Did These Guys Just Rip Off The iPhone Fashion Shoot?

Now I am not going to jump to any conclusions. Maybe these guys and gals had a VERY similar idea, and not one of them had seen the iPhone Fashion Shoot (which has been seen by about a million photographers so far). And even though this video is filmed in the exact same way and has all of the exact same information, MAYBE it is just a coincidence. And MAYBE this really is the worlds first and I am actually living in the Matrix.

Still a good video though :)

The strangest part about this whole thing is that we actually used a super-clamp to mount the camera in my video but we changed it and went with the velcro because it was blocking the button on the phone and it was never actually shown in the video. It's like these guys were spying on me as I was doing it!

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well she did say its the worlds first with cell phone camera ( better wording like nokia cell phone camera would have been better )

no comments about the cheesy background score.

Hey Lee

Just a quick note, there's been quite a few photoshoots done with mobile cameras before your iPhone video. I don't think any of them have been as thoroughly described and demonstrated, but it's still worth pointing out.

Merry Christmas! :)


I've seen many great pictures taken with a cell phone so I knew I was never the first but this video seems too similar to be a coincidence to me.

What are the odds.... I shared your link on their site and Merry Christmas.

I didn't like how they scripted the video, They came with problems and solved them 2 seconds later like: Guy #1 "How are we going to mount the phone to the tripod, maybe a clamp" Guy #2 "You mean something like this?" *Pulls a clamp out of no were* or "Problem is we can't sync the flashes to the camera, we need to shoot continus light." Clearly you already knew that since you had the lights set up already in the last clip of you figuring out how the mount the camera to the tripod.

It just bugged me, nothing wrong with stating problems you had and telling how to solve them but don't set it up like you are figuring them out on the spot.

Wat? Movile fone has camera making INSIDE?? Is turn to Space Trek future???! ^_^ (jk I know is no Space Trek!)

HOW is putzen camera into fone??

They obviously referred to the FStoppers video when they did this. Even the words they use to describe the lighting are the same.

At least they left out the part about Olympus being the worst camera you can find hahaha

@lee well as they say imitation is sincere flattery (if it is imitation). I'm just waiting for someone to do this with a pinhole camera and those old school ignition flash lamps

What type of led lighting did they use? I wonder if there would be a big difference from using led lights vs. Florescent when using an iPhone.

Patrick Hall's picture

They didn't have to face the toughest problem...telemarketers calling you during the shoot :) Looks like we have some FS fans in the youtube comments.

Total ripoff. Everybody should go in and vote up the "World first? Nope, Fstoppers was first to do it. :)"-comment.

Fstoppers is better, funnier and better...oh...and better!

Merry xmas!

I think this was published in a magazine... isn't that what they are referring to as "first" as in this is the first magazine cover shot with a mobile phone... i could be wrong, but i think that is what they are saying. it is very possible they saw the fstoppers video, but wasn't that a how-to video in some aspects lol... well they learned how

Rip off? Seriously? I recognize this is almost identical to what you guys did but Isn't the entire point of Fstoppers to share ideas and have people try them, expand on them and create new stuff? Unless your endorsed by apple and they are using your video as an ad campaign it shouldnt matter, not on fstoppers at least. I think photographers throw "rip off" and "stolen" around WAY too much. I also think calling this a rip off completely defeats the reason fstoppers was created. I realize you guys are professionals and value your work, but on this site your creating a community of knowledge focused on bringing people together to try and experiment different things and I think you crossed your two worlds with this post. I may be coming off strong but I feel that implying this is a rip off is way off base and completely contradictory to what this site means, at least to me.

Jeremy Lusk's picture

@ Taylor Verde - I think you're mistaken. The point of this site is to share techniques so that people can go out and use those techniques to create original works of art. Using the technique in a video to create an identical, unoriginal work as the one seen in the video is not what this site (or any tutorial site) is about. And likewise, copying the tutorial videos and passing them off as your own is shady as well. I think these guys have the right to be a little annoyed that someone copied their work.

Let's be real for a second, there's no advantage to shooting fashion with a phone over an SLR. The only reason to do so is to show that you can, to demonstrate that the size of the sensor is only one relatively small variable in the quality of a photo, and to generate some publicity in doing so. No one would see the fstoppers video and go "Wow I should really be shooting fashion with my phone a bit more often." But they might see it and go "Hey, that sure generated some traffic for them, let's give it a shot and see if we can't find a few folks who didn't see theirs."

But, like you said Lee, maybe it's just a coincidence ;-)

Bogdan Radu's picture

It was way to scripted... it totally felt like a reenactment of the original Iphone shoot you guys did .. shame on them!!

As teachers have pride that others are moving ahead with your ideas. Fstopper is a ideation factory - your work is inspirational. If you fear that other ideas will be copied too - then stop now. Be the proud parent - not the spoiled child.

wow yea that was too scripted, and it is way too similar to the real iphone shoot. Yes the idea is capable of being shared and built upon but really that just didnt even look that good, similar styles but not as good. But yea, they didnt see it? how is that possible? lol and also the claim to being the first ever? please people have done it before but to my knowledge you were the first to do it to see peoples reactions and such

I wonder if people are going to complain about the professional model, lighting, and studio setup like they did when you guys did it.

