Ollie Cook is a freelance photographer and marketer, talking about his experience of having his images being misused and what actions he can take now and in the future!
Follow Ollie on Instagram: @ogmcookie
Veritent is an online platform which helps creators and businesses track where their images are used online, providing data insights for strategic, marketing, and legal decisions.
Full Video Transcript
My name is Ollie, I’m currently a tech support advisor a Sage.
I’ve had a history of doing marketing roles and I’ve got a long term view of getting to the PR marketing side with my experience and qualifications, so that’s what I’m doing at the moment.
On the side, I’ve had experience doing some freelance work photography as well as doing it as part of my marketing roles in the past.
Tell us more about your photography background
I guess from the photography side, it came probably travel photography because I think I was like many people, were through the development of technology and smartphones you now have a camera in your pocket, so I started getting Instagram and stuff going on holiday.
The main trip when I went to America and used my phone taking nice travel shots, lots of people really liked them. My friend at the time and he had a proper DSLR camera which is what I ended up buying afterwards, so after that trip I started getting a bit more into photography just using my phone, then bought this camera but then I was trying to do a qualification in PR and stuff and the whole like photography and marketing thing is so intertwined that like the use of imagery is so important when you’re using stuff on social media on website and email all sorts of marketing.
So and then I guess the main kind of stuff I do is travel photography but that’s more of a hobby, and then there’s the marketing side where I do work for the companies I worked for, doing their websites and extras like portrait photography, or action photography.
I did a lot for actually the Great Exhibition the North so the rocket was on at the Discovery Museum and I took some photos for them. The idea was, I didn’t get paid for it, but the idea was I could do stuff in-house for them and save them money doing stuff [rather than] getting professional photographers to do it. Especially where I was working where the budgets so tight, that was like really useful.
With my experience doing PR, I did some freelance work where I did both PR and photography, so sort of it’s like a joint bundle – which this games venue in a Sunderland found really useful. I did some photography for them and what I took was what I used for the press release for them as well.
I’m trying to do a bit more portrait photography and thankfully someone a couple of months ago actually saw some work from going on a social photography walk around Newcastle where we’ve got the practice doing portrait photography and they liked it so much they actually asked me to do some freelance work for them the following week.
Where did you hear about Veritent?
Most of my Instagram is photos of places I’ve been, so like I mentioned earlier, I like a lot of travel photography.
When I first heard about Veritent, it was actually through word of mouth from one of my friends. I’d just been on holiday to Rome and got what I thought was some nice photos and my friends agreed, which was really nice of them to say.
They told me that they’d heard about this tool that tracked where your photos have been using. I knew on Instagram that things do get shared and images get used in other people’s profiles that you’re not always aware of because unless you’re tagged in it there’s not an easy way to track it.
They said that they’d been trialing and it, and said “can I try one of your images just to see if it turns up in anything”, so they used one of my photos from Rome and there they told me being on an Italian tourist website which I had no idea about.
What did you think of the results?
At first it was like kind of cool thinking “oh yeah that’s one of mine, it’s nice that clearly they’ve chosen it because they like the image”.
Then obviously I did think about “Oh is this a sort of copyright issue” and that kind of thing, should they be using it?
I’m lucky as I’m in the position where I’m only an amateur photographer that does the occasional freelance, so if I’m not relying on my photography work for an income, but I guess the it was kind of cool knowing that my images were being used.
I guess the actual ability to be able to track where it’s being used [is great].
Say in the future I wanted [photography] to be to become a lot more of priority in my life, for my work I could be able to track things know where they’re being used, I’d have the option of wanting to ask them to take it down if I was wanting to go down that avenue, but I could also use it as an opportunity to maybe say “you like using my work, I’ve got loads of other images that you might want to use maybe you would like to use them more just for a price, because it is my work”.
Do you think you will benefit from Veritent in the future?
It [Veritent] does provide the opportunity do a lot, possibly get future work and that kind of thing, or at the very least for someone like myself who’s always wanting to an add to their portfolio.
At least I could say well on this occasion yeah feel free to use that photo but can I at least be at least credited for it you don’t have to pay me for it this time but and I can add that to my portfolio so for any future jobs I can at least point to that.