is imitation really the sincerest form of flattery??

if it is then consider me well flattered...i have been back and forth with whether to make this post or not...i've written it in my head tons of times over the past few months...i don't mean it to be snarky but i really feel strongly about it and feel it deffo needs to be addressed by me... 

i am a photographer who now owns her own business...i am extremely proud of this...i have worked so hard to get to where i am right now...and i am so excited to see where it takes me in the future!!!
digital cameras are all the rage now, basically everyone has one...the price of a starter level slr has drasticly dropped...the web is full of new and upcoming talent and many moms who love to take photos of their own kids (myself included)...this has all changed many things about being in business as a photographer…

i've learned over the past few years that photography is ALL about style (as is any art)...you find your style and you stick to it...it's what makes you YOU...your style takes time to find and it's unique to each photographer...there are TONS of photographers that i seriously admire for many reasons (their post processing, their ability to find awesome locations or their flare for finding beautiful light)...i admire those photographers and respect them...i use their eye candy to INSPIRE me...to push me to try something new or to scout for that new awesome spot...but i also draw inspiration from the art that is all around me, whether it be fabric, nature, a beautiful baby or awesome architecture...it has taken me years to find my style, through lots of trial and error...honestly it is still a continual work in progress...i've invested my time, money and resources so that I can bring my clients a quality product worth their investment...and a product i can be proud of...

unfortunately it is easy to cross over from inspiration to imitation...it is a fine line that is crossed quite often...when you look at other photographers work and try to recreate photos and then call them your own it crosses this line....i have given this so much thought lately…our clients are not just paying us to “take photos” they are paying us to capture memories and moments in their lives in OUR style that they love and respect...as photographers we place copyright on our images and even sometimes our words… but there is no way to copyright your style...to spend years of time educating yourself , separating yourself, defining and refining your look only to have it mimiced is frustrating to say the least...

and sadly, not everyone has the same business ethics...it's easy to ask a little business quesiton here and another business question there, seems innocent enough...unfortunatley i'm nieve and answered them...certainly not that i expect to get all the business in the world, i realize that my style isn't going to fit every clients needs and that isn't my point...but if they had just been honest and upfront with why they were questioning me i wouldn't have felt so betrayed...
so do i feel flattered?  well obviously if you are going to copy someones business or style you must really love what they are doing right?  should that make it ok?  i'm honestly not sure of the answer to that. i would love to honestly say I feel flattered, unfortunately I dont at all.

again i am not trying to be snarky, as i already stated...it is not my intention to single anyone out or belittle anyone and i refuse to ever mention names...i just think there should be some respect. especially for those people who choose the same profession as you...i think that your creativity and your business should be your own and something that you work hard to attain...

out for now
~kisses