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Doug Gordon Surreptitiously Presenting for Nikon at WPPI Despite Having Withdrawn

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Earlier this morning, we received a tip from a reader (who has chosen to remain anonymous) that Doug Gordon — who was embroiled in a nasty plagiarism scandal along with Jasmine Star late last year — is still presenting at WPPI, despite having officially withdrawn in October.

According to our source (and confirmed by the schedule posted below), Gordon is presenting through Nikon rather than as an official WPPI speaker. That is why you won’t find him on the official WPPI schedule or list of speakers. Technically, he is there as a Nikon speaker and not a WPPI presenter.

“I know Nikon has a lot invested in him now,” writes our disgruntled reader. “But I think allowing him in through the backdoor and circumventing all the backlash and the petition asking for him NOT to be at WPPI is pretty underhanded (by both Nikon and especially Doug Gordon)”

Here’s that schedule:

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Star and Gordon’s withdrawal came after much outrage from the photo community and a petition that gathered several hundred signatures. WPPI itself reported the development on its blog and Facebook page, saying that “the integrity and reputation of WPPI is important to us,” which is why they had decided to respect the community outcry.

Our anonymous reader got in touch with us because they were surprised, “I’m just curious why there has been no outrage, or a tremor, a mention, or even a whisper about Doug Gordon presenting workshops for Nikon at WPPI?”

What’s your take? Does this constitute, as our reader put it, “circumvent[ing] WPPI and [Gordon's] apology,” or is this okay? Let us know in the comments down below. In the meantime, we’ve gotten in touch with Nikon for comment, and will update this post just as soon as we hear back.


 
  • Brucie

    It must be great to be so pure that you can judge. If you don’t agree that Doug should be there, don’t go to his talks. He’s a super speaker and educator, and I’ll be first in line to listen (although I don’t think he’s doing any talks about blogging!)

  • bbear

    Hmmm, my comment wasn’t approved either. And I don’t think I broke any rules either. Strange moderating happening here. :(

  • James McNash

    Ugh, all the new posts here reek of SEO spam!

    On to point. Doug just doesn’t get it. It’s as if he’s trying to court controversy. Photographers didn’t want him presenting at WPPI because we’re sick of people stealing their work, so what does he do? He gets on board with Nikon and goes in and presents anyway. What’s wrong Doug, you can’t even wait a year till people stop giving a crap? Shame on Doug, and shame on Nikon. This reeks of controversy whoring.

  • Richard Waine

    It is easy to sit in judgement of any person who has made a mistake. The easy reaction is to condemn them now, and while they try to make amends, even well into the future.
    I have read all of the points to the story, and I have heard the “outrage,” and I have also spent time with Doug Gordon.
    Doug opened his studio to a select group of photographers to teach them how and why his business has been so successful for so long. Before you cast judgment again, let it be known that Doug himself has been photographing and teaching, and running one of the most successful studios on Long Island for over 25 years. Any professional photographer will tell you that one of the most important parts of being a pro photog is the skill set to run a business.
    I have read the comments, and some folks think its easy to be successful when you don’t follow rules. Yep! I agree. Except that when you are dealing with paying clients, and the law, if you aren’t following the rules, you are going to prison. His success with his clients (and yes, I did witness his interaction with average everyday clients) in my opinion, is unparalleled. He greets his clients warmly, he tends to their needs and wishes, and the Doug Gordon magic allows the client to get what they are looking for, while turning a profit.
    When I met Doug, he broke everything down for me; told me his side of the story. He wasn’t as focused on the things that ultimately made a huge impact on his reputation. He admits he should have been running a tighter ship! The best part about all of his admissions, and the entire story is that I didn’t have to coax anything out of him. He stood in front of me and addressed everything willingly! He isn’t hiding from any of this. While his mistakes and the backlash has certainly caused him and his family tons of grief, he still goes to work each day with a smile on his face, and still addresses the issue openly.
    Is it understandable that the public is upset with his actions. Yes! Rightly so. The better question is, how much outrage and backlash is enough?
    If you were in his shoes, how would you react? Would you never appear in public again, because that’s what blog posters and photography folks want? Would you cringe, cry and hide when your children come home from school after being berated by classmates who caught wind of what had transpired?
    Until this past year, I had never met Doug Gordon. In fact, the closest I had gotten to him was a few youtube videos. When I met Doug, my opinion of him was transformed almost instantly.
    So, now we turn to WPPI. You may not like what he has done (hey…even HE doesn’t like it, and believe me…an apology is more than just words. Look into his eyes, the man is sorry!) Something to consider for WPPI, which is a teaching and learning environment, is whether you stand to learn or gain anything from Doug Gordon. Can he teach you something? Not all lessons are rosy and happy. Not everything is about posing, lighting, aperture, ISO and shutter speed. Perhaps, if you give him the chance to teach you something, you might learn how to better run your own business. (remember, he’s got a TON of experience and knowledge!)
    Life is full of successes and failures. If you’ve never made a mistake, then you haven’t learned anything!
    I can honestly say that I respect him 100% He is rebuilding his life and reputation, one person and one day at a time. He admits his wrong doing and has apologized a thousand times over for his transgressions. He stepped up to the plate when things weren’t perfect, and isn’t shying away from it now. He represents his sponsors with integrity, dignity and pride, and has proved he is quite a gentleman. That is the epitome of honorable.
    If you are doubting every word of this…then perhaps you haven’t met Mr. Doug Gordon. I think that if you were to open yourself to meeting with Doug, you might just change your mind. However, if you are too staunch to do that…perhaps you should just ask yourself one question: What would you do, if hiding, running, avoiding the public eye…just wasn’t an option?!

