The power of the internet means it’s easier than ever to make comparisons between the work of different photographers. Of late that’s equated to debate about copyright and copying – from accusations of plagiarism in Love Magazine to Steven Meisel plagiarising himself (if such a thing is possible). But what happens when it’s not a full concept but an individual shot?
This occurred recently when model Sabrina Nait was photographed by both Greg Kadel for Numero and Michael Donovan for Lovecat. In both, Nait poses naked bar for a plush fur – the overall result strikingly similar, though the details are different.
When Michael Donovan noticed the similarities, he scrapped the shot. In leaving it on the cutting room floor, Donovan shows us that controversy can be easily avoided. And while it seems clear that a photographer either needs to be aware of the work of others, or indifferent of any incorrect accusations, it also shows that such situations are not always clear-cut examples of copying. Coincidences do happen. This evidence adds more elements to that debate of homage or inspiration, coincidence or copying.
And aside from the debate: we’re also pleased to have been privy to one of those outtakes we might not have otherwise seen.
The shoot, as it appears in Lovecat, is inspired by the film Black Snake Moan – put together for the magazine’s ‘Film and Fashion’ issue. The influence of film on fashion is always another topic we watch with intense interest and in this case it’s intriguing to see how stylist Katie Burnett has interpreted the ‘white trash tramp’ character played by Christina Ricci into a series of visually sensual and stunning looks. View the whole shoot, as photographed by Michael Donovan and including the fur outtake, by clicking on the gallery above.