Photography by Steve O'Donnell » Clermont and Orlando award winning professional wedding, portrait, senior and family photographer serving central FL

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When I googled the words “photography scam”  what I expected to pop up in the search results is the Photo Stealers website.  It’s website dedicated to outing “photographers” who are caught red handed stealing hard working real photographers work and claiming it as their own.  It’s a great site that catches people trying to pass themselves off as real professional photographers misleading those who are simply looking to hire a real photographer.

What is more alarming is what really pops up in the results…..countless examples of a scammer looking to hire a photographer to cover their event.  The event is usually a family reunion shoot or a wedding.  The scammer as expected has very poor grammar skills and usually cuts right to the real question of “do you accept credit cards?”  I personally have been on the receiving end of this scam twice via text message.  I’ve heard other reports of this scam happening over email too.  Usually a real photo client will reach out by email so a random text message as their choice of correspondence  is somewhat of a red flag to begin with.

The 1st time I got the scam I just blew it off.  The second time I got this scam I trolled the scammer a bit for info to see if they would slip up.  This time I decided to troll the scammer hard….making up outlandish stories that would send any real client running far far away from any consideration of hiring me.  The initial idea was to see just how long I could keep the outlandish stories going.  I had plenty of them lined up by the second day.  At the third day I thought the scammer had caught onto my trolling, but somehow I reeled them back in for a bit more fun.  The ending of this isn’t as grand as I had originally intended….but the process was a blast.  Originally I documented the events as they unfolded on my personal Face Book page that I keep for friends only.  I often polled my friends who were following along giving choices of which way the story should go.  Many suggested they wanted the story to be public so they could show friends.  For your enjoyment at many requests I present to you 3 days of crazy fun trolling the scammer in an effort to give them less time to bait someone else who might become a victim.


Carolina “the scammer” in yellow chat box.

Me “the photographer” in the blue chat box.


DISCLAIMER!  I have never been in trouble with the law and certainly have never been on parole.  My dear grandmother passed away 20+ years ago.  No dogs were harmed in the process….just pics taken from the internet or borrowed from friends.

On with the show!  Enjoy!

photography scam

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For the past year I’ve been toying with the idea of documenting my journey into the world of photography.  I am at the point that I can no longer keep thinking about it.  Time to move!  Time to stop thinking about it and just start doing it.  So here it is, the start of “Inside my head”.  Currently I imagine it will be about the journey, my thoughts on matters of photography, some praise that I certainly owe to those that pushed me, helped me focus and those who inspired me.  I also expect to rant a little and get some things off my chest that I see along my journey.  Hopefully the series will be entertaining to read along.  I hope it will possibly help others who are starting their own photography business in some way or in the least provide them a little comfort in knowing they are not alone at the start.0736_Blog

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Set underneath the beautiful oak trees at Lakeside Inn in Mt. Dora, Florida, Amy and Kevin tied the knot Oct. 4th, 2014.  On their day Florida’s first “cold front” blew in (by Florida standards that is when the northern air blows upon us and sweeps the humidity out of the air) and made for perfect comfortable and clear skies.  Amy and Kevin’s day was filled with joy, sweet moments, and tons of emotion.  Later in the evening they celebrated with friends and family under a massive tent accented with beautiful fall colors, which also happened to be the same colors of Amy’s alma mater Florida State University.  Hmmmmm…..coincidence maybe?  Once again the folks at Tillman Theatre of Clermont FL provided the wedding videography for their day.  Flowers and wedding planning provided by Events by Miss Daisy of Leesburg.



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When mother and friend Melissa asked me to shoot a family session featuring her and her youngest son Jayden I was excited.  When she requested that her session be in an urban location because it fit more their style and personalities I was beyond psyched.  Don’t get me wrong….I love the look of golden hour sunsets in landscape of weeds and glowing trees…but you get dirty, you get eaten alive by insects…and then you contend with snakes, fire ants, tics, etc.  What I also loved is their sense of style and careful thought they put into their session and wardrobe.  This is one session you won’t want to miss, trust me! View full post »