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One of my favorite things to do in my business is going out to festivals and shows to display and sell my wares.  There is no substitute for genuine and spontaneous responses to my products.  Responses can range from boisterous laughter at a magnet to a sneer of distaste at the sniff of a candle.  The opposite can be true too ~ some people look at the magnets with blank stares, not relating at all to my sometimes warped sense of humor, yet will ooh and ah over candle scents.  All feedback is valuable.  But there’s a new response in town, one that wasn’t around when I first started doing shows over fifteen years ago.

Picture-taking admirers. They loved the magnets but didn’t realize a real person made them and deserves the consideration of getting permission to take a picture. *

I’m not the only one who has witness people taking pictures at my craft booth.  Just last week I talked to a woman who hand-painted sayings on colorful sign boards and she said the picture-taking public is starting to get on her nerves.  I’m kind of on her side.

Could it be that I’m getting too old to appreciate the high-tech nature of our society?  In this age of Instagram is it unreasonable to expect people would refrain from taking photos of the hard work of artisans without bothering to buy that work, much less acknowledge the artisan him/herself?  Will our work serve only to fill up the boards on Pinterest while our pockets grow lighter from lack of sales?  After all, why buy something when you can just take a picture of it?

What do you think?  Is it too much to expect someone to at least ask of they can take a picture?  Do you think this photo-snapping behavior is acceptable, especially at the expense of artists’ and crafters’ livelihood?  Should it be flattering that someone wants to share our work with their hundreds of Facebook friends?  Or should we have our guard up against copy cats and cheapskates?

* For the record, the above-pictured picture taker did in fact buy a magnet, but only after I confronted him. 

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