well, America is the country for life liberty and pursuit of happiness (for the time being unless liberals get their way)… lest we forget there is freewill too(for now)…. One should remember that it’s not 100% of the photographers fault. The Client should feel partially burdened by guilt for not doing their research 🙂 You get what you pay for, and you ultimately get the shaft if you don’t read the fine print. Portfolios, reviews and generally just asking questions is reasonable.. I buy stuff offline all the time… But I only do so after reading reviews. Even then, I check elsewhere.. So it’s reasonable to say that in general the market for most of these guys is relative to their clients budget. I certainly wont do a photo shoot for 50 dollars. Let alone do it for hours and then edit.. Clients/people get what they ask for regardless of intent. You fail to do your homework, you will fail. Do I feel somewhat bad for them? Ignorance is no excuse. So no, I don’t. Generally, you put a deposit down and sign a contract.. I let my clients review before they pay and if they don’t like it.. They don’t have to buy the photos and nor do they get the photos. I’ll even refund the deposit.. I’ve never had it happen, but it’s my policy. .
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending bad ethics, bad photos, and for lack of better words–con artist.. I know people steal photos and use them in their portfolio as well.. So, if you’ve been scammed by illegitimate photos, it’s not your fault.. Take it to court.
just my opinion 😉