I love looking at other photographer’s images. I know some photographers say they don’t look at other people’s work because they feel it will influence their own work but I’m not too sure about that. My influences come from the world around me, and part of that world is photography. It is also art, music and just life in general. I guess the reason I really like looking at other people’s work is that it is all so different. Even when I see someone try to copy someone elses work, I can still see where they were trying to make a little different, just so they could call it their own. I know, it’s still a copy, but the fact that someone is still trying to show their own identity within the image is what is great!
I don’t care if others try to copy me, I don’t care if others try to copy other people. No matter what, it is still an original piece, maybe the idea is not original, but then again, in this industry it is hard to always be original! I’ve said this before, why be original when you can get paid not to be? And it’s true. The whole reason people copy others is because they think someone else either has better ideas or has the type of work that makes money. In a sense, they copy to improve themselves. I don’t think it is the best way to improve yourself, but to each their own right?
So what do I tell people when I see them copy work and try to take full credit for it? Nothing. Why? Simply because if they are meant to succeed they will if they do not have the creative edge and all they can do is reproduce other people’s work then they will remain in the middle at best. Copy away, but if you learn nothing from the process of trying to duplicate what has already been done then you are seriously missing the point of it all. It is not about showing how you can shoot what others can too, it’s about understanding what it takes to get the shot.
Originality is not dead…. yet. There are still some people who think outside of the box. Why do they call it “thinking outside of the box”? Because there are always more people who are playing it safe and being unoriginal. There is a ton of money in playing it safe, I just personally cannot do it. Luckily it does take different strokes to rule the world, otherwise the world would be a boring place with nothing to look at but the same copied work over and over again. 😉