It has recently been brought to my attention that there is another Pittsburgh photographer who is emulating my style of photography (poses, cropping, location). I was honored to learn that someone was so impressed with my work that they decided it was worth compromising their own integrity.

I approached this situation with professionalism and nicely emailed this person and thanked them for being so complimentary of my work, but that it might be a good idea to put their own spin, or creative ideas, to their work so that it does not look identical. Those of you that know me, know that I am easy going, reasonable and down to earth. I really was flattered.

I did not invent any poses, but I have worked very hard to develop my own style, one that is distinguishable in my market. I have spent years developing my craft and my business, which thankfully, has been very successful. I think that some people think they can be lazy and take the quick road to success by copying.

And it is one thing to copy the exact poses that I have posted, but to also add text that sounds like me is a bit disturbing. I strongly encourage this person to develop their own style and be honest with their clients as to what they can consistently deliver. That is to say, you can copy from the person sitting next to you in class when you are taking a test, but you can’t copy the same thing when the test (or the situation) changes… the answers would be all wrong. Does that make sense? I know what I can consistently deliver to my clients because I am being true to myself and my style.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of fabulous wedding photographers throughout the world. If you are going to copy someone, why would you copy someone in your own market?

The reason I am posting this now is because, in spite of our email exchange, the copying continues and it is very blatant. It’s not cool to copy, and photographers develop strong networks with one another to refer work. If you try to operate as an island, and think that you do not need peer relationships, your business will fail.

I teach both photography and Photoshop, and I am not naive enough to believe that people will not practice what I am teaching. But I always emphasize the importance of developing your own techniques. I am an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop, and there is much more to it than selective coloring.

Thank goodness my brides are discerning and can tell the difference between Manolo Blahniks and Sketchers.

All photographic images, logos, project ideas, and lessons are Copyright Protected. Images are copyrighted the moment you create them, and the creator owns the copyright.

Below are a few of my signature images that I feel define my style. Dramatic veil shots, sexy shots of brides or couples on the ground, images with flare, details, shallow depth of field, close-ups of eyes, night shots, etc. If you peruse my website and blog, you will certainly gain an understanding of my style and approach.

And please do not misinterpret this post, I am not threatened by anyone who attempts to be me. I am simply annoyed and think that it is unfair to clients. And besides, I guess I’ve really made it when things like this happen! What an honor! LOL

  • amandape

    where are you teaching these classes? I hit your blog often and I absolutely love your work. A friend asked me the other day who did our wedding pictures. Everyone complements your photography! You are awesome.

  • katie

    We all know there's only one Heather and that it's not JUST your style that makes you the amazing photographer that you are, it's the PERSON you are as well. I know that when it came to finding a photographer for my wedding I called you because I loved your style, but I hired you because I loved your personality. I highly doubt that this copycat could ever offer all that you do for your brides and that will be their downfall. Love ya Heather!!!

  • Maria

    I have to agree with what Katie said on this Heather. I contacted you because I loved your style, but I hired you because you are truly an amazing person! You are the best!!!!! Maria 🙂

  • Heather

    Thank you ladies!! You are the best!!

    Amanda, I'll be teaching two beginners courses at CCBC in the spring, Photoshop and Digital Photography. I will also plan on holding a one day advanced Photoshop class. I also offer private consultations for those that are interested in a specific topic. I'll be posting more details soon.

  • becky

    Katie's so smart… No one can copy your PERSONALITY Heather! YOU ROCK!!! We love you!

  • joanne bartone, photographer

    alas…the good ones are typically emulated and copied; it is the price we pay for being good; and you ARE one of the best!

    this is so unfortunate for the other photographer for so many reasons, not the least being that she will only hurt herself in the end by alienating herself from colleagues that she will eventually need. when she stops by to visit and copy the next time, she will surely know that the situation is being monitored for further action by you and others.

    keep refining your style and pushing the envelope. she'll never be you!

    love, Joanne Bartone, photographer

  • Anonymous

    I've taken two of Heather's Advanced classes and will testify that she is a very accomplished instructor. Her preparation for class and teaching style have helped both my Photography and Photoshop skills. Worth every cent.

    thanks Heather,
    Greg Barringer

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