Photoforward

We’re Listening.

By // October 10, 2013 // Posted in Industry News, WPPI News

We’re listening! One of the things I’ve always loved about WPPI is the passion we (attendees, speakers, organizers) have for it.

From WPPI headquarters in New York, we want you to know that we care about this industry, and every person that attends, AND speaks for us. We are a family!

We’ve been watching, reading and following our industry’s events on social media. I’ve been reading/answering your emails, chatting with you on the phone, and doing my best to let you know we take all matters relating to the integrity of our program just as seriously as you do.

That said, I feel it’s important to let you know we are discussing it, and we’re asking for your patience. Our registration goes live on Monday morning, and as of now we will have all speakers on our line-up. Our program has been planned for months, but is always subject to change as we carefully weigh the issues at hand.

Your feedback is continually important to maintaining the high standards of WPPI, and we love your input—keep it coming!

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Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp

Jason Groupp is the Director of WPPI and a New York City photographer heavily steeped in the industry. Adoring New York City far beyond any healthy proportion, Jason has maintained his photography studio in West Chelsea for the past 12 years.

Previously from Jason Groupp:

20 Comments

  1. Both Doug Gordon and Jasmine Star admitted they did indeed plagiarize others’ work. In both cases, multiple instances of theft were found. The evidence is clear.

    What does it take for WPPI to stand up and do the right thing? You said the schedule is subject to change, but honestly, this whole thing could have been avoided if something had been done before now. Is the hit to WPPI’s reputation and the negative attention worth it just to fill seats?

  2. My take…
    The beauty of being human is that we can make mistakes an at the same time, the recognition of having made a mistake and being made public.

    I am baffled with the messages I have received from some who have followed them for years… and why, bother?

    With social media nowadays, makes it so easy to be influenced in stories of what is out-there. I have learned, that stories have more than 2 sides and like the insurance commercial on the tele says: “because it is in the internet, it must be true?” and I say: Not likely!!!!

    That being said, these are two great photographers and it is for sure that many of the people throwing stones at the situation, have one way or the other attended, followed and agreed with their postings.

    Now, I believe personally that this is an issue that WPPI will handle accordingly whether they both will be speakers featured or not, but being talented and seasoned photographers and educators, the reasoning for the angry press is as if they are judged based again… On a mistake… So, Yeah- they are HUMAN and so be it..

    It is what it is… No wars to be battled on this issue… Everything will be figured out in time.

    :)

    • Calculated acts of theft and deception, which is what both Doug Gordon and Jasmine Star did, are not simple mistakes. They took a calculated risk in stealing the creative work of others. They got caught and should suffer the consequences. Those consequences should include not being held up as examples to follow and learn from.

      It would have been better for things not to come to this state of affairs. WPPI should have stood up for honesty and integrity by choosing to not feature creative criminals and without having the rethink the decisions already made.

    • What? I honestly cannot decipher what you just said. Either J* and DG stole content from others, or they didn’t. And, they both confessed to it, so they DID. Which means that while they can and should be forgiven, they should NOT still be revered, and they should NOT teach. At least not until they have come clean on what they did and why and then promised to not do it again. When you LEAD others? You have to choose the right path.

    • A mistake happens once, maybe twice. Both Jasmine and Doug are repeat offenders who continued to use other’s people work as their own.

  3. My photos have been illegally used since 1976. I know the personal and professional harm done to my photo archive and ability to continue to create beloved photos. My blog posts have been embedded in other posts. Stealing photos and text is never ever right.

    How can ANY organization dedicated to training professionals and inspiring everyone, be more interested in filling seats than doing the right thing? Be the change you want to see. Be the best you can be. Tons of other accomplished photographers capable of teaching, inspiring and leading us upward, not downward in shame.

    Have you no decency? How can you sleep at night? These ppl don’t bother to apologize, but continue to behave in “disturbing behavior,” the words of someone whose blog was plagiarized. I have the email from that author if you want to see it. I trust you will lead by example. The right example.

  4. This is a time in our industry when big, tough decisions need to be made.

    While we can (and should) forgive them, we don’t have to give them a platform to tell others about “being real” and “being yourself” when in fact, they have been anything else. I’m speaking from personal experience, not because I want to see others fail.

    I followed one of these two very closely. I fell under their spell. They could do no wrong in my eyes. Luckily, I had been in the industry juuuust long enough (at that time 5 years) to know that the success they were hawking just didn’t come that quickly. And once I realized it, I quit them cold turkey. It hurt. I was very sad. I felt lied to.

    However, there are so many others who came into this industry BECAUSE of this person. They know nothing different. We need to show them there’s more to photography and being a professional. A *professional.*

    I’m sorry this subject even needs to be discussed. You’d think as creative professionals, we know how angering it can be when our work is stolen. I would hope that WPPI stands up and does the right thing.

    It will be hard. I know they bring in big numbers; I was one of them years ago. This is a situation where doing the right thing is a lot harder than doing the easiest thing.

    I’m thinking of it from a new (likely early 20′s female) photographer coming to WPPI for the first time- speakers who give real advice on business, workflow, client relations, equipment. Real expectations. Imagine the tools she’ll leave with- ones that not only strengthen her, but the industry as a whole.

    That’s who I’m thinking of. I hope you will, too.

  5. Pingback: Allegations of Plagiarism Among High-Profile WPPI Speakers - Daily Photo Thing

  6. You’re listening? Exactly to whom are you listening? Sure isn’t to all the individuals outraged that you still have “ALL” your speakers in the line up.

