Is It Ok To Copy?

Is It Ok To Copy?

Instagram is my main creative outlet and my main source of inspiration. I used to use it predominantly as a source of building relationships and finding like minded people. Especially when the boys were little. In the last few months though I have been trying to focus a little more on my photography. Which has meant more time looking through those stunning accounts and less time on the accounts of people I could actually imagine being real life friends with.

Its this refocus onto the pretty that has made me see more and more copying of the larger accounts. It has got me thinking about whether this sort of thing is actually ok. Should that be accepted as part and parcel of having a large following? By default these people are inspiring and that often leads to people wanting to replicate both beautiful images and ultimately the success that comes with it.

Is anything ever original anyway? We are all influenced by others in every aspect of life not just those little squares. I am definitely inspired by others. I hold my hands up. Sometimes my creativity hits a low and I head over to amazing accounts such as rvk_loves andΒ kate.lavie to soak up some inspiration.

It is very rare that I actually replicate an image and when I do I always credit the person and have been known to ask permission before doing so. After all you lose nothing by complimenting others and I see people mention me all the time which is amazing!

So how do I personally feel about copying? Well I’m torn. I think that it is completely ok to be inspired by others but I also feel like the people who get copied the most have worked really hard to get where they are and actually it can be a little demotivating when you see someone just do the exact same thing without mentioning you.

In fact I actually blocked an Instagram account because they copied EVERY image of mine. It felt like theft to me. My inbox was forever full of people sending me pictures saying had I seen the latest copy and it all seemed very bitchy and unnecessary. To me blocking that person just removed me from the unhealthy situation as I couldn’t see anything to get disheartened about.

I am only really talking about creativity in this post. When it comes to clothes I think its fair game. If Sandra won’t tell you where she got her Β£12.99 skirt from then I think she needs to be unfollowed!

How do you feel about copying? Have you ever experienced it?

Cara

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20 Comments

  1. Emma
    June 16, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Totally related to this post.

    It’s good to be inspired by someone, that’s a huge compliment. But there’s a fine line between being inspired and then being too darn lazy to find your own content and wanting to morphs into someone else.

    For eg, at the moment, everyone is photographing straw baskets/handbags with peonies in. They’ve been inspired by the original photo. However, when I see/saw a photo whereby the pose was EXACTLY the same as yours, the hair EXACTLY the same, the clothes very similar and doing EXACTLY the same as you were, I find it a little creepy because that just says imitation and insecurity not inspiration. It’s a bit like that one friend at school that copies all you do except this person only knows you through a photo.

    I’ve not experienced it with my photos but I have experienced it with the content of what I write in my captions, once, a blog post was practically copied and only after did I get asked if I minded, I wasn’t even credited for the inspiration but referred to as a “friend”. No. That was MY writing. Credit me properly. Then I found the content of my stories and the way I spoke and said certain things was being imitated. All a bit strange.

    Recently, a lot of people of messaged me and said that someone seems to be morphing into my “Instagram personality” on their stories. My response was simple, that’s not my Instagram personality, that’s me. That’s who I am. That’s not false, if someone wants to imitate it, let them because it shows they’re not being natural by the fact people are noticing.
    At the same time, I have people telling me they see someone trying to be like you.

    I don’t know what to make of it lately, I mean, I want to be Drew Barrymore but so do millions of others, but to want to be like some random on Instagram is just strange.

    And yeah, if they won’t tell you where they got that Β£2.99 cup? Bye Felicia!

    Rant over πŸ˜‚

    • Cara
      June 16, 2017 / 9:54 am

      When someones comment is longer than the original blog post! Haha Emma all good points xx

      • Emma
        June 16, 2017 / 12:59 pm

        It was a long awaited, much needed rant πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  2. Katie
    June 16, 2017 / 9:50 am

    I went and brought the pink New Look dress you had on a couple of weeks ago. I love it, looks great but it’s a bitch to iron. Is that karma?! Xx

    • Cara
      June 16, 2017 / 9:52 am

      Oh my god its a nightmare to iron isn’t it! I think copying clothes is completely acceptable. At least I hope so as I do it all the time!

  3. Kerrie
    June 16, 2017 / 11:45 am

    My best friend has copied my: Log burner, colour of paint for the living room, shelves (same type and placed on the same walls) carpet, kitchen cupboards, curtains, oven, nursery (flooring, cot, paint colour, curtains, wardrobe) Same Roses in the garden, same fairy lights, same mugs in the kitchen. Despite not thinking of having children yet, her son is 4 months younger than mine, delivered by emergency C-section (snap!) and also despite not wanting a second baby, we had our daughters within days of each other.

    So, although it’s not the same thing, but I totally understand. I find it infuriating beyond words, it had reduced me to tears many a time, especially since I put so much thought into things and then she copies it, it kind of takes the edge off whatever I’ve done, I don’t feel like I want to tell her anything just incase!

    Yes, I’ve been told I should feel flattered and I would if it was just a few things, but it’s my whole life and I find it a bit strange…

    • Cara
      June 16, 2017 / 1:50 pm

      It can be so draining can’t it!