  • SWORKZ

    I have to admit that most of the controversy surrounding Doug Gordon is a bit lame. I didn’t know there was a controversy until recently and reviewed the blog post and looked into what was done and then what was said. Of course I didn’t know who Jasmine Star was until she was mentioned in the article for doing the same thing.

    I now follow Doug and Jasmine not because I am a true fan or have spent a penny buying into their systems of photography but based on how the Internet trolls have attacked them and created a mountain out of a mole hill. Yes they both used material from other people and yes, that isn’t right. I don’t agree with the issue surrounding the reasons they were asked to withdraw from speaking at WPPI. I have many friends that are part of WPPI and good on them. Professional Photographers need an organization of like minded professionals.

    But from all that I read people are more interested in creating drama and will sit behind a computer and trash other people because, well mainly they are very jealous and are trying to make a name for themselves or they are just really unhappy people and have nothing better to do. All I can say is people need to get over themselves and realize that Doug and Jasmine are both great photographers on their own and both are inspiring speakers.

    Sometimes we as professional photographers need to realize that in reality we are a bunch of hypersensitive artists and angry and jealous that we are not as successful as others. I’m fine with that because I have focus in my life and happy to live my life not vicariously through others. I have always believed that there will never be one photographer that is the most amazing photographer that every existed because there is always someone new up and coming.

    I get excited every front cover of a magazine that my image shows, every newspaper but it’s not that I am the greatest it’s because I have skills that tell a story and happen to be in the right place at the right time. Both Doug and Jasmine take simply stunning and amazing pictures and have the ability to create the most stunning works of art – straight out of the camera – more so than most photographers I’ve meet or educated.

    I am not a WPPI member not because I don’t value the organization, I was a member at one time, but have issue with the current direction of the organization. I would love to see the names of the people who actually signed the petition to have both Doug and Jasmine removed from the speaker lineup. I have a feeling that maybe a dozen of the people were actually WPPI members and the rest were their friends who are not members.

    What I see here is a bunch of internet trolls looking for a way to get on the docket and promote themselves not actual members of WPPI signing a petition. I could be wrong, and I don’t mind being wrong, but the list of names compared to actual members should be required.

    I don’t condone what happened and believe that when someone says they are sorry and genuinely try to make changes. I see that both Jasmine and Doug have completely redid their websites and are again blogging and talking about photography and are still great photographers and have that “IT” factor let them be who they are and move on with your life. Stop being a troll, the internet has too many already.

    As a photographer I follow many people and have met many of the people that I follow and most of those people are good photographers and down to earth. Very personable and real people. What I take issue is people hiding behind a computer, gossiping behind peoples back and attempting to believe they know the truth of the story and then commenting.

    I am embarrassed to be among a group of professional, no strike that, photographers that are still living in middle and high school. This is why our profession is considered low rent, we seem to not have standards, most of the people commenting have an agenda and not to my surprise.

    The only agenda I have is to ask nicely that as professionals we stop being middle school trolls and learn our craft, run your business and if you have issue with Doug or Jasmine don’t attend their platform. Personally if I was in Vegas I would wait in line to meet either because the value of their knowledge in posing, lighting and business is sound and works for them.

