Las Vegas-based wedding and elopement photographer, Danette Chappell, posted an article on December 9, 2017, entitled Models Are Using Closed Facebook Groups to Bring Awareness to Sexually Predatory Photographers for the website Fstoppers. That there are predators hiding in the ranks of photography is certainly not a brand new revelation. But the days of them hiding without repercussions are numbered.
Creating art is a very intimate act where we bare our innerselves for anonymous public to see and judge. This is true of both the photographer and the photographer’s subject. There needs to be trust between photographers and models/clients for both parties to have their expectations met. This is why models AND photographers need to be aware and protect ourselves. We should do all we can to protect the two-way trust between model and photographer. While I am primarily a fine art landscape photographer, most photographers do some portraiture as well; even if it is very rare. As I have mentioned before, I have PTSD and a lot of times I have trouble communicating with people effectively. So I am very leery of how this could work out, but I am not one to back down from a challenge. I’ll just make sure that anyone I work with gets to know me and I get to know them.
I am a heathen. I take an exception to those who violate trust when it is placed in their hands. In the Hávamál, Óðinn tells us, “Where you recognize evil, speak out against it, and give no truces to your enemies.” Make no mistake. If you use the practice of my art form and new career as a way to satisfy your predatory desires against those who place their trust in you and I learn about it, you will understand what it means to have a predator after you. I will do everything in my power to bring you to justice. And if society’s justice fails in their duty, I won’t. You will receive no truces from me until you have paid your geld. There is a reason there are two ravens in my logo.
Bothered by the Closed Groups?
Not at all! I personally don’t have an issue with these groups, although I do have concerns about the potential for spiteful abuse. But, if these groups take themselves and their mission seriously, they should moderate well and guard against false claims. And they should expose those who make these false claims just as vehemently as the predatory photographers and have them face the consequences for their actions as well.