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Jasmine Star

Blog:  http://www.jasminestarblog.com

Back in August, it was brought to light that Jasmine Star had copied a multitude of witty quips and posted them on her social media sites presenting the thoughts as her own.  What started as a low murmur through the rankings of photographers gradually grew to a dull roar as photographers, even industry leaders such as Sal Cincotta and Gary Fong, stood up against the plagiarism.   Many fluffed it off though, stating it really wasn’t that big of a deal and it was nothing in comparison to what Doug Gordon was caught doing weeks before.  Still, as Jasmine’s teaching niche has been about the business side of photography with an emphasis on injecting your personality into your brand, it was pretty shocking to many that her words were not in fact her own.  Jasmine did eventually offer an apology (which was deleted within a few days) and everyone went onto the next scandal in the photography world. 

The other day a wedding photographer went to Google to find out how to shoot backlit portraits properly and two of the articles that came up seemed eerily similar.  The photographer was shocked and saddened as until that very moment, she was a huge fan of Jasmine’s, but it was pretty clear that Jasmine’s article was too similar to the Light Stalking article for her comfort.  Eventually this discovery made its way to me and I posted about it on my Facebook page.  I really and truly thought this was a one-off thing and that it wasn’t worthy of a blog post. 

About 20 minutes or so after I posted the findings, Jasmine’s blog post was gone.  Another 20 or so minutes after that, her blog was back but it was HEAVILY edited from its former version.  Not long after this, I heard that at least one other blog of hers had been taken down off of the site and this morning I found another both of which were also heavily inspired by another article on the internet.  Jasmine has posted an apology to her private “ReSTARt” group on Facebook but thus far nothing has been in public.  

I apologize for the wall of text as writing is not my strong suit but I wanted to get the story set before throwing dozens of screen captures your way.  I also want to say that I have been accused of being a “hater” for posting this against Jasmine and I am far from a hater.  I actually have met Jasmine and liked her quite a lot!   Ironically, the same is true for Doug Gordon.  I just don’t agree with their methods of blogging.  

TL;DR:  Jasmine has at least three blogs on her website that she leaned heavily on other sources from the internet to write.  

Update 9/30  Another blog has been added along with Jasmine’s new © lingo, which is quite amusing.

The first post, as seen on Jasmine’s page, currently down but Google Cache is available here.  The content that was directly copied from Light Stalking is highlighted, however if you look at some of the surrounding text you will see where things were reworded or moved around.  This blog was published on 08/21/2012.

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The original Light Stalking article located here, originally published on 07/18/2011.  The words that directly copied are highlighted.

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The original vs. edited copy of Jasmine’s Backlit blog.

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After the first article was exposed and deleted, other “how to” blogs also disappeared from Jasmine’s blog including this article on shooting in manual mode, seen here on Google CacheThe content that was directly copied from Popular Mechanics is highlighted, however if you look at some of the surrounding text you will see where things were reworded or moved around.  This blog was published on 06/07/2013.

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The original Popular Mechanics article located here, originally published in 2012.  The words that directly copied are highlighted.

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After these two posts came to light, Jasmine’s private “ReSTARt” group, which she created after her Creative Live workshop, was talking about the post and their feelings about it.  Jasmine ended up coming in to post her side to the story.  Note that she mentions TWO articles when at least THREE have been found.

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This afternoon while a completed wedding was uploading, I decided to look and see if there were other blog posts out there.  This blog on procrastination was also deleted from Jasmine’s blog (presumably yesterday) but is available on Google Cache. The content that was directly copied from Pick the Brain is highlighted, however if you look at some of the surrounding text you will see where things were reworded or moved around.  This blog was published on 11/27/12.

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The original Pick the Brain article located here, originally published ion 12/17/2009.  The words that directly copied are highlighted.

