The Cultural Council shows little regard for artist copyright

After several months of dealing with this situation I felt I had to finally speak out to correct the record on a matter of copyright infringement by The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and Renee Parenteau Photography.

I take pride in what I do as a professional photographer and I feel that it is very important to protect my copyright and claim my work as my own when it is misused.

I took this photograph of Reveal host Al Letson back in 2008. I am the copyright owner of this image.

In May, the Cultural Council published a series of 40 “Icons” portraits in Arbus Magazine and Resident Community News, ostensibly taken by photographer Renee Parenteau.

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s “Icons Portraits” in Arbus Magazine, May/June 2016, page 89

After seeing the images I realized that the portrait of Al Letson was actually a manipulated version of my photograph from 2008, converted to black and white and edited to match the other portraits in Ms. Parenteau’s series.

Resident Community News, May 2016, Vol. 10, Issue 05.
Note the “Photos by Renee Parenteau” (circled)

After seeing the images I realized that the portrait of Al Letson was actually a manipulated version of my photograph from 2008, converted to black and white and edited to match the other portraits in Ms. Parenteau’s series.

Original photo, cropped

Original photo, cropped and converted to black and white

Photo, cropped and modified to match another photographer’s portrait collection

Nowhere in either publication was there even a mention of my original photograph. Neither I nor Al Letson provided the image to the Cultural Council or Renee Parenteau Photography, and I did not give permission for it to be altered and published.

This is also not the first time the Cultural Council has violated my copyright. In March of 2015, the Cultural Council used a portrait of artist Kedgar Volta, taken by me, for its newsletter and promotion of its 2015 Arts Awards event. When I politely notified the Cultural Council that they did not have permission to use the image without properly licensing it, I received no response.

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s 39th Annual Arts Awards promotional email, March 16, 2015

Original photo

Original photo, cropped and converted to black and white

Photo, cropped and used by the Cultural Council for the March 16, 2015 newsletter

I attempted to resolve the matter of the copyright infringements through negotiations with the Cultural Council starting in May. I have invested a lot of time, money, and effort and unfortunately was unable to come to an agreement where I could freely claim my photographs of Al Letson and Kedgar Volta as my own work.

I am very disappointed that Ms. Parenteau took credit for my image of Al Letson and did not publicly acknowledge that the portrait was not hers, or at the very least privately reach out and apologize. I am also extremely disappointed that the Cultural Council did not make a public correction and apology immediately when they were made aware of the situation and were advised to do so.

So now I must correct the record myself. I am the creator of these images.


I would also like to take the opportunity to encourage all photographers and artists to support the Professional Photographers of America’s grassroots efforts to create legislation for better copyright enforcement.

This will extend protection under the law to hundreds of thousands of small-business creators and allow visual artists a reasonable way to enforce their intellectual property rights. You can find out more at https://www.ppa.com/advocacy/?navItemNumber=539

Honored to be in The Knot’s Hall of Fame

In the spirit of the season I just wanted to express just how thankful I am for all of my clients, especially as I enter my 10th year of photographing weddings and events.

I recently found out that I am one of The Knot Magazine‘s “Hall of Fame” honorees for wedding photography in Florida, and that couldn’t have been possible without the trust of my clients over the years.

Best of Weddings 2013

I am so pleased to announce that Agnes Lopez Photography has been selected as a 2013 winner of The Knot’s Best of Weddings for wedding photography in Northeast Florida.

This is the fifth time I have had the honor of being voted the The Knot Best of Weddings and I can’t thank my clients enough for trusting me to be their photographer.

Agnes Lopez Photography was voted The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013 pick for Wedding Photography in Jacksonville FL