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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 10-26-2017   #41
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I do think the sexual abuse, nepotism, and cronie winners take all is worse than ever and correlates to the concentration of both wealth and power that we know today.
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I would have to say..until a certain level of development has occurred with humanity..and the alleviation of loneliness..this will be an ongoing problem..with no real solution available..
Best to be happy if you can with what ya have in life ..and what ya do..as there are a lot of way worse ways to complete 1 human life cycle..
And..the next time..may be a lot worse..if you are into that kind of thing..
It's a large machine handling things above...

Since last week I've had too much thoughts on some things of the past around the time I finished HS and chose my path. I've also had exposure to things that just get you reflecting.
The last couple months have been quite nice and took some steps to free up a bit. I've always been a realist but it equates pessimism on others it seems.
When Dad talks (and I remember) of things 15 years ago, there's been a dive; Without the sugarcoating layer of being a kid and not quite understanding.

I'm amused when people tell me I should be in the show biz. I am quite creative with bouts of madness but didn't ever think about heading that way academically; it's better to have a foothold into a day job type of solidity. Now, that's even trembling. Our generation is much more exposed (I am at least) to the gig economy. I'm a bit resistant to the 9-5 culture, so if there's a crack to get into something entetraining I may get in.
There's a bit of feel of betrayal. You keep climbing levels like a game, but at the end the supposed trophy isn't there!

Interesting you mention loneliness. I've experienced "bouts of retirement" where work/studies were idle. It's been quite positive to me as I stayed active, but at times it is scary to see how everyone is submerged into a rutine and their duties -- it is quiet and can get lonely indeed.
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Old 10-26-2017   #42
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It's a large machine handling things above...

Since last week I've had too much thoughts on some things of the past around the time I finished HS and chose my path. I've also had exposure to things that just get you reflecting.
The last couple months have been quite nice and took some steps to free up a bit. I've always been a realist but it equates pessimism on others it seems.
When Dad talks (and I remember) of things 15 years ago, there's been a dive; Without the sugarcoating layer of being a kid and not quite understanding.

I'm amused when people tell me I should be in the show biz. I am quite creative with bouts of madness but didn't ever think about heading that way academically; it's better to have a foothold into a day job type of solidity. Now, that's even trembling. Our generation is much more exposed (I am at least) to the gig economy. I'm a bit resistant to the 9-5 culture, so if there's a crack to get into something entetraining I may get in.
There's a bit of feel of betrayal. You keep climbing levels like a game, but at the end the supposed trophy isn't there!

Interesting you mention loneliness. I've experienced "bouts of retirement" where work/studies were idle. It's been quite positive to me as I stayed active, but at times it is scary to see how everyone is submerged into a rutine and their duties -- it is quiet and can get lonely indeed.
P,

I do feel guilt as a baby boomer because I feel the opportunities and means of escaping poverty seem diminished for younger people, none the less a sustainable future. I do feel that it is unfair, and that baby boomers like me have had more than our fair share. We (baby boomers) enjoyed the prosperity after WWII.

I know the men that are considered the greatest generation, fought and died for the prosperity that I enjoyed.

Know that I feel obligated to be kind and helpful, it is the least I can do, but it annoys me of all the privilage and entitlement I see around me, particularly here in NYC where I do not have to look very far to see disparity, abandonment, and institutionalized neglect. I wish I see more thoughfulness without too many people living within a selfish bubble.

I describe my own loneliness... You are not alone. I think of you and others. I feel the suffering of others greatly and I am deeply effected and saddened.

Sorry for all my ranting, but I needed to empty myself.

