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HOW I RUINED MY CAREER

By June 20, 2012Blog, hope, tenacity

By Meagan Kunert:

I’ve always embraced my artistic side, and from the moment I first picked up a camera, I was hooked. I started a full time professional photography business in April 2011, and I guess that’s where my story begins.

I was eager to get started, and at first, things were great. I was busy and booking clients, all according to plan. Then, things slowed down. Clients stopped calling. Facebook posts went unanswered. I started researching marketing techniques, and found several photographers who had gone from shooting for free, to booking 30+ weddings a year and making over $100,000 a year – in less than two years. I was amazed at their skills and wondered how I, too, could obtain that kind of success.

This is where the story takes a horrible turn for the worst. I wanted to create a buzz for myself, and appear to potential clients and peers like I was high in demand. I wanted to build an appearance of exclusivity to my brand.

So I did the very worst thing that I could possibly do as a photographer.

I took images that weren’t mine. I slapped my watermark on them, posted them on my website, and passed them off as my own work.

It wasn’t just an image here and there, either. I took complete shoots and blog posts from other photographers. I even stole a blog post about starting a photography business. The saddest part is that the blog post gave advice like “operate with integrity” and “respect your fellow photographer,” which I obviously was not doing by stealing others’ hard work.

I felt like the scum of the earth. But still I continued.

I posted the stolen work on my blog among my real work. No one knew or even questioned it. I was booking more clients based on my active blog posts and Facebook updates. The “busy, exclusive photographer” marketing technique was working. I had always planned to take down the stolen work once I had things off the ground.

It was never my intention to go this route – the way of the criminal. But still I continued.

On May 9th, 2012, the bottom fell out of my world. I woke up to 100+ emails in my inbox, several missed calls and voicemails, and about 100 text messages. With a quick glance at my phone, I knew I had been caught.

Photographers wrote blog posts about me. Other people left comments and spread the word. Newspapers and news stations documented what happened. I received tons of backlash from people all over the world telling me what a horrible person I was. I received anonymous emails telling me that I should kill myself. Phone calls, voice mails, blog comments …

I reached out to the photographers I stole from and offered an apology over the phone. I apologized profusely. I realized then the effect I had on the photographers and their clients and peers. It was never my intention to cause so much grief.

I posted a public apology on my Facebook page, but after 900 mostly-negative comments, I could not keep up anymore. Comments disrespecting my religion and faith had turned into a huge debate, and other people were attacking my skills as a mother. I ended up removing the page altogether.

I specifically remember one comment from an individual who said something like:

“It’s a shame that it’s not like the olden days where you could be stoned for crimes like this.”

You don’t forget stuff like that. I’m terrified of rebuilding my online presence. I feel like if I make a comment under my real name and someone happens to recognize it, the Internet mob will re-appear and I will re-live what happened back on May 9th.

Still, for every 100 negative comments, there seems to be one positive comment … one individual full of grace, reaching out their hand to help me up. Those individuals remind me that there is hope.

My career as a photographer is over forever, and my online image is ruined. My family and I have found ourselves in a huge financial mess, and it’s been hard to re-enter the workforce as employers are Googling names. The only thing I can do now is take responsibility for what I did and move on.

I think the thing that hurts me the most is that I attached the word “Christian” to myself and my business. I called myself a Christian, yet I lied, stole, and deceived many people. I called myself a Christian, but I was anything but Christ-like. I failed.

And in this life, I will continue to fail. I will need third chances, and fourth chances, and 77th chances. But I believe in a brighter future because I have to. What else is there? I can’t let my mistakes dictate who I am for the rest of my life.

So today, I declare that I am People of the Second Chance. I’m reaching out for grace, and believing that it will be there.

======

[UPDATE, via POTSC Admin:  500 comments!  Thank you all for such a spirited, challenging, and varied discussion.  There are obviously many viewpoints, and we value them all.  We’re going to close up the comments at this point, but know that we appreciate you all.  Take the discussion with you, and remember that grace always wins!]

