Photo processing row as Boots refuse to hand back prints

March 31, 2010 | by | 7 Comments

A student was left shocked after Boots staff refused to print her photographs – because they were too GOOD.

Talented Joanna Ornowska, 25, snapped her pregnant best pal Malgorzata Kulinsha last week as mementos to show her family in Poland.

But the pair were shocked when Boots staff refused to print the pictures because they did not believe she had taken the snaps and accused Joanna of illegally downloading them from the internet.

Boots policy on copyright means it is illegal to print photographs taken by a professional photographer without their permission.

Joanna showed staff her student ID and a letter from the university proving they were her photos but the manager at the store in the Lower Precinct shopping centre in Coventry, West Mids., still turned her away.

Joanna, who is studying photography at Coventry University, said: ”The pictures were just simple shots that I’d taken of my friend holding her bump
– I was just doing a favour for her.

”They staff at the shop said they looked professional and that I needed to write a letter with headed paper to show who I am but I didn’t have any.

”My friend was upset that she couldn’t give them to her family. I was upset myself because they just shouldn’t have done that. It’s very unusual.

”The staff said that they didn’t believe that I’d taken them. It was crazy.

”Should I start taking very bad photos to be able to get them printed?”

Joanna invited eight-month pregnant Malgorzata, 28, into her photography studio where she posed for 30 pictures wearing a black dress.

Malgorzata was going to give the photos to her family in Poland because they do not have computers to receive emails.

Joanna took the pictures on her digital camera and wanted to pay a few pounds to have the pictures printed in the high street.

She was turned away from Boots and returned the next day with a letter proving she was a photography student but staff still refused to print them.

Devastated Malgorzata left empty handed and caught her plane home without the pictures.

She said: ”I’m very upset. I spent ages putting on my makeup and getting dressed up to have the pictures taken.

”It’s really disappointing that I can’t show them to my family at home.

”They’re lovely pictures and they would have treasured them.”

Joanna added: ”I took the pictures in a studio at the university and my friend was just showing her bump. She only wanted something to remember.

”I wasted so much time running around to get a letter and the shop staff still didn’t take any notice. It’s insulting that they didn’t believe me.”

A Boots spokesman has apologised for the cock-up.

He said: ”We have a legal obligation to ensure that we don’t infringe any copyright laws including those of professional photographers.

”In the case of Joanna our store staff were over cautious and on reflection could have sold the pictures.

”We’ve refreshed all procedures in this particular store and the staff have been fully briefed regarding appropriate customer care.”

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Comments (7)

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  1. Chris Hardy says:

    Perhaps over cautious and Boots should have accepted the Photographers credentials more readily. The owner and author of an image is normally the photographer and as such Boots are right to have policies in place to prevent what is effectively theft as image theft is rife not just by public but also by so aclled professionals in the media unwilling to pay for works..It does happen.. I have caught a newspaper out stealing my work. On a web basis, personally, I watermark images I post on online to dicouarage theft and pimping of my images

  2. Chris Hardy says:

    Perhaps over cautious and Boots should have accepted the Photographers credentials more readily. The owner and author of an image is normally the photographer and as such Boots are right to have policies in place to prevent what is effectively theft as image theft is rife not just by public but also by so aclled professionals in the media unwilling to pay for works..It does happen.. I have caught a newspaper out stealing my work. On a web basis, personally, I watermark images I post on online to dicouarage theft and pimping of my images

  3. Declan says:

    Reading between the lines I feel that Boots may not have been able to properly represent the images in print form. I find that a lot of these so-called photo booths have their equipment set up for

    muddy toned prints, which is the norm from the high street. A photographer that spends a bit of time correcting the tonality of their print may find that it is out of range of the equipment that is printing them. What our friend should have done is buy some good inkjet paper and printed them on a good inkjet printer where she would have had control over the outcome.

    Real photographers should keep away from Boots and their likes. I hope that Boots more than just apologized to Joanna.

    Since when have Boots become "Judge and Jury". Maybe they think that everyone that comes inside their doors is out to screw someone. Shame on them. I feel that if the images were on her card, and the exif information matched her camera (this is something that Boots should look up in a photography book sometime) there should have been no problem.

    Yes, there is copyright, but there is also respect and manners.

  4. Declan says:

    Reading between the lines I feel that Boots may not have been able to properly represent the images in print form. I find that a lot of these so-called photo booths have their equipment set up for

    muddy toned prints, which is the norm from the high street. A photographer that spends a bit of time correcting the tonality of their print may find that it is out of range of the equipment that is printing them. What our friend should have done is buy some good inkjet paper and printed them on a good inkjet printer where she would have had control over the outcome.

    Real photographers should keep away from Boots and their likes. I hope that Boots more than just apologized to Joanna.

    Since when have Boots become "Judge and Jury". Maybe they think that everyone that comes inside their doors is out to screw someone. Shame on them. I feel that if the images were on her card, and the exif information matched her camera (this is something that Boots should look up in a photography book sometime) there should have been no problem.

    Yes, there is copyright, but there is also respect and manners.

  5. Nick says:

    "Too perfect to print" (you're a copyright infringer until you prove otherwise) by Jonathan Worth
    http://jonathan-worth.blogspot.com/2010/04/too-pe

  6. Nick says:

    "Too perfect to print" (you're a copyright infringer until you prove otherwise) by Jonathan Worth
    http://jonathan-worth.blogspot.com/2010/04/too-pe

  7. K401 says:

    Clipboard Syndrome.

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