Art inspires artist. Countless works of art that we laud over draw inspiration from a piece or a body of work that preceded it. We talk about people who are disciples or students of a particular master artist and how their work is influenced by them. On a smaller scale, artist draw inspiration from other's work even if it isn't a master/student relationship. Sometimes you see a treatment of a particular subject and you then want to put your own spin on it.
Photography is no exception to this phenomenon. There are people who try to recreate Ansel Adams shots and perfect his Zone System, for example. I bring all this up because recently a friend showed me an engagement shoot for a friend of hers and the photographer used a very interesting prop. I commented that I liked the idea and then bemused the fact the I couldn't now use that prop myself. She wondered why and I said that I felt it was photographic plagiarism. I think that when you take another photographer's creative idea and use it as your own, it's bad form. But am I right to think that? I read countless photo magazines and see techniques that I would like to try. Sometimes I will see a creative shot and try to recreate it to get the technique down. However, learning new techniques is different to me than copying a creative rendition. It's the difference between learning HOW to shoot a bride or a child in a particular light and trying to exactly recreate another fellow artist's composition.
This for me becomes complicated when a CLIENT sees a pictures and wants to recreate the same thing. Should I tell the client no, that's not MY idea so I can't use it? Should I be crediting the original photographer for the idea somehow in my photograph? Do I even have bother with all of that? I wonder how I would feel if I did something creative, posted it on my website, and then saw a replica of it in a magazine the next month. Would I feel flattered or robbed? I honestly don't know and therefor I don't know how the photographer that I'd be borrowing creativity from would feel either! Unfortunately, this happens more often than not. I guess I'll have to keep playing by ear and hope I don't ever piss someone off...or vice versa!!!!
Still staying in focus...see you in the next frame.