I prefer the version without the funny accents.

lol. definitely not the first, and definitely not as good as the fstoppers iphone photoshoot.

Tell you what I felt that those guys were not challenged. FS started by stating their goals and fighting the challenges as they became apparent. Besides iPhone camera is way more challenging than Nokia's 12mp camera. FS images were more dramatic in my opinion. And I never saw the last shot in the cover which was the whole point of the video.
Merry Christmas best wishes in the new year!

Garrett Graham's picture

Only credit I would give these guys is about a 1/2 pound of boring moldy cheese.

This video needs some help. The music is straight from iMovie, there is little to no enthusiasm from the talent, interviews are boring and they need to de-interlace their footage if it's going on the web. Not a big fan of the production. On the other hand, even if the idea was copied, it's their own unique video and good for them for getting off their asses and making something.

@Jeremy I do agree with a bunch of what you said. I think replicating the work isn't spectacular, Im not saying it is. What I meant, and what I might not of explained properly, is how FStoppers approached responding to it. When you put things on the internet, its going to get replicated, especially when it is viewed by "millions of photographers" that is expected, you cant help it. I feel like as a professional photographer in your own personal business it would be crossing a severe line if someone copied your identical work that you have copy righted and sold to a client. In this case (correct me if Im wrong) FStoppers was not hired to do this nor is this copyrighted (again correct me if Im wrong) so really they have no footing to be mad, although its understandable why they are displeased. To me it seemed the main point to share this video was to call out the people that did something very similiar to it and show how theirs is better. To each his own, but that just doesnt seem like the right way to do it. I love FStoppers and have been following since the beginning, and will continue to watch the vids and comment and love every minute of it. Its just I felt this was more of an attack than actually sharing anything of value.
So yes I do agree that it is shady at best, and that there is no reason for them to do this shoot with a phone other than replicating the FStoppers video. To me it just seems odd to call someone out on it in this way and about a video that you know someone will copy. Again, to each his own.

Well the coincidence is... striking to say the least. I think they're saying more in the lines of 'its the first time a cell phone pic is a cover magazine shot'... As for the video, its quite boring to watch... You video's quite better and move informative Lee!


I will say, it definately wasn't original. Was it exactly the same? No. I didn't enjoy this video, but I have to agree with Taylor on this one. They also used a NOKIA phone, which is known for both being expensive, but also for having the top of the line camera tech. So in the spirit of christmas, I would not be upset about it. I mean let's face it, the folks at Fstoppers know their video was good. This video was boring, over/under scripted, and didn't produce as good of results. It may potentially get a ton of hits, but having watched it has not given me any new perspective and has certainly not inspired me. So does it really effect Fstoppers? I doubt it. :)

Patrick Hall's picture

Hey guys, in no way is Lee or I upset about these guys copying or building upon our idea of using a crappy cell phone to produce good studio shots. Even when we did it we were aware that others have used cell phones to create compelling photographs. I think Lee and I just wanted to share with our audience a shoot that seemed to be inspired heavily by our own shoot. Trust me, Lee and I aren't on some ego trip or anything thinking "how dare these guys!" Ha quite the opposite...we are here to share and inspire as well as grow like everyone else. Maybe I'm just better at reading Lee's sense of humor than it comes across over the Internet. I'm sure we are both about to have some haters come Monday....and probably some copiers as well :)

@Taylor, I didn't mean to come off as "angry" over this video. You are totally right, the iPhone Fashion Shoot is not a serious professional video, it is just a fun video used to prove a point. If somebody else creates another video just like it, its really not a big deal, but it's funny to me that this is SO similar.

The idea of taking a good picture with a bad camera has been done over and over again but in my opinion, the creation of this video would be similar to me making a music video with a Rube Goldberg machine throughout the whole thing that incorporates the band singing in white jump suits and then at the end we spray them all with paint and then I act like I had never heard of OK GO.

Rube Goldberg machines have been done to death, music videos have been done to death, however OK GO put them together in such a way that doing it again would not be using that as inspiration, it would be ripping them off.

I am honestly not mad about this, it really doesn't effect us, but I do find it humorous and that is all I was trying to say. As I said in the post, it is "still a good video though" and I do mean that.

@Patrick @Lee Thanks for the clarification, and the similarities are quite astounding and kind of humorous. I guess i didnt catch the humor in it, came out more as a "were better than them" post. So I'm Glad you both responded to straighten things, I like fstoppers, you guys are fantastic and I'm glad you didn't sink that low to what I originally thought you were communicating before the clarification. Have a merry Xmas all :).

Mark Darren Mui's picture

Mimicry is nature’s most evolutionary adaptive characteristic. How else did our predecessors’ learn to shape stones & start fires. On a grand scheme this process is instinctual and it will never stop.
At the individual level, we all look at photos and reverse engineer its processes and lighting setups in our heads, we rebuilt, change and tweak all of its details in the efforts to evolve and improve its outcome.
In our modern day of increasing copyright infringement issues and self entitlement mentality, I think we need to reevaluate the judgments we make on creative incremental iteration. Has this artist made a direct copy of someone else’s work for the sole purpose of monetary advancement? No. I think anyone who takes the time to show their process and their lighting setups should be commended. Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.