    I am now getting off the short bus and resuming my life, if you choose to remain on please remember having the loudest voice on the short bus probably means you also need a helmet to keep what you do have protected. I personally don’t want to be the smartest person on the bus and embarrassed I got on the wrong bus.

    Have a great Saturday. I was only here on this poor excuse of a website looking for real photography journalism only to discover the troll patrol were out in force. My MAC is scanning for viruses because some other troll decided to screw with people’s lives. – Between both set of trolls I am opening Vodka before 9a.m.

  • Rick G

    Just want to make a point here. My first post which was not posted and marked as spam did not contain SEO spam. I’m wondering if it was marked as such because of the truth within my comment.

  • SWORKZ

    I believe you have never actually met either Doug or Jasmine and are using uneducated emotional arguments to make a point about nothing. You are probably one of the trolls on the internet.

  • Rick G

    Agreed..

  • SWORKZ

    I will go on to ad that I am a Nikon user that is actually moving away from Nikon because of a statement the provided when asked why they were not attending Imaging USA this year. Basically they said that professional photographers were not in this years business model. I like DG work and Jasmine’s and don’t care what camera they use. Both are great photographers that we should spend time learning from.

  • SWORKZ

    The hatred isn’t hatred it is pure jealousy many of the commenters realized one day that they aren’t that good and it’s easier to knock someone down than to become creative photographers on their own. This is how liberals in America act when someone is better, know them down and say that is bad and create a class of mediocrity so they feel better about themselves.

  • SWORKZ

    I don’t believe anyone should be a serious Nikon user since they don’t value professional photographers as their target audience. If I was there even if he was speaking for Nikon would take the time to learn from him.

  • http://biglightbox.com Andres Trujillo

    Oh, hi, Doug. Glad you can make it

  • Rich

    If you don’t like Doug and you don’t want to hear him then just stay away from the booth between 10:15 and 10:45. I attended one of his first workshops after the whole “scandal” went down. Unlike others in this industry he didn’t make excuses, he didn’t hide behind “god punishing” him, he took full responsibility for anything and everything that happened in his company. He went a step farther and gave us more detail that was needed, to the point of talking about employees who were stealing gear from him, embezzling money and more. He could have ignored everything and done the Starr move, hiding behind sheep, but he has been extremely forthcoming and honest about everything.

    Get over it.

  • ToddK

    So how is he supposed to show his work? Now a days, he is both a photographer and a teacher.
    I have seen first hand spending a day at his studio and can tell you that the portraits he creates are great. More importantly, his interactions with his clients is great. He makes them feel comfortable from the minute they walk through the door until they leave.
    As a teacher, how is he supposed to show his work if he cannot teach? He loves teaching. His fault in this last year is that he managed to hire a lazy, plagiarizing publicist. Being the owner of his company, he took responsibility, removed the stolen posts, and publicly apologized.

  • ToddK

    ProPhotog did not say in one hour, that was over the day. I know I was there that day too. The engagement sessions lasted about 15-20 minutes, then other employees would take the clients for the viewing session.
    And yes, on that Saturday, total, they had well over 20 couples book weddings. He so much want you to learn, that he let me sit in on those booking sessions and session viewing so that I could see what he teaches in reality.

  • ToddK

    I agree, and Doug has been crucified. Now he is working on rebuilding his education arm of his business, where the plagiarism, his publicist did, happened.

  • ToddK

    There seems to be an impression that Gordon is a one man show like many other photographers, but he isn’t. I’ve seen eight of his employees. He had a publicist, and that employee plagiarized. So, even though Gordon did not do the plagiarism himself, he has taken responsibility and apologized.
    I agree, it was not a mistake, but it was not on purpose either.

  • TheBriGuy

    Doug is an amazing person, photographer, and teacher! He has a good heart, and good intentions in all he does. Last years incident was an unfortunate one, but if one incident defined a person, we would all probably be labeled as horrible. Yes, I am new to this industry. I’ve learned a tremendous amount on photography from Doug, both online and in person. He has a great way of teaching topics to make things easier to understand. I would recommend anyone who is going to WPPI for learnings and inspiration to stop in and see Doug.

  • bbear

    I’m sure both you and Godwin have an opinion about Hitler: even though you’ve never met the guy. The guy made money stealing other peoples work. Why should I not express my opinion about that?

  • SWORKZ

    Comparing either to the orchestrator of the mass murder of millions of people is a bit out of calibration from reality. I have a feeling you have never done anything for your country than take, produce mediocre art and are jealous that there are people that are simply more talented than you or I. But you do have a complete right to have you incorrect and uninformed opinion because people like myself dedicated our lives to defend that very uneducated and mindless opinion. I want to thank you for contributing nothing to society other than poison.