Cal
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Old 10-26-2017   #43
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Another one..

i-D magazine, one of the world’s most influential fashion and style magazines, has ended its professional relationship with controversial photographer Terry Richardson, The Daily Beast has learned. The British-based magazine, founded in 1980 and famed for its ‘single-eye closed’ covers, has no plans to work with Richardson again, a magazine source indicated.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/i-d-ma...chardson-again
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Old 10-26-2017   #44
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Bob Richardson

"Robert George "Bob" Richardson (January 3, 1928 – December 5, 2005) was an American fashion photographer.[1] Richardson was born in Long Island, New York, to an Irish Catholic family.[1] Originally a graphic designer in New York City, Richardson did not pick up a camera until age 35.[citation needed] His rise to fashion fame was swift, although not without some battle on his part:

“ I wanted to put reality in my photographs. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. That's what was happening. And I was going to help make it happen. Boy they did not want that in America. Some of those editors were still wearing white gloves to couture.[2] ”

Richardson developed a reputation for being very difficult to work with. He brought his personal life, which was tumultuous, into his art. He battled with bouts of schizophrenia throughout his life. After making it to the top of the often catty and vicious world of fashion, getting paid up to $15,000 for a single image, he succumbed to his illness and ended up homeless on the streets of San Francisco. In 1989, an art historian researching fashion photography tracked Richardson down living in a flophouse, opening the door to Richardson's reestablishing contact with his son and eventually returning to New York City, where with the help of Richard Avedon and Steven Meisel, he was able to obtain teaching positions at International Center for Photography and the School of Visual Arts.[2] Richardson restarted his career in his sixties, once again working for such magazines as Italian Vogue and British GQ.

He was the father of photographer Terry Richardson."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Ri..._(photographer)
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Old 10-28-2017   #45
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I thought this was a joke when I read the headline..

"Amazon Has a Book on ‘How to Seduce Women Through Photography’

PetaPixel

Famous photographer Terry Richardson was just banned by top fashion magazines this week after years of being accused of sexual harassment by models. Now there’s a book being sold on Amazon that photographers are speaking out about. It’s titled: An Introduction to Camera Game: How to Seduce Women Through Photography."

https://petapixel.com/2017/10/28/ama...n-photography/
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Old 10-28-2017   #46
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I had an acquitance whose purpose is attract women with photography.

Went to a kind of session Got some interesting shots but spent too much of an evening and left. Next word I got is that the guy did something with the model. Borderline "consensual" but for what I perceived during shooting, surely was induced towards that.

We've got a friend in common who got into photography. Thankfully he abandoned the idea of Photography->women and just enjoys the art as it is, and not as a way to do other things.
There's a term for it, "Guys with cameras".
Maybe it's my age bracket (20s), but it seems that photography as a way of attraction is rather common. Or just that the guys I know are creeps (that too).

I just mind my own business.
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Old 10-28-2017   #47
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'bout frickin time.
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Old 10-28-2017   #48
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Great! We men must change our way of looking at women. All of us, every single one.
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Old 10-28-2017   #49
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Great! We men must change our way of looking at women. All of us, every single one.
Many roads can be taken with that statement.
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Old 10-30-2017   #50
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I had an acquitance whose purpose is attract women with photography.

Went to a kind of session Got some interesting shots but spent too much of an evening and left. Next word I got is that the guy did something with the model. Borderline "consensual" but for what I perceived during shooting, surely was induced towards that.

We've got a friend in common who got into photography. Thankfully he abandoned the idea of Photography->women and just enjoys the art as it is, and not as a way to do other things.
There's a term for it, "Guys with cameras".
Maybe it's my age bracket (20s), but it seems that photography as a way of attraction is rather common. Or just that the guys I know are creeps (that too).

I just mind my own business.
In college, being an artist, Photo Editor, and Darkroom Manager, I had many women use modeling as a way to try and seduce me.

This is where, "Are you gay?" was begun to said a few times to me by frustrated women who wanted to bed me down.

I will take ownership that at time I allowed myself to be taken advantage of and exploited by these women in a role reversal.

How do we repectfully deal with human instinct? It is not always men preying on women.

Also when is it ever appropriate to take advantage of another person? Even when a woman approached me to photograph her nude, and opened up herself to being vulnerable, even though her motive was to seduce me to her liking, it still was wrong for me to have sex with her.

