability insurance to cover the event.

        We also have to consider what is causing a lot of the problems clients are facing. The contributor to the wave of problems of today are brought on by the clients themselves, they expect the world for a $200 bill and what contributes to this is the uncle Bob’s willing to work for that. Many times I don’t feel sorry for horror stories I have heard, as it was the clients mistakes of picking a backyard photographer that makes the industry look bad and I am appalled that the client is blaming the industry for their problems, when I don’t feel that these Uncle Bob’s in any shape or form are involved with the industry

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      It’s not hard to see why people these days don’t understand why they should have to pay for quality photography, when there are so many hacks out there doing it for free or next to nothing. How on earth do you show up to shoot a wedding without a camera? Doesn’t any professional worth the salt have at least two camera bodies?

      I don’t get people. They jump in, convinced they don’t need to learn, and screw so many people over in the process.

  • Anonymous

    Josh Kincaid
    5531 NW Willbridge Avenue
    Portland, OR 92712
    1- (503) 770-0739
    More details to follow

  • Laura Short

    🙁

  • Celine (peaceetc)

    Just a note: the comments made by Mandi here in the comments section were removed by the photographer herself, not the site itself or any of the mods.

    • my point

      Interesting. I have comments on a past thread and tried to delete them and can’t. Curious now how she managed to do that.

      • Photo Stealers

        The user can delete when logged in and she did delete most of her comments.

        However after her apology she came back with a different user name and was attempting to doxx my host so I banned the IP and opted to delete all the posts associated with that IP not realizing it was Mandi at first. So some of the posts I did inadvertently delete.

        • Interesting :/

        • You can’t fix stupid

          So she spammed the blog, posted private information about the host all after her “apology” Wow and here I really thought that she was serious and sorry for what she had done. I guess Mandi Payne is just another fake.

          • Celine (peaceetc)

            Yep. I can’t figure it out — she posted that second apology, people were encouraging her to fly straight and being supportive, and then she goes full on stupid. It doesn’t make sense. She had a shot to do the right thing, and instead, she went in the completely opposite direction. She had a shot, but she blew it.