(Photo Credit)

Join the discussion 588 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow Meagan…thank you so much for courageously sharing your story here. Grace is stronger than shame, resentment and anger but often it’s voice is not as loud. Hoping we can all change that…

    • Meagan says:

      Thank you, Mike!  I’m grateful for organizations like POTSC that encourage grace in any situation, even when we think we don’t deserve it. That was my situation for a long time. Glad I was finally able to share. Thank you for your comment.

  • Such a brave post. Your story has been part of a season of whispers God has put on my heart about grace & forgiveness. Something I’ve admittedly struggled with in the past. Thank you for sharing your story. Take comfort in knowing that there are still lots of people whose hearts are programmed to carryout God’s mission of grace, freely given.

    • Meg  says:

       I think forgiveness is something we all struggle with at one time or another, if not all the time. I know I’m guilty of withholding grace and forgiveness when I should – it’s human nature, and we’re not perfect. Then I think about all of the times *I’ve* been shown grace (too many to count!) and it’s impossible not to.  Not to mention, God has already forgiven *us* :)  Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • Meg  says:

       I think forgiveness is something we all struggle with at one time or another, if not all the time. I know I’m guilty of withholding grace and forgiveness when I should – it’s human nature, and we’re not perfect. Then I think about all of the times *I’ve* been shown grace (too many to count!) and it’s impossible not to.  Not to mention, God has already forgiven *us* :)  Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • Wow… Megan this is incredibly brave and I want you to know that I’m standing right next to you in the trenches of life. We don’t always make the right decision, in fact in my own story I made the wrong decision over and over again, knowing I needed to face myself… but I didn’t. What I learned though….in the depths of my own darkness that I created was that grace is always… ALWAYS enough.

    Thank you for sharing your story, please know you are loved.

    Desirae

    • Meg  says:

       Thanks, Desirae.  I’m learning the same thing as well.  Sometimes we do things and make mistakes that don’t make sense to us… it’s comforting to know that there is a Savior who’s love for us doesn’t change, no matter what horrible things we do in life. And yes, grace is *always* enough :)  Hugs!

  • timthurman says:

    Meagan, it took great courage to write that, and to do so on such a public forum.  My prayer is that you begin to experience real healing and grace; that you will see God begin to use “all things” for your benefit and His glory.  Your career / life is not over.  You are a beloved child of God with a bright future.  Many blessings on you.

  • Whoa, Meg. SO proud of you being brave in sharing your story!!! We LOVE you. 

  • Eileen says:

    Wow,  beautiful honesty, Meg…now I’m even more glad I clicked that follow button on Twitter last night. :)  Thank you for this. 

    • Meg  says:

       Thanks, Eileen! :)  It was definitely hard to do, but it’s easier when you have a great community like POTSC standing behind you and encouraging you in your walk with God.  See you on Twitter :)

  • Ben Moore says:

    What courage to post this so soon.  I’m amazed by your honesty and willingness to share in the midst of your struggles.  Thank you.  Remember, our pasts do not define us, they serve to teach us and further prepare us for the possibilities of our present and future.

    • Meg  says:

       Thanks, Ben. I think that sharing has played a huge role in the healing process (for me). Grateful for this community that stands by me in the midst of my imperfections. It’s so inspiring!

  • Mike Foster says:

    meagan…youre incredible and im blown away by your courage and vulnerability to share…you are modeling the very qualities that we are all trying to live out in our second chance…you rock!! m.

  • Meg  says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! I’m grateful for POTSC for being there and encouraging me to live transparently and play a part in the healing process.

  • Meg  says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! I’m grateful for POTSC for being there and encouraging me to live transparently and play a part in the healing process.

  • Jason Wert says:

    Meagan, welcome to POTSC.