  • bbear

    My aren’t you touchy!!! Did you get out of bed on the wrong side this morning?

    I have to admit: I find your opinions on Doug Gordon to be a bit lame: and your opinions on me to be a bit lamer. You make uneducated emotional arguments to make a point about nothing. You have no clue as to what I’ve done for my country. In fact, you don’t even have a clue what country I live in. I’m not jealous of anyone. But I don’t steal work and present it as my own. Which is what Doug did.

    I’ve contributed plenty to society: none of it poison. I’ve never met Doug and I’ve never met Hitler: and I’m entitled to have and express opinions about both. If you don’t want to read them: then stop reading them.

    But your personal attacks are pathetic simply because you put so little effort into them. Its laughable when you accuse me of “contributing nothing to society other than poison” when you say to me “you have never done anything for your country than take, produce mediocre art and are jealous that there are people that are simply more talented than you or I.” Compare and contrast our two posts: which one contains more poison?

  • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

    The sheer amount of defense for Doug in this comment thread is suspicious. Lots of people saying their posts are being deleted due to “SEO” – knowing how disqus works, its more likely they are all comments coming from different names, same IP addresses…

  • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

    It matters because those who continually break the most important rule of our business, not stealing the work of others and promoting yourself with it, has no place in the business.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/zackhuggins/ Zack

    So many reassurances that Doug is a “great guy” and that we shouldn’t be “throwing stones” at him.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/zackhuggins/ Zack

    Or maybe they’re just plagiarizing each other…?

  • James McNash

    Hey, for all I know Doug could vomit candy and sh*t rainbows, but that still doesn’t stop the perception that he’s a plagiarist… because well, he is, and the stopstealingphotos article makes a convincing argument.

    And still knowing what the perception of him was he decided to go ahead and present anyway in a backhanded way. To me that sounds a lot like controversy whoring, and is a conclusion I derived by how he is acting now; still not “knowing” the man.

  • Reggie Dandy

    The Jasmine Star and Doug Gordon controversy. When a player or an executive team member breaks a rule, the league or the institution investigates the incident(s) and grants a fine or a penalty according to the violation. Once the penalty or the fine are imposed, they are given a warning for future violations. At the time of their penalty or fine, they are giving an opportunity to offer a statement or an apologize. When the apologize or the statements are issued, they understand future violations will result in greater consequences. In this case, Doug Gordon and Jasmine Star didn’t violate the professional photographer’s ethical policy, because there’s not one in place. They violated the copyright infrigment and the journalism ethical clause. They have both acknowledged their wrong doings by offering their apologizes to their fans and the industry. WPPI, which is in a tough position, granted a penalty and a fine – a penalty by not allowing them to speak, which also resulted in a fine by loss revenue for Doug and Jasmine. At what point do we accept the penalty and the fine, and stop the crucifixion (we want more punishment)? If we broke the law (which we “ALL” have broken some type of law) and we had to stand before the court, we would be hoping for the least type of punishment. Whatever the punishment the judge issued, we will most likely learn from our wrong doings and become a better person. Lets give Doug and Jasmine an opportunity to redeem themselves by seeing what they can offer the industry instead of casting them away. I believe Jasmine and Doug can bring awareness to the need of having an ethical committee for governoring professional photographers. Too many photographers (professionals and amateurs) are doing too many things that have caused this industry not to be the industry it once was. Doug and Jasmine aren’t the only major photographers who have done something wrong. It’s just unfortunately, they got caught. Since there is no ethical committee governoring professional photographers, I think their punishment by not speaking on the grand stage this year is a justified punishment. Instead of casting out Doug and Jasmine, lets petition WPPI and the other photography organizations to put in place an ethical committee for professional photographers to participate in their organization.

  • Cinobite

    Actually he did, he said in the hour that he was there personally saw him ….
    Maybe a typo, but that’s what he said

  • Cinobite

    You don’t have to listen to a Doug Gordon speech to have a successful business – just saying.

  • Cinobite

    “The publicist did it”, an age old classic

  • Cinobite

    I don’t have a studio, have a selfie and if you came to my home office I’d probably be in the kitchen looking for chocolate. I turnover $135,000 USD a year. What’s your point?

  • Cinobite

    I couldn’t even tell you what he looks like. But I couldn’t tell you what the Batman cinema gunman looked liked either, that doesn’t mean what they did wasn’t wrong