    SHAME on you WPPI. Your organization just lost all integrity. Your actions are those of condoning plagarism (a nice word for theft) – why not have a class all on “How to steal others words and works to further your career”.

    You just made sure you’ll never have me as a member or attend any of your conferences.

  7. The right decision, the decision with integrity, is usually not the easy one. Show you stand by hardworking, honest photographers by choosing instructors who are worthy of teaching. These people have a pattern of stealing work and dishonesty, and the apologies have been laughable. They are embarrassing and damaging to this industry.

  8. Pingback: The Sad Tale of Jasmine Star and Doug Gordon

  9. A mistake is something that happens once, you learn your lesson, you strive to never let it happen again and move forward with a new understanding. When you have been caught several times for the same violations, it’s no longer a mistake but a calculated plan. They knew what they were doing, they understood the consequences, they knew full out who they were hurting and decided they were more important and the rules do not apply to them and continued repeatedly doing it. I’m surprised WPPI is even entertaining the thought of keeping them on the roster, this should be an open and shut case. You steal others photos, you plagiarize their work, you bring the industry down, you don’t get to be a leader any longer.

  10. We all became what we are because of our passion, and it’s through the associations and actions of others that we learn to be professional.

    This is a chance for everyone to come to appreciate that our craft is more than just clicking a shutter. It is about creativity blended with skills, and most of all – a respect for our vocation, our clients, and our fellow photographers. WPPI is now in a unique position to support and instil those values to the entire industry.

    Thank you for listening, and I have faith that you will do right by us all.

  11. This is such a joke. I will not be attending because of this. You people need to hide your jealousy a little better and learn grace.

  12. Please read… take the time to read…sometime it only takes one person to change things!
    I know there has been a lot said and maybe done about the whole Jasmine Starr & Doug situation. I heard she withdrew herself from WPPI. Let me just say these positive things please.

    I’m just a photographer in Michigan the population of Michigan according to the census in 2013 is estimated to be 9,883,360, which is the 9th largest population in the United States. I’m not the most successful studio by far here, not even in my town, not yet. But isn’t that the majority of the people that go to WPPI? I have been there four times now, and honestly the first couple years I was overloaded with info that I didn’t know what to change or where to start. But this I knew…
    I wasn’t a photographer that started in their early teens, or my business wasn’t handed to me. I made a lot of mistakes and not sure I’m done making them either. But there has been years where I came back from WPPI and just felt I wasn’t alone and it was ok to make mistakes. There might have been years when that was the most important part I took back. We live in a world where it’s easier to complain and be negative then be motivational. I got from Jasmine that it’s ok to make mistakes and that you don’t have to be best at photography, lighting, blogging, Photoshop, ECT to be successful or even successful to yourself. That you don’t give up when you make mistakes. And sometimes we do things out of fear because we don’t want to fail. What if through mistakes, us as a photography group had each other’s back? Who else is going to? If I was speaking for her or if I was a speaker this is what should be said:

    How can you teach people with no struggles in their business not to struggle if you haven’t been there? I have been there! There are more people that have been.
    You can’t help an alcoholic if you don’t understand? That’s why they form groups like AA….this is photography AA….Hi my name is Amy Thomas (The Photography Boutique & Photo Booth) I made mistakes! I started out with wrong pricing structure, I’m learning lighting every day, and I’m not the best person ever in Photoshop. But I have the passion, the determination, belief, heart, and the strength to not listen to everyone else and everyday become better. And everyone needs to understand that you can learn so much with the right attitude. Don’t they say “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man…sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks they can-Vince Lombardi.
    I once made the mistake of looking at my teenage daughter, crying about my business and said…I can’t change everyone else I can only change myself so I guess I will. (That’s ok to some point) But I wish I would have stood there crying and said…I want to change the way everyone else thinks and feels about themselves. And I’m going to do it one person at a time through my whole life! The best power to have is to prove people wrong about you. That would have been a more powerful message. I wish we would fight for the underdog more! I’m fighting for all of the photographers that made mistakes…don’t give in to the few that have nothing better to do then be miserable! You as WPPI can change things send the right messages, and me as I person can send this to every group, magazine, photographer I know and hope that people can find it in their heart to let things go. And sometime at WPPI one speaker, one sentence, one person listening, does matter to someone! Believe me when I get to my goals as a photographer, and I will, I will not forget what it took to get there and believe me some people will. Or they didn’t have the struggles like some of us do. You need an average person with a big heart and determination to fight for what they believe to change things, or change the way people feel. I am that…Jasmine is that! WPPI I want to believe that is you!
    I did a mini photo shoot this weekend at a local park that all the photographers in my area use. There must have been 10 different photographers out there. I tried to say “hi” and have some humor with them about weather or whatever. And not one of them acknowledged me. Where is our photography family? I can’t photography all 9,883,360 people in my state. They say how you react when you are beat down or what you do after you fail is what sets you apart from the rest. Let’s make a stand and have Jasmine speak at WPPI and those who don’t want to see her don’t have to. The people that have made mistakes understand and those who have been blessed enough to not make mistakes one day will, and then they will understand. We forget at the end of the day…when we die if we leave behind $2, $20,000, or $200,000, will it matter? Or helping someone in need, or making a memory, or leaving behind passion and determination the ability to change one person or the power to change the world going to matter? Be the people that are ok with making mistakes and second chances. Sometimes those are the lessons we learn most from anyways. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end. I just want to be the photographer that stood up for all those ones that need it! Cause one day we all will.

    Amy Thomas
    The Photography Boutique & Photo Booth
    Bay City Mi

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