    I’m so sorry…but not surprised…at the reaction to you.  These days, grace is in short supply and attacking with the intent to ruin someone seems to be the acceptable behavior for most people.  The hate shown toward you…and it was hate in may cases, not criticism…was completely out of line.  

    I can’t wait to see the way God redeems this situation.  Your humble admission and brokenness is fertile ground for Him to work.

  • So much courage in this post, Meagan! I love you for being so transparent and vulnerable. The fact that you dealt with all the backlash instead of running from it all, the fact that you’re beginning anew, the fact that you’ve chosen to tell your story for all to see is nothing short of incredible. While the world would have us stoned for such small crimes (and your mistake was SMALL in the scheme of things), God gives us grace. And with that grace comes love and peace and a chance to start anew. So go for it. If God is for you, who can get you down?

  • Wow. What courage you have to share your story. We have all made mistakes, and I cannot imagine the hurt you felt having people lash out at you publicly. God loves second chances, and will use your story to help others. Thank you for sharing.

  • Claire says:

    Thanks for being brave, Meagan. That was hard, and will continue to be. I once said to a pastor (who was a counselor) that I regretted that a certain situation may have damaged my reputation, not even of my own fault… Without missing a beat, he said, “What reputation?” and walked on.  That was a sermon in a sentence!
    Reputation is sometimes all we have, but sometimes, it is not as important as moving on and doing the next RIGHT and GODLY thing. Even Jesus dealt with marauders of reputation.  God’s Word also reminds us that when we suffer for doing wrong, it’s no big deal, because… well, we deserve it — but when we suffer for doing good, that is what sets us apart, and how do we behave during either type of circumstance?
    I admire you — and now you have an opportunity to rise above and let God truly transform you with a new image. A true image. God’s image of you, one that can’t be stolen!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Be strong and courageous, for He walks beside you.

  • Sorry, can yall delete this comment? I’m dumb and accidentally attached my avatar haha. This internets thing is hard!!

    • Jamesmar2000 says:

      Jeremy is an amazing photographer and person. He does what he says. I too hope you can move past this and find a second chance at life. I hope your courage and faith will help others change  their lives and come clean and face up to their demons. May God’s love shine on you! 

  • Larry Smith says:

    >> I think the thing that hurts me the most is that I attached the word “Christian” to myself >> and my business. I called myself a Christian, yet I lied, stole, and deceived many >> people. I called myself a Christian, but I was anything but Christ-like. I failed.

    Meg, I understand this pain all too well. Although, your career may be damaged; the freedom that comes from the truth being revealed is what I find comfort in. I never truly *knew* the meaning of the truth setting me free until the truth had been revealed and I was released of the burdens caused by the lies I lived.

    Godspeed,
    Larry

  • Cryssi says:

    I remember hearing your story last month on a forum.. the girls on there were disgusted at how you were being treated… I went on your page and started reading comments and my heart broke for you.  The fact of the matter is this, as Christians we are called to live by a higher standard, but we are still only human.. all of us, failures in our own right.  I have been praying for the girl that this happened to and now I see your face, and I sympathize and know that, this business is brutal and cruel, and people get all upset…. I once had someone ask me what I would do if someone stole my images and claimed them as their own and I said.. How can I get mad when I know every thought and idea that comes to me is from the Lord. Yes I would want to be furious, but in the end they are just borrowed ideas from my creator anyway.  I am praying for you and know that God makes all things new… He makes Beauty from ashes, and he will use this to purify and make you even stronger.. and that is exciting! 

  • Aki1day says:

    “He without sin cast the first stone “. Keep your head up. People make mistakes. People change. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wilfredo  says:

    I’m not mad at you…you’ve learned your lesson, you’ve paid your price – now what you need to do is move on..pick up a camera and slowly begin your introduction….it’s a tough road ahead, no doubt..but everyone deserves a second chance. Good luck.

  • Allison Carenza says:

    Keep living in the moment.

  • Apparently my actual comment got deleted instead of the one below. Haha. Awesome.