Cal
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Old 10-30-2017   #51
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I see, actor Kevin Spacey is in the news..
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Old 10-30-2017   #52
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After reading some of the links and the posts in this thread, it makes me glad that my photography idols were of the photojournalism variety. When I was just starting out as a fulltime photographer in the Florida Panhandle, I did a lot of portrait shoots for local real estate agents, mostly women. I never even thought about making a pass or sexual advance at these women. I guess it comes from being raised in the South where my momma taught me to respect the fairer sex! It has held me in good stead as my wife and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary!
I hope this guy (who I have no knowledge of before this thread) gets his comeuppance!
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Old 10-30-2017   #53
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In college, being an artist, Photo Editor, and Darkroom Manager, I had many women use modeling as a way to try and seduce me.

This is where, "Are you gay?" was begun to said a few times to me by frustrated women who wanted to bed me down.

I will take ownership that at time I allowed myself to be taken advantage of and exploited by these women in a role reversal.

How do we repectfully deal with human instinct? It is not always men preying on women.

Also when is it ever appropriate to take advantage of another person? Even when a woman approached me to photograph her nude, and opened up herself to being vulnerable, even though her motive was to seduce me to her liking, it still was wrong for me to have sex with her.

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Old 10-31-2017   #54
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After reading some of the links and the posts in this thread, it makes me glad that my photography idols were of the photojournalism variety. When I was just starting out as a fulltime photographer in the Florida Panhandle, I did a lot of portrait shoots for local real estate agents, mostly women. I never even thought about making a pass or sexual advance at these women. I guess it comes from being raised in the South where my momma taught me to respect the fairer sex! It has held me in good stead as my wife and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary!
I hope this guy (who I have no knowledge of before this thread) gets his comeuppance!
SG,

I always admire good southern manners.

My worry is that all these reports of harassment, disrespect and abuse of power do not hit a point where people numb out due to oversaturation and overexposure.

This bad behavior needs to stop, and someone needs to be punished severely.

Am I wrong to say that Brad Pitt would have done the right thing by kinking in Weinstein's butt way back when? In the past this would of been a sign of being civil and in my book being polite.

Cal
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Old 10-31-2017   #55
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Back when I was in my early 20's I was harrassed sexually when working in an office environment...
Thanks for this reminder. Happens to guys, too. That hasn't been as visible.
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Old 11-01-2017   #56
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Great! We men must change our way of looking at women. All of us, every single one.
I really want to comment on this demonising of all men, but I'm not going to as it'll only cause ridiculous arguments.
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Old 11-01-2017   #57
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Old 11-01-2017   #58
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Yep. Unfortunately a lot of the girls are seeking fame and the dollars.

...there is a line-up of young girls ready to jump on the train...
This phrasing makes it sound like the girls are either co-conspirators or worse. They're not. They're on the wrong end of an abusive power dynamic.


Quote:
...Sexual harassment was, is and always will be there...
And this makes it sound like the problem is a physical law of nature, like gravity, that one has to stoically accept rather than a human behavior which we have all the power to do something about. I don't think it was your intention, but this post sounds like part of the problem, frankly.

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Old 11-01-2017   #59
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This phrasing makes it sound like the girls are either co-conspirators or worse. They're not. They're on the wrong end of an abusive power dynamic.




And this makes it sound like the problem is a physical law of nature, like gravity, that one has to stoically accept rather than a human behavior which we have all the power to do something about. I don't think it was your intention, but this post sounds like part of the problem, frankly.

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Old 11-01-2017   #60
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And this makes it sound like the problem is a physical law of nature, like gravity, that one has to stoically accept rather than a human behavior which we have all the power to do something about. I don't think it was your intention, but this post sounds like part of the problem, frankly.
Precisely. Between society and the law we have the ability to change.
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Old 11-01-2017   #61
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This exposure seems to be expanding. Dustin Hoffman is the latest Hollywood actor sited. I wonder if this thing will work it's way to Washington DC ? The abuse of Congressional Pages is longstanding.

Once, a parent was proud to have a child selected to be a Page. Today, I don't think most in the know would allow their child to participate. Many predators in DC are legally untouchable.
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Old 11-01-2017   #62
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This exposure seems to be expanding. Dustin Hoffman is the latest Hollywood actor sited. I wonder if this thing will work it's way to Washington DC ? The abuse of Congressional Pages is longstanding.

