Earlier today I learned that a brand photographer who follows me on Instagram and just recently launched her website has taken, word for word, text from my website and Instagram posts, no less than half a dozen times.
Truthfully, I felt very conflicted on what I should do: leave it alone and move on, or say something (knowing full well that she’ll deny it was intentional).
This is an obvious copy/paste job. She is using my message to attract clients of her own, reinforcing it throughout her website, repeating it across multiple pages… just as I have. Messages that not only set me apart from my peers, but that share my heart and even my personality.
As a storyteller, words hold so much meaning to me (perhaps even more than photos themselves). Every post I publish, caption I write, description I share on my website — even the words I use when marketing my services — have so much time, effort, and thought put into them. So to see it taken so easily, and broadcasted as the original idea of someone else is painful.
The internet makes it easy to compare services among multiple vendors, and being mail-in, I’m not restricted by location when it comes to working with clients. On the off-chance someone lands on both of our sites, I certainly don’t want them to think I’m the one who has stolen somebody else’s words.
But when it comes down to it, I’m not a confrontational person.
I wish success for everyone who has the courage to chase their dreams, and stepping away to actually process (because it admittedly wasn’t my first instinct), my hope is that as she grows in her brand, this photographer will learn to find her own voice, confidence in herself, and clarity in her own message. Because telling someone else’s story as your own will only get you so far.
Moral of the story: It’s okay to be inspired. It’s not okay to plagiarize.