    Anyway, it’s crazy to see the photo industry and POTSC colliding. Love it. The bravery and courage it took to write this post is insane. Seriously, thanks for doing this. I’m so thankful for POTSC cause it goes against everything culture wants to throw at us. But I have needed so much grace and so many second chances and will need more in the future. You deserve it too. We all do. Thanks again for posting. I already love the conversations this is starting.

    • Anonymous says:

       we agree- the bravery and courage in this post inspired us and know it will others.

      • PBJPhoto says:

         Haha, you guys got punk’d. I think Meagan is a pathological
        attention-seeker, and People of the Second Chance is playing right into
        her hands. Sorry, but truth hurts sometimes. Meagan, my best advice is
        to lie low, if you truly don’t want negative comments. But
        we all know you are like a bad kid in class who kicks the kid in front
        of her just to get negative attention, if that’s the only kind of
        attention to be gotten. Grow up, and quit using groups like this that are good in theory to further your own mental illness.Please go get professional help, and please, please, please go away. (And even though I have felt the pain of her transgression, that’s the meanest thing I’ve ever said to Meagan. I kept my mouth shut the whole time this was going on, but now that she’s trying to be some kind of hero … um, NO. This gives me an awful image of POTSC, an group that I would otherwise support whole-heartedly.)

        • Ben Moore says:

          You may be right, PBJ, we may be playing right into her hands.  That’s what we do.  If someone is seeking attention, they may be able to use us, but the good we offer to people who are broken, remorseful and truly seeking help is worth getting played a hundred times over.  Do I think Meagan is a hero, no, I think she is human.  If you really would otherwise support POTSC, then you should, even if it means getting played.

        • Ben Moore says:

          You may be right, PBJ, we may be playing right into her hands.  That’s what we do.  If someone is seeking attention, they may be able to use us, but the good we offer to people who are broken, remorseful and truly seeking help is worth getting played a hundred times over.  Do I think Meagan is a hero, no, I think she is human.  If you really would otherwise support POTSC, then you should, even if it means getting played.

        • mohan37 says:

          I’m sorry you feel that way PBJ. radical grace hurts, because it goes against the mentality of revenge and bitterness we’ve been taught to embrace by the vulture culture around us. your heart knew not to express the meanness, but society applauds you for doing it anyway.

          I’m afraid it’s your heart that has been punked by the vulture culture. it wasn’t built for bitterness and revenge.

    • mohan37 says:

      Yes!  Right on Jeremy.  I love seeing the two intersect as well.  Great conversations happening below…

    • mohan37 says:

      Yes!  Right on Jeremy.  I love seeing the two intersect as well.  Great conversations happening below…

    • Absoutely Jeremy, so brave, so amazing. Beautiful….

    • Absoutely Jeremy, so brave, so amazing. Beautiful….

    • Johnathan Paul says:

      It would be a cool journey to watch this counter cultural movement help Meg regain her photography career if that’s indeed what she wanted. It would be awesome testimony to God’s grace and how we as community both in Photography and POTSC can be supportive and show Jesus to an otherwise unforgiving society. 

    • Johnathan Paul says:

      It would be a cool journey to watch this counter cultural movement help Meg regain her photography career if that’s indeed what she wanted. It would be awesome testimony to God’s grace and how we as community both in Photography and POTSC can be supportive and show Jesus to an otherwise unforgiving society. 

  • Willeagleton says:

    Some people go way, way over the top with their commentary and criticism in life, and even worse still sometimes they really mean it. Sometimes we make poor decisions and we just have to keep moving forwards, because looking back means we walk forwards slower and sometimes stumble – so remember what happened but keep looking ahead to new and hopefully prosperous things. Best wishes from here!

  • Hi Meagan, it takes a lot of courage to own up to your mistakes and for that i admire you. Things will take their own time to get back up again but that’s actually the beauty of it, we can start afresh. You will be back, just work hard, have faith and believe in yourself!