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When the first blog was outed on the Facebook Page, Jasmine quickly did some deleting of the blogs in which she may come in question for.  It made it quite apparent which blogs she leaned heavily on outside sources for inspiration on.  Two of those deleted blogs are above and this is another (cache here).  What’s interesting about this one is that instead of using another blog, it was a graphic which was used.  I had a feeling I’d seen this text as a graphic before and a quick search on Pinterest proved me right.  I wouldn’t have normally even looked twice at this blog had it not been deleted.  Now, things are moved around and she expanded on a few things but it’s clear where her inspiration came from when writing this post that was posted on 09/20/2013.

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The original graphic, seen here (unknown if this is the original creator or not, impossible to find due to Pinterest) on 09/21/2012.

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Jasmine also has changed up her blog a little bit, what used to be included in her RSS feed tag is now included in her blog header.  Stealing makes me sad too Jasmine.

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  • Ha

    So pathetic. I feel really really bad for all of you. If only you all had lives and talent, and something better to do than this.

    Oh well, c’est la vie.

    • C Sab

      lol Says the person hiding behind a guest name defending someone who needs to steal to succeed, unlike us. 😉 If only you had something better to do with your life than be a complete joke. lol

  • hughdunit

    Thing is, we know that Jasmine “Stole / borrowed / adapted Jessica Claire’s style of shooting.
    I have followed Jessica for years, and I believe Jasmine went to one of her workshops and then Bam!.. same type of photos..
    She is without question a great photographer, but her career has been built from plagiarism… so its no surprise..
    Well documented.. I enjoyed laughing and saying “Knew that”..

    • C Sab

      I definitely wouldn’t call her a “great” photographer.

  • Amazing how most of the Fall list was in exactly the same order too. What a coincidence!

  • whats happening?
  • Nathan Chilton

    I thought you were kidding, so I had to look it up. I just went to the iso.org website and read their description of their name (exactly as you quoted) and watched their “What ISO standards do for you” video, where they clearly pronounce ISO as a word and not as an acronym! I’m sure I’ll keep pronouncing it as three separate letters, because that’s how I’ve always said it and how I’ve heard it pronounced by most other photographers as well, but I feel more educated about it now. If the International Organization for Standardization chooses to pronounce their name as a word (based on the Greek word for “equal”), then it is certainly acceptable for a photographer to do the same.

  • Casi

    Did she actually copy the same poses, venues, models, angles, etc., and make the same exact photographs but put her name on it? I think that she just used the same standard knowledge that all photographers have about photography and tried to help her followers. It helped me as a new photographer, and if I were to compare her blog to this one, I would have just said.. “oh, they both know what they’re talking about.” I would take it as a compliment that Jasmine thought I was smart and used my information.

    • There was no standard language it was a blatant copy of work…it call plagiarism look it up some time
      Sent from a iPhone, please excuse the brevity and typos.

      • Casi

        Thank you for the clarification and helpful tip.

  • Patrice

    In all honesty, I think this is a drop of water in the ocean and people are just trying to make a hurricane out of this. Yes Jasmine should of said where the ideas came from and at worst case scenario link to it. But honestly, every human being is entitled to share his knowledge with the world and copy text from another source to reinforce that knowledge. I don’t think there is any harm in doing so.

    If you steal an image and post a blog and say you actually shot the image and you know that being false, then yes I condemn that.

    People don’t forget KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. The more we know, the better we get. People that do not share their knowledge are close minded and are afraid they will be exceeded by such people. Human error is natural. We all do errors. But you need to learn from them in order to evolve. Don’t bash someone because they did something wrong. Instead, take them by the hand and support them and show them what they did was wrong not by negative thoughts but by example and positive thoughts.

    Thank you

    • U Really That Dumb?

      Apparently you failed to read everything she did. You also fail to see that she stole and in the end was fired over this because of it. Yes, it’s a BIG DEAL. She stole! More than once. The entire professional community came down on her and Doug over the games they played. Her name is now a laughing stock. If you want to follow her, go for it, but don’t for one second think that what she did was OK in any country on earth.

