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A Photographer's Story

June 22, 2016

The photographer behind the iconic photos of the places we all know and love speaks to us about his first camera, how it feels to have your work stolen and what PicScout means to him.

A quick glance over Rafael Macia’s accomplished body of work provides a window to the varied array of sights and places the veteran photographer has captured through his lens. Macia’s subject of choice are the iconic locations and cityscapes that the average citizen takes for granted and which hordes of eager tourists have snapped as a means to enshrine their trip to New York, Paris, Barcelona or Shanghai.

But, miles off a tourist snap, Macia’s photographs are imbued with a philosophy that could be summed up as ‘capture the most familiar places but do it better than anyone else’. The result is a collection of photographs that are as iconic as the places they represent, to the extent that when we imagine the New York skyline or Central Park in the snow we are likely imagining Macia’s version of these places without realizing it.

It’s not surprising, then, that people have flocked to Macia’s photographs even though most of them don’t know who’s behind them. But the upshot of this popularity is that it tends to go hand in hand with high rates of image theft. People will go to great lengths to use Macia’s work – whether it’s to adorn their travel websites or to use as a backdrop to an ad for a leather sofa – including stealing them.

We interviewed Macia in his home turf, New York, where we discovered that, for a long time he “didn’t know that [he] was getting ripped off” for his images, until the agency that represents his work, Science Source, started enlisting PicScout’s image protection services. Soon, he was made aware of the far-reaching trail of his images and was receiving remuneration for illegal use – “a nice surprise”.

 

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