  • Marjorie Etienne says:

    Megan, I am so sorry to read your blog.

    • Taylor Gahm says:

      Hi Marjorie! Don’t be sorry for what happened to her.  Nothing happened to her- she made some bad decisions and the natural consequences took over.  She is not a victim. Instead, I would say, we should celebrate with her!  She is walking into her death, slowly but surely.  I could care less if her photography career resurrects. As some have said in these comments it could be a cool way for God to redeem the situation.  But I think that is cheap and played out.  God loves her too much for that.  I’m holding out for something bigger and better for her.  A life that only death can bring.  I love that she is getting reemed by some even in this very time of her confessing.  It only serves to further refine who she is by removing any chance of her drawing her sense of self worth (positive or negative) from what others think about what she did. She needs to know where her value comes from. We all do. We give grace because of who we intrinsically are, not what we have or have not done. By the way, I saw your comment as you just wanting to love her, and so I honor you for that.  Thank you Marjorie 

  • “Your history is not your prophecy.” Jesus is rewriting things for you! He loves your boldness and sincere heart as you embrace His truth and humility. You are beautiful Meagan, and not defined by what you did – even if people will continue to define you that way. Thank you for your courage. He is the truth setting you free!

  • “Your history is not your prophecy.” Jesus is rewriting things for you! He loves your boldness and sincere heart as you embrace His truth and humility. You are beautiful Meagan, and not defined by what you did – even if people will continue to define you that way. Thank you for your courage. He is the truth setting you free!

  • Harriet says:

    I think it’s truly commendable that you are talking about what happened to you, realising your mistakes and moving forward. It’s a hard thing dealing with people’s opinions. The great thing, though, is that God knows our hearts and when we ask him for forgiveness, there is surely a second chance. Your story has inspired me to always operate with integrity, own my mistakes and to never give up on life and people. Thank you for sharing

  • Harriet says:

    I think it’s truly commendable that you are talking about what happened to you, realising your mistakes and moving forward. It’s a hard thing dealing with people’s opinions. The great thing, though, is that God knows our hearts and when we ask him for forgiveness, there is surely a second chance. Your story has inspired me to always operate with integrity, own my mistakes and to never give up on life and people. Thank you for sharing

  • Johnathan Paul says:

    Meg, I have actually heard alot about you and your story as Im trying to start my own photography business. But the story was never attached to a real person, now it has come full circle and I can attach a human being to it. I have to say my initial thought was anger and then resentment over using Jesus and God’s name in the midst, but God reminds me daily that I do not live in your shoes, I am not on your journey and just like I need Grace. You need it as well, from me, and others and you most assuredly have it from God already. The ability to share and be vulnerable is a great step and I’m glad you were able to make it. I would agree to not let your cynics define you. You’re not as good as your last mistake or even your last triumph, you’re as good as your creator God made you and Jesus is through you. Jesus gives up new chances everyday and we all need them. I look forward to seeing how your journey progresses.
    Peace and Blessings. 

  • Johnathan Paul says:

    Meg, I have actually heard alot about you and your story as Im trying to start my own photography business. But the story was never attached to a real person, now it has come full circle and I can attach a human being to it. I have to say my initial thought was anger and then resentment over using Jesus and God’s name in the midst, but God reminds me daily that I do not live in your shoes, I am not on your journey and just like I need Grace. You need it as well, from me, and others and you most assuredly have it from God already. The ability to share and be vulnerable is a great step and I’m glad you were able to make it. I would agree to not let your cynics define you. You’re not as good as your last mistake or even your last triumph, you’re as good as your creator God made you and Jesus is through you. Jesus gives up new chances everyday and we all need them. I look forward to seeing how your journey progresses.
    Peace and Blessings. 

