Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
With the modelling and photography industry expanding daily, competition is at its most competitive. No matter how good you are at your craft, there’s that inner feeling of insecurity that knows someone else could do ‘it’ better. Of course not helped when people steal your ideas or business models (something I see happening all of the time) but it’s learning how to overcome these insecutiries that ultimately makes you the stronger and better creative. Some decide to change what they’re doing and invent something new to keep others guessing, or, like myself, you can take it as a compliment and strive to do better.
I am very dedicated to my job and apply immense pressure to succeed at what I do; I have sat in tears many times wallowing in the sheer unfairness of someone that has poached my clients, copied my business model or even just the fear of either of those things happening. But it was my Fiance who convinced me to stop and realise if people want to imitate you then obviously they believe in you and what you’re doing, and if anything, it should encourage you to do even better.
So my thoughts are forget the photographer who shot a similar picture to you or the model who had their hair cut the same- who cares? Think of yourself as an inspiration who in turn is inspired. I am inspired every day by people, nature, clothes, make-up, general things I see- good and bad. I would be the first to say when I create moodboards for shoots the first thing I do is flick through magazines or go on to Google images and pull off those that I thought, “wow”, but haven’t we all? Otherwise, how do classic magazines such as Vogue remain on the shelves? Do we not use them as references for fashion, style, and in our industry, influential ideas? If you were to ask any photographer, art director, stylist, hair and make-up artist or model why they decided to create what they have on a shoot, I guarantee somewhere there will be an influence. What’s important is taking that influence and putting your own spin on it- failure to do so is summed up by Sir Joshua Reynolds, ‘a mere copier of nature can never produce anything great.’