This looks like one of my cameras and neck straps, but I stole the photo from Nikon; I'm sure they will forgive me. I could have taken my own photo but why should I have to get up from my desk, drag out my gear, compose, adjust settings for light, dump photo into computer, and crop, just to take a photo of something I can grab off the Internet?
Unfortunately, a lot of people do just that with professional photographer's works. I recently found one of my photos being used to sell commercial flooring and, once, I gave an "organization" free reign to use my photos in promoting their city in exchange for credits. I barked at them continually concerning their neglect in credits and finally had to send them my version of a 'cease' letter.
Finding your work spread over the Internet is disparaging and it can be a full time job tracking down the source of theft. I am one of those photographers who freely shared, with the promise of credits, but these days I limit my sharing to organizations and companies that respect artistic rights.
I tried large copyrights on photos (makes photos look terrible) but eventually settled on a small copyright after a TV station contacted me about using a still photo they found on the Internet. The photo in question had a huge copyright spread across the entire photo. I was not at home at the time they emailed me and I said I would send them a clean photo when I got home. They said I didn't have to go to the trouble as they could remove the copyright. So that ended my days of defacing beautiful photos.
But this post is really about my high regard for NPS. I have been a member since 1985, the year I bought my first FE-2 and started shooting for a newspaper. When I became a member I had to provide newspaper tear-sheets and be recommended by another photographer, and of course, had to own Nikon gear. I think the rules have expanded and changed over the years. I heard that wealthy people who buy thousands and thousands of dollars of gear for pleasure shooting can somehow get membership, but that is just hearsay. Giving wealthy people access to something hard-working photographers have earned just doesn't sound right, but maybe that's the way the world is today.
True or not, I have nothing but praise for NPS. They have repaired my cameras and returned them to me within the expected time, and they have provided me with loaners at my request. I've never needed a camera or lens repair when I was abroad but I traveled with the assurance that if something broke and I needed a replacement, or if I needed extra lenses or cameras, NPS would next-day-air whatever I needed.
So Nikon, thank you for being there for me all those years. It's nice to know you always had my back.
Although I am officially retired (photojournalist never retire - they just don't have deadlines) I still shoot when I feel the urge, and I look forward to being a member of NPS for many more years.
What has your experience with NPS been like?
Photo source: Nikon