  • Taylor Gahm says:

    Oh man this is so awesome. What a gift this is to you Meagan. Its our failures, shortcomings and weaknesses that invite us into the love of God.  It is only now  that you have been stripped completely of any external value that you are truly free to discover that you are fully loved by God.  You are blessed in your weakness.  I don’t feel sorry for you.  I celebrate you.  Welcome to your freedom!

  • Travis Silva says:

    Your Honesty and Transparency is awesome.  Thanks for sharing and showing how we are not perfect, but forgiven.

  • Tom deBruyn says:

    Thank you for you

  • Tim says:

    Everyone makes mistakes.  That’s life.  It’s how we deal with them that matter.  From the dates you mentioned, this is still very fresh in your life.  You need time to gain perspective on things.  You did wrong, but mad people online are just ridiculous…  Stoning?  If you met that person in real life, would they ever say such a thing?  No, and they wouldn’t even think it.  Filter!

    Maybe your career isn’t over, if photography is really where you want to be, maybe it can be again. Just give things plenty of time to heal, come back slowly and find a way to be very forthcoming about what you are doing and who you are.  

    On the whole, if you say you’re sorry and mean it, people have an amazing ability to forgive and embrace. I wish you all the best!

  • Mike Sweeney says:

    My experience in life tells me that those who are the most vicious in their condemnation generally are just as guilty as the ones they are “punishing”. You definitely went off the rails with what you did but I sincerely doubt it has any bearing on your fitness as a mother, wife, friend. As people say, the road to hell is paved with good and intentions and many, many people have been on the same path you just got off of.  

    But this too will pass.. I will add this comment and take it for what it’s worth. You attach any religious tag to yourself publicly, and you just hung out a target. And again, most doing this have something to prove or think they do. It’s better to prove things by actions.

    I will say this also, personally speaking I would not have any issues in hiring you as a second shooter in spite of the “problem”. Unless you are incredibly dense and I dont think you are, a very important lesson was learned and you are a better person for it. I’ve been given 2nd chances myself so I know both sides of this story. I wish you the best in the rebuilding and you can rebuild, it’s just a bit tougher this way.

  • Anonymous says:

    Meagan, we are all human and are flawed. We all make mistakes and I applaud you for sharing yours. So many times we see the outcome of a situation but never hear the real story, and so many times it adds a human element to it that allows us to accept the mistake and forgive. I hope those who were affected by your actions read this and come to forgive you. We all need 2nd chances, and 3rds and 77th. Good luck in moving forward and I hope you and your family can find peace in it.

  • Leo H. says:

    I’m so sorry for all you have been facing. But keep going straight and if you regret everything you did from the bottom of your heart, believe that you will overcome all this storm in your life. Your story will help many others to not fall into those mistakes. I’m sure you will be writing a testimony soon telling us how your life turned out from the worst to the best.  

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

  • Thank you for being so honest.  Mankind is dependent on 2nd chances.

  • John Mason says:

    I imagine many of the people who were the most hateful to you during this have made similar mistakes themselves at some point. It happens and that’s life. Stealing pictures is never a good idea but it shouldn’t ruin a life imho. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you the best and hope you get your second chance in time.

  • Hollibrown says:

    Everyone makes mistakes. What is so honorable is how you took the bad and did everything in you to make it right. It takes a LOT of courage to write a blog like that, and I admire that. I believe God will honor you for it. Don’t give up your photography! Start again!

  • JoePhoto says:

    Most people that call themselves Christians are not Christ-like anyway, don’t sweat that part.  Your faith is entirely another issue.  What you did was morally wrong to your fellow man, and the entire industry, in such a huge way, and it sounds like you have paid the price. 
    “I think the thing that hurts me the most is that I attached the word “Christian” to myself and my business. ” 
    Really?  Really?  What should hurt the most is what you chose to do to other photographers.  Everyone deserves forgiveness, but not to be forgotten.  Thanks for sharing

    • mohan37 says:

      Ah, but Joe, real forgiveness DOES forget … that’s the point. If you tell someone they’re forgiven, but always remember what they did, you’re not forgiving.  You’re merely tolerating, and that’s something else entirely.
       
