Photography – The Dangers of Paraphrasing

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 in photography

The Book Report is Due

Remember back in grade school when you had to write an essay or report?  You would go to the Encyclopedia, look up something interesting and then try to write your essay based on it.

saveitYou didn’t want to get caught so you would try to rewrite the article in your own words.  Teachers would tell you not to do it and today I found out a real world example of why they were probably right.

How to Save Big Money!

About a year ago I wrote an article.   “How to Save Big Money by Not Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer”. The article first appeared here – PetaPixel.


I had written it basically to warn brides and grooms to avoid the pitfall of not really hiring a professional wedding photographer to do their weddings.

It was a tongue and cheek article. I mean I tried to make it completely obvious telling brides they could get awesome shots like this if they didn’t hire a wedding photographer.


When Paraphrasing Fails


SheBudges is a website to help people save money on their finances. For the most part there is some really great advice on there.  However today, I think they missed the mark.  I was tipped off that an article on the site looked eerily similar to the one I had written.

You can see the article here – Ditch your Wedding Photographer.   The only difference is that they translated my sarcastic recommendations into real recommendations for couples getting married!

Actual Recommendations by

Rent the same cameras and lenses that the professionals use. Just because you aren’t going with a professional doesn’t mean that all you will use for photos are other peoples’ iPhones!

Rent the equipment needed: tripods, soft boxes and memory cards. You can’t rent the cameras and lenses the pros use without also renting the major equipment used to make this happen.

Recruit two camera-proficient friends to take the photos. If you’re lucky and blessed to know people who actually know their way with a camera, they are the ones for the job!

Check out a few books and video tutorials. Books and video tutorials will set you back, but it’s a great investment.

Go for it and have them shoot away! Once you place your trust in your camera-wielding pals, have them run around and take as many photos as possible of the big day.

Have the photos Photoshopped. At least someone that you know – if not you – knows how to use Photoshop to enhance your photos.

Store and share the photos. There are a bunch of online store and share places that will treat your wedding photos like gold.

Go to a place like Wal-Mart or Costco to print out your wedding day photos for pennies .

From the looks of it – people hate the article, and I can’t really blame them.


The Dangers of Paraphrasing

I see this happen a lot in music and photography.  I would not call it plagiarism rather its more akin to “paraphrasing” where you take the idea and try to make it your own.  The way kids try to write their book reports.  It’s a short cut to get something done.

In this case the author got an article out .  It probably took a few minutes.  She was probably in a rush.  But she did so at the expense of giving people some really bad advice – Ditch your Wedding Photographer.  Some people will read this and make some bad decisions.

I don’t think SheBudgets intended to plagerize since they did try to change some words here and there.  But in the process of changing a few words here and there – the whole thing turned into something similar to those 4th Grade Book Reports that missed the point. Ah.. the dangers of paraphrasing.

Update – A Pleasant Surprise

I noticed the original author from SheBudgets posted an update and clarified that it was a satire.   It was a pleasant surprise that based on the comments, they changed the article to clarify that readers should not actually go out and do these things.

From the author

P.S. I am Patty, the original writer of this article and I want to own up that it had originally been a complete mistake.  The article has since been changed to focus on satire, the way it was supposed to be originally intended.

I take full responsibility and at least can laugh (and cry) about it now.  At least we can make fun of me and the article in the comments section!

Hopefully some of these points will make all of you realize that this stuff is just not a good idea.  At least not if you want to have a quality wedding album.

And seriously, good luck getting all of this done!  Just hire a professional and save yourself the grief.  Look for our follow up article on how to do this the right way.  You may spend a few more bucks but those memories will last forever.