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Joey Lawrence Speaks Out on Imitation.

15 May

A reader recently sent a link to photographer + prodigy Joey Lawrence. He vents about copycat photographer Diego Verges and his images of the Mentawai people. Verges’ photos are blatant copies of Lawerence’s, right down to setup and camera angles…it’s sad really. Here’s what Lawrence had to say:

“Usually when someone rips off my work blatantly, I don’t say much. I don’t want to put them up on my blog, on a pedestal for everyone to look at, I usually just let it go and forget about it. I also realize there are a lot of photographers, and no one can claim something is one hundred percent their own idea. However, something came to my attention recently that was just too close stylistically to what I do to ignore.”

Are these images inspired or imitated? Take a look and decide for yourself.

In the same, vein Tom Hoops shares his commentary on photographic plagiarism of his work and asks the question, “Why?”

He surmises that many photographers are just learning, striving to emulate artists they admire and most aren’t attempting to be harmful (and I happen to agree). The danger, he says is this:

“Ultimately though the more you copy the less you’ll become your own person. The less likely you are to stand out from the crowd. You wont generate your own ideas, you won’t experiment, you’ll look to others to do it for you and in the end you’ll never achieve what you probably set out to do when you picked up your first camera.”

The moral: use imitation of photographic style as a learning aid (not to establish a reputation), use inspiration to grow and eventually, follow your own path.

Revised Submission Guidelines

10 May

After receiving some great advice and doing additional research, I stumbled on the site You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice. It is an open-source blog already doing a solid job of sharing copyright infringement in the Art industry in general (with specific photography/web/design categories). They have a well-established and simple submission process. As well as guidelines to consider before sharing. Their mission is “a site dedicated to pointing out those things that give you that feeling of ‘haven’t I seen that somewhere before?”

We’ll share a link to them in our sidebar and occasionally link to a relevant post on their blog. Consequently, we won’t need to post actual submissions on this blog. What we WILL have are sample emails to send when you think you’ve been violated and step-by-step guidelines on how to trademark your brand/images. If you’re new, you will find tools on how to research and what to consider before you brand your business.

What does this do? It lessens liability for this site so we can move forward with our primary mission – to educate and help photographers defend their copyright.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted suggestions and recommendations.

Friend or Faux?

8 May

Are you frustrated by rampant plagiarism and copyright infringement in the portrait photography community? Tired of your hard work + creativity being ripped off by fauxtographers who lack integrity and ethics? You’re in the right place. We’ll be sharing resources and spurring discussion on how to establish and defend your copyright.

Impostors, moochers, hacks and fauxtogs — your day has come. Time to step into the light and be accountable for your unethical behavior.