      True life, and true love, comes in giving up the right to remember someone’s mistakes, as so many have surely done for us too.  It’s what Christ teaches, but also what we see all around us every day. 

      • Jenn LeBow says:

        I’m not sure forgiveness = forgetting. I think, in my experience, forgiving = remembering with grace. For example, I have a family member who has betrayed our trust multiple times. Our response, in knowing that, is to move forward with loving relationship but awareness of what areas are inappropriate to share with this family member. Sharing them, knowing what we know, would provide that relative with further opportunity to sin. Knowing a person’s weaknesses & loving them anyway is Godly. Tempting them in the disguise of “forgiven & forgotten” is not kind, in my opinion. Perhaps differences also need to be pointed out in proper responses to someone repenting & wanting restoration in contrast to someone who continues to do damage to the relationship. Forgiveness is the answer in both cases, but follow-up looks different, I think. Your thoughts?

      • Jenn LeBow says:

        I’m not sure forgiveness = forgetting. I think, in my experience, forgiving = remembering with grace. For example, I have a family member who has betrayed our trust multiple times. Our response, in knowing that, is to move forward with loving relationship but awareness of what areas are inappropriate to share with this family member. Sharing them, knowing what we know, would provide that relative with further opportunity to sin. Knowing a person’s weaknesses & loving them anyway is Godly. Tempting them in the disguise of “forgiven & forgotten” is not kind, in my opinion. Perhaps differences also need to be pointed out in proper responses to someone repenting & wanting restoration in contrast to someone who continues to do damage to the relationship. Forgiveness is the answer in both cases, but follow-up looks different, I think. Your thoughts?

  • Killme8 says:

    All i can think of is that you broke the most important rule of photography. I know i should give you second chance, but how could i ever trust your work again. I don’t see this as a brave or courageous post rather than sad attempt to save your name.

  • John says:

    Change your name and get back out there.  Thanks for the honesty, I am sure it feel very, very bad.

    • JoePhoto says:

      WOW, that’s a great attitude.  Maybe it’ll be your work she steals next.  This is the kind of attitude that is ruining an entire generation of photographers.

  • Dave Yuriar says:

    Meg, I’ve made my share of life-changing mistakes. 
    The tough part for me was not realizing I was wrong, but allowing myself to move on afterwards.  It was truly difficult to let myself off the hook for mistakes made in the past.  I pray that when you get to the point that things die down, that you can let them go also.  Time heals all wounds, or so they say…Good luck to you & God Bless. -Dave.

  • Jeff Hill says:

    What you did is wrong, but some of the things people said to you I think are even more wrong. We all mess up, unfortunately some of the mess-ups are more transparent than others. It’s impossible to live a perfect life, I just wish that people were less critical. As a professional photographer myself I would be upset if somebody stole my work, but I wouldn’t be in a murderous rage, and certainly wouldn’t do so at the beck-and-call of a colleague whom I have never met. I’m sorry about your troubles hopefully you can get back on your feet soon.

  • ak says:

    You’ll get your forgiveness once you prove yourself with your own hard work, perseverance, and output. We’ve all screwed up – but we must decide whether to learn from it, or keep making the same gaffs over and over again.  

    Best of luck.

  • Doubleblessedin04 says:

    “When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure” ~ Peter Marshall.  My favorite quote!!  Cant imagine the courage it takes to put yourself back out there. We all make mistakes, the key is to learn from them and it sounds like u have. I wish u much success. 

  • Dom says:

    That’s very big of you to come out and say it how it is, respect and best wishes.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t know you, but I can’t help but be excited to see what God is going to do with you and your talents.  Pick the camera back up and show people who you really are.  The right ones will follow and the rest will find some other person to pick on.  

  • Katie Rivers says:

    You are brave for facing this and repenting! Praying for you and I hope God’s people will shower you with grace and mercy as we are called to do.