You’re right, Wolfensteiner, it is about history--and about the collector's role in preserving history.Wolfensteiner wrote:You can say all you want, and it is nothing personal, I enjoy viewing the photographs that Larrister has posted. I am just saying I think it is wrong, full stop, to brand your name all over a photo that you didnt take. Again, it is history, it is not about 'who paid for it'.
The photographer, his heirs, or the agency that paid the photographer for his work, hold the copyright to using or reproducing the photos for profit. But most collectors’ primary interest is not in making money from the things they collect. Indeed, they often spend their money on photos or other items that are not of some great Panzer ace or high political official, but are of interest to few others but themselves—sometimes simply because it’s better than seeing the item uncared for or suffering damage in the bottom of a dealer’s “junk” box. Then the collector also “spends” hours caring for the piece, conserving it if necessary (sometimes paying for conservation), categorizing and storing it with any related items or information to ensure both its physical preservation and any known story (context) attached to it…And studying it, sometimes doing in-depth research on its subject, for just the sort of details that add to that accumulated shared knowledge that is called “history”.
Wedding pictures like the ones on this thread were probably produced in numerous copies for giving out to wedding guests, friends, relatives. With other types of private photos there was often only one print made of a given shot. In either case, it’s often a collector, or a series of collectors, who is to thank for even one copy of the photo surviving—and/or that it is publicly accessible both for the enjoyment of others, and as part of the historical record.
“Branding [one’s] name all over a photo” or other item connotes much more than simple ownership of the artifact. Watermarks labeling an item as “From the Collection of ____” or “____ Collection” indicate not simply ownership, but stewardship. And the time and effort involved in stewardship give the collector the right to show that he/she is the one who has cared for the piece—and originally made it accessible to the public by posting it on the internet.
Those “brands” are a small price to pay for those who truly enjoy viewing an item, and don’t just want to be able to take credit for posting it elsewhere.