Last night I came across a post from a photographer I follow on Instagram, @mrslindseyroman, talking about how did a random google search of some of the content on her portfolio/website and found so many other photographers copying her content. Here is the caption from her post when she talks more about it:
@mrslindseyroman: "I don’t even want to write this caption. But it’s so important & HAS to be shared and spoken about.
Today I watched my friend Abbi from @thehearnes share about how she googled phrases she wrote on her website & found a LOT of other photographers that had literally copy & pasted HER words to their own websites. I realized I’d never done that before, so out of curiosity I took a bunch of phrases I wrote from my own “About Me & My Approach” web pages & did some googling. The next 30 minutes after that were the most disheartening EVER.
I found 8+ photographers who not only had copy + pasted actual design elements from my website 🙈😭, but had word for word copied my EXACT paragraphs in their pricing guides, their about me pages, their travel pages, & booking forms. ☹️
Guys, this shouldn’t even be something we have to bring up, but plagiarism is NOT okay. Especially as an educator who pours into other photographers, seeing things like this nearly makes me never want to share ANYTHING with anyone.
It’s NOT okay to copy + paste someone’s exact wording and use it as your own. Even if you’re changing a couple words here + there, if you copied someone’s sentence structure & paragraph format of what they’re saying.... that’s plagiarism. It’s SO hurtful to the person who wrote it.
Please know my heart with this caption. I’m not trying to be a b*tch. What I am trying to do as an educator in this industry is to call us ALL up to be better than this. You’re not helping your biz by imitating someone else. People will see right through it. You’re going to see true, lasting success when you step into your uniqueness, stop playing the comparison game, & stay in your OWN lane... that’s when the magic will happen for you.
Please, if you take anything away from this caption, if you’ve intentionally plagiarized someone in the past, go change + fix it now. Be true to YOU. Not a fake you that’s based on someone else. And for everyone else, I’d LOVE it if you would share this caption in the photography community. Because this topic NEEDS to be addressed + we all need to know it’s not okay. I love you guys. ❤️"
I shared the post to my instagram story this morning and kept it pretty short, but wrote that even though it's a little bit different industry, all of what she shared is SO relevant in the VERY competitive boutique world. I 100% agree that it is so disheartening and unauthentic to mimic somebody else's ideas, content, and website pages, especially when you see it happen so very quickly after you do, create, or launch something yourself! It is up to YOU to create your brand + build your business yourself.
I'm a member of a boutique community that lives by + really fosters their motto, "Community Over Competition" and in the last year I've really been able to understand that. Being apart of a community of women who are the first to support and lift you and your business up, has been one of the biggest eye opening things on my boutique journey. YES it's a competitive industry, and YES you will always have those who are going to copy what you do, but I have learned to take it with a grain of salt and keep doing what I'm doing.
Please please please, be yourself in your business!
Lindsey Roman's IG: https://www.instagram.com/mrslindseyroman/