      • Patrice

        Thank you so much for your infinite wisdom U Really That Dumb. But from what I’m reading in your response you are a perfect human being and never did anything wrong in your life, not even steal from anyone and never told a lie. If that’s the case then you must be Jesus Christ our savior.

        • Christopher C.

          What URTD, or anyone else may or may not have done over the course of their lives is completely irrelevant.

        • ALP

          Of course we’ve all made mistakes. That’s a silly comment. But none of us created a career and image out of our supposed individuality and awesome photo skills only to have it discovered that we had stolen all those great ideas from people who actually were unique individuals. If she didn’t want to be called on intellectual property theft, MAYBE SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE COMMITTED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT.

        • Look up plagiarism and buy a vowel.

          Sent from a iPhone, please excuse the brevity and typos.

      • ALP

        I will never understand why people pop up on this website and bring a post back from the dead — a year later — and then make some ridiculous strawman argument like, “Well you must be perfect and have never made a mistake.” Because clearly, only people who have never made mistake are allowed to call out others on their shitty behavior. **eyeroll**

    • Celine (peaceetc)

      She stole words, which are just as real as photos. People tried to get her to stop taking others’ content and using as her own, and she ignored it. And when she was caught, her “apologies” weren’t really apologies. She never acknowledged anything publicly, and her emails to those from whom she stole were filled with expectations that the actual writers would just go along with what she wanted. I saw one of them myself.

      Jasmine didn’t just do this one thing. She used quotes from others without mentioning they weren’t her own, she used unauthorized music on a video of hers (which is very illegal), and she stole others’ words in her blog posts, sometimes in very large chunks. To discount them just because they are words does a disservice to those who wrote them. If she wanted to quote people, that would be fine. Cite her references, put things in quotes or block text, and move on. But she didn’t. And she’s been around long enough to know better.

      Don’t forget Jasmine Star is a brand. She makes money from it. The whole package — her blog, her Facebook presence, etc. — it’s all designed and maintained with that in mind. This isn’t just some random person on Facebook uploading a photo they like or using song lyrics without saying where they came from. This is business.

      You’re right, no one is perfect, but it doesn’t mean we should overlook wrong behavior. There were real victims to her actions — the writers from whom she stole, and those who believed she was providing genuine content when it was a lie.

      All the positive thoughts in the world can’t make up for what someone has done when it affects real people. Sometimes you have to do the unpopular thing and hold people accountable for their actions. It gave a voice to those from whom she stole, and it sent a message to others that they need to do things properly.

      I would personally love it if there wasn’t a need for this site. But there is, and just because Jasmine Star is popular and some people find value in her brand, it doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be held accountable, just like everyone else.

    • I just love how fools like you start up a dead thread with the … “Ohhh you guys are bullies or why you bashing her or blah blah fuckers…”
      Sent from a iPhone, please excuse the brevity and typos.

    • Melinda Potter

      She wasn’t sharing HER knowledge, she was sharing other people’s knowledge.
      Look, I get that in the grand scheme of things this is so very insignificant. I also get that some absolutely do not care about what was discovered about Jasmine and posted here. This is how people like her stay in business. It’s fine, I get it
      But, for those that DO care about ethics, DO care about plagerizism, and don’t think that words are somehow less important then photos (she also had a case of copyright infringment a few years back that wasn’t mentioned in this posting), this posting will help them see the whole picture to base their opinion on and/or help them decide if she’s worth spending their money and/or time on. Lots formed a different opinion than you did, and some share the same opinion as you. Both have been voiced in the comment section here. Either is just fine by me as long as the truth is out there. The news was reported so people could form whatever opinion they wish after reading it.
      There’s no harm in being informed. I also see no bashing at all in the posting we are commenting under, so I’m unsure what you mean by that

      • Celine (peaceetc)

        I don’t either. But I do remember getting banned from Jasmine’s ReSTARt group because I felt Jasmine to address what was being said about her. The admins there didn’t care for that.