Monday, December 21, 2009

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, I'm not interested.

Tradename infringement: Use of an identical or confusingly similar version of a tradename for identical or related goods or services.

This weekend it was brought to my attention that there's a photographer out there who is trying to capitalize on my Small Strobes/Big Results popularity and success.

My first reaction was anger. I've spent better than two years developing and presenting my Small Strobes lighting workshops to share what I've worked hard to perfect. I had a unique idea that I pursued and have used it to help other photographers improve the quality of their work. To think that another photographer would try to capitalize on my hard work by presenting his workshops with a name extremely similar to my workshops-- well, it was just beyond comprehension.

I visited his blog. Hmmm. Interestingly enough he chose the same template as mine. I'm seeing a pattern here.

Once the anger wore off, I started to question what kind of person would copy another's unique idea and present it as his own. Two answers came quickly to mind. One, the person could just be a common thief, stealing intellectual property for his own gain. The other, the person could lack the self confidence or motivation to develop his own unique idea.

Whatever the reason, I just want you all to know that I am NOT affiliated with any other small strobe workshops other than my own and the ones I present for legitimate teaching institutions such as Santa Fe Workshops, Nikonians, Maine Media Workshops, The Mentor Series, Light & Shadow, and others.

Enough said. You know who you are. Comments would be appreciated.


Crown Photographic said...

Well said and well dealt with David. Your true admirers, fans and clients know that you are the one and only. As you so rightly state, the f-stops here :)

Graham W

Dave Keating Photography said...

I would have to agree with you. I don't like that at all. I was cruising through Flickr yesterday and recall seeing a link in a description with a name close to yours. I was moving quickly and did not think about it, but it is probably the same guy.
There could be 10 reasons he is doing it, but none of them are any good.

Hope it gets worked out.

Have a Merry Christmas.


sandman said...

That's a shame. I guess it was just a matter of time.

Copying the wrapper is one thing. I have trouble believing this "workshop" is on par with yours.

jimstankie said...


I attended one of your workshops in Boston this past September...Loved it.....It's a shame that some copy cat won't at least give you credit....I was very quick to point out to some clients, some of the tricks you showed us....I am most appreciative.....ask him or her if they now plan on approaching your clients and are they passing off your work as well....please feel free to email me off list if you'd like to continue as I would love to know who this person is so I may speak kindly as to their scam.....merry christmas,,,,any time you are up in this neck of the woods, call or write.....

thanks for your help......

Photography by Jason Young said...

Aloha Dave,
Is this the same individual i emailed you previously about?

Jason Young

Wayne said...

I just did a search for "Small Strobes/Big Results" on Google and only came across yourself David - I checked the first 30 results.

Kinda sad that someone should try this.

I doubt they can imitate the quality of your work though!


Brad Shearer said...

I looked around google and found, what I think was the offending guy. But I don't think its that bad.

The workshops have slightly different names, and you both obviously have different photographic styles and skills, and your located on the opposite side of the globe from each other. But I guess with your recent journeys you do have more of a global market that you are going after.

As far as the name of the work shop goes, I think its okay. Now this is coming from someone who got the name for my own website, off of Mark Robert Halper I followed this same pattern and used my first name with studio in front of it. Do I think people can clearly distinguish my site from Marks? I absolutely do. Do I think people can distinguish his workshop from yours, I absolutely do as well.

As for the Themes of your blogs being identical, well you are both using one of the most popular themes from blogger, and I am sure there are a countless number of photography blogs that are using the exact same theme. If you want to stick out more for your blog then I think more will need to be done for the Branding of this blog than a pre-canned theme from blogger, other wise I don't see where a legitimate complaint comes from with this.

Brent Nitschke said...


I can understand your frustration. But I wouldn't sweat it too much; it won't take long for folks to figure out what's going on.

From my perspective, most folks when they are contemplating these seminars look for opportunities to learn from people they've been following, know their reputations, and have been following their body of work.

To me, I wouldn't even consider going to a lighting seminar unless I was very familiar with who was presenting. Folks like you, Joe McNally, David Hobby and Zack Arias come to mind.

I'm not sure you're too much at risk for people accidentally signing up for his course thinking it's you. As for me, I would definitely make sure I was signing up for you, and not pretend-you, for before I hit the "ok" button.

In short, I wouldn't worry about people being confused. Most attendees are discerning, deliberate and won't be fooled. But that is irritating, though. Sorry...

In any case, have lovely Christmas with your family. God bless, and Happy New Year.

Hope to see you in Atlanta sometime soon.


Jeff said...

Wow. All I did was cut my hair to look like David Hobby (LOL).

Brock N. Meeks said...

So who is this charlatan? I did some searching and could find no one but yourself, David, associated with "small strobes, big results." In that sense, my friend, you "own" the place... or so it seems!

It's frustrating to see others try and steal your IP and ride the coattails of success. From what I see, though, you're far and away "the man" when it comes to this area; imitators need not apply. :)

RobertPeak said...


You do good work and have a growing fan club. No one is going to get you confused with the other party that can't even be found on Google.

Stop whining and keep shooting :)

Dan said...

Hi David, First of all i want wish you a good 2010, I came across Guy maynard New dvd: Location Lighting with Speedlites: Smaller Gear, Bigger Results. I think that with the huge wave of strobist photographers pushed aggressively from david hobby, mcnally, Zarias and you, there's a lot of people jumping on the wide pool of business opportunities, from light modifiers to new flashes, etc. I'm sure there's a bunch of photographers that are use long before to light with small strobes and they may have thought "why didn't think of that before". And it may not be very super difficult to put together a workshop or dvd with the basics of lighting, call it speedlights or big lights.
I'm sure that what you get from Guy is really different from what you could get from you, it just a silly that he didn't spent some more time thinking on an original name.

Again my best wishes for the year to come.