Once, a parent was proud to have a child selected to be a Page. Today, I don't think most in the know would allow their child to participate. Many predators in DC are legally untouchable.
Unless there is truly a sea change that'll take a long time. The Pizzagate BS/false flag set everything back by years and has, in my opinion, allowed real perpetrators to recede further into the shadows.
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Old 11-01-2017   #63
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Precisely. Between society and the law we have the ability to change.
I think it's on us as individuals to speak up when we can. It's the silence that allows perpetrators to assume their behavior is acceptable.

Years ago a friend of mine opened up a small restaurant with his brother. He had always been a bit of a playboy, but having young female staff proved a temptation he couldn't resist. His behavior hadn't changed, but the power dynamic had: He owned the place and had some small level of power over these girls. They were no longer equals.
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Old 11-01-2017   #64
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Unless there is truly a sea change that'll take a long time. The Pizzagate BS/false flag set everything back by years and has, in my opinion, allowed real perpetrators to recede further into the shadows.
When I worked as a PJ, long ago, I was often sent to photograph political people. I never met one (presidential candidates included) that I would want as a neighbor, regardless of party. That kind of work attracts the kind of people I prefer to keep at a distance.
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Old 11-01-2017   #65
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When I worked as a PJ, long ago, I was often sent to photograph political people. I never met one (presidential candidates included) that I would want as a neighbor, regardless of party. That kind of work attracts the kind of people I prefer to keep at a distance.
Ditto. I worked with (and for) a few as a videographer. The best of them was definitely Mark Warner from Virginia. He was nice and seemed to genuinely care about improving people's lives (in the 7 hours I knew him). This being said, the amount of cutthroat drive and intensity he clearly has as an individual and businessman is scary. Not in a personally threatening way but, definitely a person working on a different level from everyone else in the room, and therefore removing him from a certain shared existence.
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Old 11-01-2017   #66
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I have a friend who became a fashion photographer for the sole purpose to f$$$ as many pretty girls as he could.
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Old 11-02-2017   #67
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I have a friend who became a fashion photographer for the sole purpose to f$$$ as many pretty girls as he could.
I will not mention the name, but a very famous and good looking photographer who is now deceased had a similar reputation of bedding down with his models.

Would Terry Richardson be judged differently if he was good looking?

Just because an abundance of ripe low laying fruit presents itself and is available does it mean you have to eat it. Also as far as sexuality and proclaimed virility, I deem it not only nicer, but profoundly richer not to use an advantage or exploitation.

This is coming from a guy who understands how sex can be meaningless.

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Old 11-02-2017   #68
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When I worked as a PJ, long ago, I was often sent to photograph political people. I never met one (presidential candidates included) that I would want as a neighbor, regardless of party. That kind of work attracts the kind of people I prefer to keep at a distance.
Turns out that I share name with a once prominent politician. As a kid it was fun, under his administration. Afterwards there was a tax evasion scandal. I've had a fair share of jokes about it, though I don't care much anyways.
I felt there was an insidious force when I got into lots of hiring rejections without an obvious reason, even a job coach noted it. At least once when the hiring personnel blatantly asked about my political views and if I were affiliated to this politician.

A classmate in college was the son of a close member of the government and was in an affiliated party. He had an amazing respect towards me just because of the name. Another guy just talked way too much all the time, and sure I am happy not to have him around my life anymore.

There was a time where I could get into the party very easily, nowadays I don't think so. Neither it would be a good decision methinks.
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Old 11-02-2017   #69
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I for one as a photographer would want to be mostly known for my photography.

I do think good looks can effect judgements. I also think good looks can be a liability. Not nice or polite being looked upon as a sex object. It is very demeaning.

Exploiting one's own good looks is no justification, but this is both related and a separate problem.

From what I see not so many have what I call integrity.

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Old 01-03-2018   #70
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"Photographer Terry Richardson Under Investigation by NYPD for Sex Crimes"

From Michael Zhang at PetaPixel


"Fashion photographer Terry Richardson is under investigation by the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Squad over accusations of sexual assault made by models Richardson has worked with. The news comes two months after a number of leading fashion magazines banned Richardson over the numerous accusations that have been made over the years.

