“Always be open to new things” – that’s the motto of the German photographer, author, and digital artist Calvin Hollywood. On his blog, he reports on his latest seminars, trainings and instructions on the subject, of image editing with Photoshop and photography. His dynamic and authentic style of teaching is the reason for sold out seminars months on end. With a focus in portrait photography, Calvin captures details unseen with the naked eye, and with his photographs becoming increasingly popular, so has the appropriation of his images. In this interview he talks to us about his career, first experiences with copyright infringement and his ongoing relationship with LAPIXA.
Who is Calvin Hollywood and where does the name come from?
I am a photographer from the township of Heidelberg, I also hold frequent seminars and training sessions as a trainer and coach. I have been doing this for over ten years and have now turned it into a real company with several employees. At that time, I chose the name (Calvin Hollywood) as a stage name – as a kind of alias – because I worked as a trainer for the German Armed Forces for 10 years prior to photography. I did not know how well-known I would become under this name, but I am very pleased with my decision.
How did you get to photography and how did it evolve?
I came to photography through image processing and then realized relatively quickly, that I got a lot of attention with my pictures, which of course motivated me very much at the beginning and gave me the drive to get better and better. More and more people wanted to be photographed by me and at the same time, I got to know a lot of people who also wanted to start as a photographer. That means I was able to photograph people through my commissioned work and build up a valuable network of interesting personalities at the same time. In addition, as a coach, I helped others improve and develop as photo professionals. This experience gave me motivation to continue working as a photographer today along side working as a trainer and coach.
Copyright infringement is a widespread topic. Had you experienced it yourself yourself and did you act against it?
Yes I did. I’ve already worked with a lawyer in the past, as copyright infringement on the internet happens so often. The tracking and licensing were quite time consuming and not always successful.
How did you come to LAPIXA and how was the initial contact?
I was contacted by LAPIXA and first thought: “Okay, let’s take a look”. Another photographer who was with me on a business boot camp had also recommended you. To be honest, at first I was rather skeptical and not too motivated, because I could not imagine that everything would work out. But now I’m grateful for the fact that you have stuck behind me and I have more insight, because it is really super easy. The collaboration with LAPIXA is great and a few cases were completed successfully shortly after signing up.
How work intensive is it to edit your matches and submit cases?
To be honest, it’s not work intensive at all. I just upload my images and then wait, and now and then maybe press a button. In comparison to earlier, when I was working directly with a lawyer and took on all the case management that comes with it, it’s so much easier with LAPIXA.
How long did it take until the first cases were successfully resolved?
That was only a few weeks. Since there is always a legal process which must be respected, and they can sometimes drag out in time, I was surprised how fast it was in the end. After a few weeks, I already had the first payments in my account and that’s of course great.
What insights have you gained so far from working with LAPIXA?
The first insight for me was: Always be open to new things, and don’t be too critical. Give everything a go and create your own experiences.
The most valuable take away from my experience is that LAPIXA is the simplest and most effective way to get insights about where and how your images are being used on the internet – and get the compensation you deserve. Therefore, I can only recommend each photographer to give it a try.
What are your recommendations for other photographers experiencing copyright infringement?
If you are a victim of copyright infringement and you’re not an expert in this area, you should seek help from professionals. It always starts with a search on the internet and ends with legal follow-up. So I can only recommend that you create an account with LAPIXA and just try it out. You can only win.
Do you have any final words you want to leave with the readers?
Of course I don’t wish for anyone’s images to be infringed. Nevertheless, should it happen (and it is very likely), I don’t think that anyone should feel bad claim money for use of their work. In most cases, the infringers don’t show any respect for copyrights, or they even knowingly infringe upon copyright.
I’ve experienced it myself, an infringer intentionally used one of my images without permission and even calculated the damages prior to publishing the image.
Working together with LAPIXA means, that you don’t have to deal with such uncomfortable situations anymore, and that you can even gain extra compensaion out of such situations.
So how can people meet you and take part in Calvin Hollywood sessions?
All you have to do is keep an eye on my social media channels. There you will find all information about my upcoming events. I regularly give various workshops, events and seminars. It always pays off to look in and find out about the latest events. Click here for the channels: