Photography Vultures: When Imitation Isn’t Flattery

We take inspiration from many places. Every day, we come across different images; consciously or subconsciously, we take photos in a way that likely resembles the ones that inspired us. And that’s okay. When it comes to landscape photography, however, the room for creativity is somewhat limited—landscapes remain more or less the same. Unfortunately, there are certain photographers who straight-up steal others’ ideas—and that is not okay at all. Photographer Brendan van Son calls them “vultures” and, in this video, he shares his thoughts on them:

In this video, van Son shares some highlights of his photography trip to Sossusvlei, a salt pan in Namibia. He also showcases some of the beautiful photo opportunities there and the images he captured.

In the video, he also shares an experience that was less exciting. Picture this: you work hard to find a perfect composition and take a stunning photo. Then, someone else sees what you’re doing and literally replicates it right under your nose. How would you feel?

“Imitation is not flattery—it’s just annoying me.”

While we cannot control what others do and how they act, we can certainly behave ourselves. Knowingly or unknowingly, if you have done something similar, it’s time that you stop.

A better approach can be to take inspiration, add in some creativity of your own and try to build out a new image. Imitating, on the other hand, is simply stealing.

Has anyone tried to vulture your image this way? How did you handle the situation? We’d love to read about your experiences.

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