In December of 2008, as I was getting ready for a vacation trip to Brussels, I posted a self portrait of myself sporting my new winter coat to my Flickr account.

My new jacket

I didn’t think much of it after posting it and I’d pretty much forgotten about it over the years.

Today, as I was reading some discussions about people having their photos used to create fake online identities I decided to use Google Image Search to see if any of my self portraits could be found anywhere on the vast Internet.

Honestly, I was not expecting to find anything. It was more of an expression of idle curiosity that I thought would amount to a few minutes squandered before moving on to bigger and better wastes of time.

Imagine my surprise when I found this “interpretation” by a Flickr user called Leeber

Christmas Monster

I have no idea who Leeber is or why he chose my picture to transform. But unlike *that* previous experiences where I have had a photo I created used without permission, I’m not really offended nor am I seeking to have the photo removed. Mostly because I am amused.

A similar incident came up with this photo I took of my dentist

Dr. Silberman

Years later I found this posted as a winner of a Photoshop contest at


Again, I’m not so interested in asserting my copyright because I find the work creative and amusing and I don’t see that the person is profiteering off of my work.

I guess it just goes to show that you can never fully tell what people may be doing to the content you post to the Internet or how they might be using it.

Beware The Internet

4 thoughts on “Beware The Internet

  • February 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    It’s the beard, man.

  • Pingback:Beware the Internet When It Comes to Your Personal Photos

  • February 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Saw this on PetaPixel and have to say that I respect your decision to not take any kind of action against these people. They took your work and repurposed it for something completely different. Yes, they don’t have the right to use your photo, but they were able to do something different and artistic with it for other’s enjoyment or in this case amusement. If they were making money of it then it would be a different story, but as you state they aren’t. I am glad you found these images and it makes me want to search around to see if I can find any of my images repurposed.

  • February 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Is that Dr. Silberman? If so, he’s got to be the best dentist around.

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