A photographer "friend" who copies?


TPF Noob!
Jan 23, 2012
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United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
One reason why I joined this website was to connect with other photographers in a positive way. It's therapy I've recommended for myself. (heh)

I had an old college friend who recently decided to become a photographer in my same area. At first I was really OK with it because I thought, hey, maybe we could share ideas, help each other out, even do some shoots together now and then. Fun! Well, it didn't turn out so fun. I have a really, really hard time handling seeing the ideas she's "borrowed" from me. (although my brain is screaming THIEF! THIEF!) I've been working so hard and it's tough to see something that took me weeks or months to figure out or plan or whatever just instantly pop up on her profile as if, oh, I just suddenly had this idea days after I saw it on your website.

I get plenty of ideas from other photographers, but I definitely don't just blatantly copy what someone else in my area is doing. (I'm from a rural area where there's only a couple photogs per town) I try to take a different approach so that we have different offerings and ideas to present to potential customers. I feel like that's a decent thing to do. But lately I feel like I'm writing a manual for this person to start their business with. It's stressful.

Maybe I'm a little too naive, though. Maybe all is fair in capitalism.

I've left out all the juicy details because I'm trying to make this as unbiased an explanation as possible. Maybe some sane photographer opinions will help.

I'm really trying to just get over this. I don't want to think about it any more. I have urges to send her a message just laying it out for her - tell her how I'm feeling. I've got friends and family who ask me if they should pay her visit and tell her to cease and desist. haha. (I tell them no, of course) Should I just ignore as much as possible? What if she takes something obvious? Where do I draw the line and start saying or doing something about it? I hate drama, and this whole situation just sucks. Meh.
She's one of the photographers a lot of people get angry about, by the way. She's got no experience, cheap camera, uses picnik to edit photos, calls herself professional, etc. Drives me insane.



lol. Ok, I'm shutting up about it.
If you wanted to be mean, you could report her to the local tax authority. :lol:

From the sound of it, she probably isn't paying taxes on her income. (Not a good idea to do that if you are also not paying taxes.)

If she's as bad as you say she is, the customers will be able to tell too. There isn't really anything you can do about it, except to take better pictures than her and let her have the customers that don't care about quality.
Don't despair. There's someone in my area who is very VERY similar. Although this person does a VERY good job replicating other photographers' work (ideas) and selling as genuine. ONE above sees it all and decisions we make have consequences (good and bad). Try to isolate your self from this person and do your own thing. Actually you should be honored that your ideas are being used :) that means they are good :D
Good Luck
Imitation is the purest form of flattery.
She's one of the photographers a lot of people get angry about, by the way. She's got no experience, cheap camera, uses picnik to edit photos, calls herself professional, etc. Drives me insane.

If a person like that is so easily duplicating your photos, I would question your work, not hers.
I hope you're not married...it might be more than just "your ideas" she is "borrowing". But in all seriousness, I'm not sure what kind of "ideas" you have that have not already been done by other photographers. Babies and toddlers dressed up as potted plants? Ann Geddes. Kids inside of washtubs? Methuselah invented that one. A man and woman peeking at one another around the base of a tree? Done before, probably first around 1851. It has ALL BEEN BEEN DONE before. I mean--what do you mean, your ideas??? Poses? Poses cannot be owned. Neither can techniques...nobody owns defocused backdrops, short lighting,broad lighting, split lighting, selective color, anything...it...has..alllllllllllllllllllll...been...done..before...like say, Rembrandt lighting...geeze...when did that guy live?
Don't handle it how some might~

I feel like the lighting is pretty flat, and the flash blast created an unappealing hot spot.

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