      • Katie
        June 16, 2017 / 5:32 pm

        Haha! My nan had this with her sister. Even went as far as they changed my mums name from Julie to Lynne and then “cousin Julie” was born a month later! Poor Julie πŸ˜‚

  4. Ella G
    June 16, 2017 / 12:16 pm

    Being inspired and straight out copying are totally different definitely! Some friends of ours got married a year after us and basically plagiarised our whole wedding…the readings, similar venue, ice cream after the ceremony, props and dress ups for the guestbook etc etc. It was a combination of flattering and really annoying as our felt our wedding was so unique to us and and it was a bloody lot of work! But then again it doesn’t really matter and it was quite fun being a guest at what was essentially my own wedding lol xx

    • Cara
      June 16, 2017 / 1:48 pm

      Yeah that’s tough as weddings are special. It’s great that you can see the positives though I would find that tough!

    • Peggy
      June 17, 2017 / 9:52 am

      I think it’s difficult in an age of Pinterest and Instagram and the internet in general not to see and be inspired by the same things as your friends- all these crazy algorithms are pretty smart at showing us, and people we are friends with that have similar interests, the same type of imagery! Props and dress up clothes for photobooths for example are everywhere on wedding blogs and Pinterest, etsy etc and have been for the last few years, I wouldn’t feel too offended by your friend, wedding trends and how we are all influenced subltley by all the social media channels we follow probably (hopefully!) influenced her more than directly copying you πŸ™‚

  5. Hannah
    June 16, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Love this blog post as it’s something I’m always going back and forth over in my head! About a year ago, for about a year I was having a really bad experience with copying to the point I felt like I’d lost my own identity as every part of my life was being imitated. Like EVERY part! It was making me so miserable! It was really awkward though as I couldn’t just block/ unfollow the person as they were an addition to my family so I had no choice whether they stuck around or even if I had to see them!

    I think copying is fine, as long as you credit the person.. making out like it was all your idea and your natural style is not ok! I love Instagram for the exact same reasons as you! But I always try and be mindful that while you can get some amazing ideas, you still have to put your own spin/ style on it and make it personal to you.

    It’s a tough subject xxx

    • Cara
      June 16, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      It is so difficult isn’t it. It’s when you get upset by it that it needs to be taken seriously I think!

  6. Shelley Gibbs
    June 16, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    You must be psychic! Just what I was thinking myself Mrs.

    I have to admit, I am guilty of the odd snap or two on insta where I have copied a certain style or bought ‘the in thing’! I do try to reflect my own style within my little squares, but sometimes a bit of inspo from some of the ‘big guns’ is welcomed.

    For me, Insta is becoming a little too competitive, i.e having the latest trends and some showcasing their amazing lives (mines seems so dull in comparison!). I think ultimately we need to stay true to who we are and our individuality. Okay, I seriously need to stop waffling on!

    Great blog post Mrs Suthers πŸ™ŒπŸΌ Xxx

  7. Jen
    June 16, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Do you mean replicating a photo almost exactly or reposting your image without crediting you? I have not experienced this with my own pictures or seen it with others I follow on Instagram but I find the idea of it very odd! I love Instagram for inspiration but my account is to showcase my home not a carbon copy of someone else’s!! x

  8. June 16, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Hi Cara,
    I’m a lover of instagram in particular bloggers like you, who I find very inspiring and who invite me to explore independent traders to find unique things to add to my home / style.. I could no way “compete” with my own insta to be like this, besides it ain’t me.
    Anyway, the point I want to add is that it gets boring for us followers looking for inspiration when all our fave bloggers are promoting the same companies and/or all start looking the same. And then it becomes a competition to gain attention of the insta-followers which ends up producing disingenuous content, further turning off followers. This is by no means something I think you are guilty of, but the copying I see on my Insta timeline does get boring.
    Hope this makes sense!

  9. June 16, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    I had a copycat a year or so back. I’m wondering was it the same person as yours! It got to the point where she actually started emailing brands I featured to ‘advertise’ herself, saying I had recommended her. It really upset me at the time. That said though, I think the whole nature of blogging is to share things that we love. It’s a tricky one!
    Ps. I think I have this dress! Last year Asos? Promise I didn’t copy! πŸ˜‰ Xx

    • Cara
      June 17, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Oh Emma I totally copied you on this dress πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  10. Lea
    June 17, 2017 / 9:44 am

    Hi Cara, yes I’ve been copied and it’s awful! Seeing the exact same shots and/or words as your own as people have no imagination. I totally get being inspired by someone but blatant copying is not cool, especially when it’s something you’ve worked so hard at! If I’m ever inspired by anyone in anything I do, like buying a beautiful pair of espadrilles, I will always credit them! ☺️ X

  11. June 19, 2017 / 9:59 am

    Yes I see it all the time with my jewellery. There is one account in particular who is copying from several businesses and blocking each of us from her page in the process. She has a huge following so it makes it look like the smaller accounts are copying her – so frustrating but I’m a huge believer in karma. I see nothing wrong with using others as inspiration but always believe it should be your original take on things.

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