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.
The original Light Stalking article located here, originally published on 07/18/2011. The words that directly copied are highlighted.
The original vs. edited copy of Jasmine’s Backlit blog.
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 Cache. The 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.
The original Popular Mechanics article located here, originally published in 2012. The words that directly copied are highlighted.
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.
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.
The original Pick the Brain article located here, originally published ion 12/17/2009. The words that directly copied are highlighted.
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.
The original graphic, seen here (unknown if this is the original creator or not, impossible to find due to Pinterest) on 09/21/2012.
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.