Was Vogue's Daft Punk Spread Ripped Off for This WSJ Magazine Cover?

Was Vogue's Daft Punk Spread Ripped Off for This WSJ Magazine Cover?

When you look at the new cover to WSJ's magazine you might suddenly be hit with a sense of Déjà vu. Certainly you've seen it before, but can't exactly remember from where. Don't worry you're not alone, it's because the new cover seems to be a spin to Vogue's August 2013 editorial spread photographed by Craig McDean . The kicker? The WSJ cover and spread was shot by none other than our favorite plaid wearing, controversial photographer Terry Richardson.

It makes me wonder if WSJ even bothers to read its fashion magazine competitors at all or if it was just a lack of creativity from their art director or Richardson? I will say that I think Vogue's editorial shoot definitely is the winner when comparing the two. Below is the behind the scenes video of Vogue's editorial shoot with Craig McDean along with photos from both spreads.



Vogue Editorial








WSJ Photoshoot








Now that you've looked at both do you think this was a blatant rip-off or does the WSJ cover and Richardson's shoot stand on its own?


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Considering that Ricahrdson's shots are basically done in his standard style, I have a harder time saying it's a rip off. It is far weaker than Vogue's, though, and Richardson's hard flash doesn't work nearly as well with the reflective helmets. They probably should have thought a little harder.

I hate Richardson's style so bad. It's embarrassing compared to the original.

I'm still lost on how Richardson's hard flash "style" is any different from any amateur that is experimenting with light...with that being said it's clearly a rip-off and compared to original poorly executed.

it hurts to even see the terry images omg

Emil Nyström's picture

I dont care much for sexual predators.

the guy is a first class creep

Sigh. Once again we are reminded that there are folks out there getting paid to produce sub-par work.

No comparison, Vogue is just smarter, more professional looking and just a stunning execution. Whether or not the concept is a rip off from the WSJ the photos are just no where near as strong, sure it might be his 'signature' style but it just comes un-done here and looks like some kind of amateurish photoshoot with a couple of guys dressed up like daft punk, it almost looks like some kind of bad cos play photography and does not have the polish, class and sophistication of the Vogue piece.

Goes to show that story matters. The Vogue spread at least hints at a story. The richardson ones are just pictures.

Totally agree! Plus the Vogue model has a nice touch of class and presence instead of looking like some kind of ring in sex symbol who is just there for the sake of it.

wow the vogue model looks washed out, uncombed and well, very uninteresting, whereas the wsj chick at least looks interesting, and the photog was able to focus on her (actual focused, sharp lines).

Digital Macdaddy's picture


David Vaughn's picture

You do realize that it's not about the model, it's about the fashion...right?

really? what is the story on vogue? two "dudes" and a chick walk around outside? and the story on wsj? two dudes hit each other, and there's a chick, and they are inside?

hemingway must be spinning

Digital Macdaddy's picture


Where do you see a story in Richardson's photos?
Probably the Vogue's one are silly, but at least they are well done, while Richardson is extremely amateur. As Jonathan Barge said, it's his "style", but it's a terrible style, and I don't understand why people keep calling him a "great photographer" while he is not. He is just someone with good connections, and he knows the right people, that's it. He has no talent at all.

Hard to say that Richardson was copying the Vogue shoot. He's been shooting this "unplanned poses" on white background with a pop-up flash for a while. I guess you could call him on using a female model, but it seems like an obvious choice considering the lack of expression of the robots.

I wouldn't say it's a rip-off. Actually calling a rip-off on anyone using something as ubiquitous as a white background seems far fetched, especially for editorial work. That being said, the Vogue shoot is great and in my mind suits Daft Punk really well in their last album. Richardson's just doing what he does. By this point it's been overdone and it really doesn't suit Daft Punk's RAM...

i'm afraid i just call that lazy. and then i go to, oh maybe they didn't think there was a subset of readers who might see both, and that's insulting. but mostly, lazy photographer. woo hoo edgy using a helmet to disguise a face, anyway. how ..... 1950's!!!

Digital Macdaddy's picture


The WSJ cover looks like no effort was put into it.

I don't blame Richardson. Terry's style of shooting is not the the problem. WSJ hired Terry because they wanted his style of photography. I blame the art director and the magazine that put together a shoot that is clearly ripped from Vogue. Most of the time the magazine is in control of the concept and direction of a shoot. The photographer is there to execute their vision. while keeping within the photographers photographic style. Props and styling of this shoot is a major part of it. Just by using the helmet and the styling is a problem.

Well the Helmet has to be used because they're Daft Punk

I think that the reason Richardson's hard flash style works in general is because it makes everything look real and unplanned. No matter how set up or planned it was. It's an effort to simplify things and bring the attention to what is actually happening in the photos. The content is king and not the photography.

I agree the Vogue images look more professional and much more effort went into it. However Richardson's images really do look a lot more fun to create and express a raw sexuality. I would say that the raw sexuality and expression of fun is Richardson's style, not just the lighting, which is why WSJ hired him I'm sure. I think the idea of a "winner" is incorrect, I'd say they are shoots with two totally different goals and perhaps the clients are the decider of how successful they where at achieving that goal.

As for the idea of it being ripped off. Somebody like Richardson is constantly taking pop culture symbols and reinterpreting them. Which is what has happened here. The energy of the shoot is totally different if you ask me. They just both use Daft Punk robots. Of course Richardson's shoot stands on it's own.

Luke, great way to see the brighter side of the situation. You may be right too. But I have seen videos with TR at work. Its not at all impressive compared to other well known photogs.

As far as style...vogue is different from WJS. So both shoots should look and feel different. As far as concept, its the same. For all we know, the idea for the shoot was Daft Punk's and what we are seeing is how two different magazines interpret that idea. Now typing it, it makes sense.

Regardless if TR did a good job or not. Or that he does suck. Does not matter. Because here we are discussing and debating his work..while most of our work and efforts in our careers as photogs go unnoticed.

richardson is really bad with angles huh??

And everything else he does too.

Arturo Mieussens's picture

Man, now I have to unlearn a lot of stuff to be able to do "professional" work.

I wanted to simply write "no", because I don't feel any explanation is needed. However, as the question was even asked in the first place, I suppose the writer either a) has an anti-Richardson agenda (which is fair enough), or b) genuinely doesn't understand.

So let's break this down:
Things Vogue photographs and WSJ photographs have in common:
Band members (the subjects of both articles in respective publications)
Blonde female (mentioned by name on WSJ cover, purpose of presence to be determined by reading both publications)
Helmets (band members' own)
Presence of white background (I already hear Avedon's lawyers revving their engines!)
One suit from Vogue is reused in WSJ

About the only questionable similarity is the presence of the female model in each shoot, and frankly expecting Richardson NOT to think "Hey, you know what would make this shoot even better? Get a sexy girl in there!" while planning a shoot is a failure to observe.

Richardson is an auteur; he found a style that he liked, that editors found bankable and that was unquestionably his own. Yeah, it's amateurish and trashy and makes you feel like you need a shower after you've seen it, but it's what distinguishes him from a background noise of technically and aesthetically accomplished, yet interchangeable and almost anonymous, photographers working at the top of the industry

I would not say it's a rip-off. After all, they are two men, they have masks and adding-in a model in front of a white background is not that original in either case. You could also state that it's a rip-off of robin thicke's video o.O

If this is the direction photography is headed I'd say photography is dead.

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