The New York Daily News reports that NYPD investigators have reached out to multiple women in recent days requesting sit-down meetings.

The women claim that Richardson used his fame and influence to lure the women to photo shoots before sexually assaulting them in various ways, from exposing himself to forcing them to perform sexual acts.

“I was afraid and confused and hoping to get it over with. I left there feeling like human garbage,” former model Lindsay Jones tells the NY Daily News. “He thought I was disposable.”

In addition to the models behind the accusations, the NYPD has also contacted the advocacy group Model Alliance for help with the investigation.

Richardson and his lawyer say that all the sexual interactions the photographer has had with models were consensual, and Richardson has thus far denied all allegations against him."
https://petapixel.com/2018/01/03/pho...pd-sex-crimes/



Terry Richardson under investigation by NYPD after models accuse him of sex assault

BY Brian NiemietzNancy Dillon

NY Daily News | 2018-01-02T18:15:19

Photographer Terry Richardson is the focus of a new investigation by the NYPD's Special Victims Squad, the Daily News has learned.

Multiple women confirmed Tuesday that investigators from the elite unit have reached out in recent weeks, asking for sit-down meetings regarding the lurid lensman.

The development follows a Dec. 15 cover story in The News detailing new allegations of sexual assault against the 52-year-old former fashion industry star who's shot everyone from Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus to President Obama.

Ex-model Caron Bernstein stepped forward in the piece with claims Richardson invited her to collaborate on an edgy, topless photo shoot at his Manhattan studio in 2003 and ambushed her with a sex assault.
Bernstein, 47, said Richardson exposed himself without warning, forced her to perform oral sex on him.

She told The News a special victims detective called her last month and set up a meeting for this week.

Former model Lindsay Jones confirmed she also received a similar call from a sex crimes detective. She plans to sit to be interviewed when she returns from an overseas trip, she said.
Jones went public with a harrowing claim against Richardson in a Dec. 14 HuffPost piece.

She retold the story to The News, claiming Richardson lured her to his studio in 2007 or 2008 with the promise of discussing a possible shoot over coffee.

She said seconds after he closed the door behind her, he caught her off-guard with a demand she get on her knees. She said he exposed himself and started jabbing his penis in her face. She complied with his demands out of fear, she said.
“I was afraid and confused and hoping to get it over with. I left there feeling like human garbage,” she told The News. “He thought I was disposable.”

A representative with Model Alliance further confirmed Tuesday that the advocacy group was contacted by police and is participating in an investigation.

A detective involved in the Richardson probe did not respond to a request for comment. An NYPD spokesman did not return a request for comment.

Richardson has consistently argued all his sexual interactions with models were consensual.

He vehemently denied assaulting Bernstein in a statement issued by his lawyer.

His attorney, Brad D. Rose, previously showed The News a series of photographs shot by Richardson that depicted semen on Bernstein's breasts. The images did not show her face.

“Ms. Bernstein knowingly and willingly posed for these photographs and at all times prior to and during the shoot, any contact she had with Mr. Richardson was consensual,” Rose told The News.

Bernstein called it “ludicrous” to suggest she willingly agreed to perform oral sex on Richardson.

“I didn't know this man from Adam. I would never walk in somewhere and agree to a sex act with a stranger. I've never done that in my entire life. Never in a million years,” she told The News last month.



© Copyright 2018 NYDailyNews.com. All rights reserved.
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.3734049
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Old 01-04-2018   #71
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Uncle Terry's day is coming I guess...
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Old 01-04-2018   #72
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Uncle Terry's day is coming I guess...
Could be, Terry's chickens are coming home to lay eggs ? With all his money, I would expect a long, drawn out, court battle, covered in detail by the tabloid press. We'll see his mug every time we stand in a grocery store check-out line for weeks.

Happy new year John.

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Old 01-04-2018   #73
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And why is all this a surprise..?
Its the same for most of the world's population too ..or way worse...and this population is only getting more bloated with every passing year..and the problems are only going to amplify as the gap between the haves..and have nots..grows...
The only thing that will solve this is..are ya all ready for it...lol...
A comet..hits the planet..and then its..game over problem solved...lol..
Or grow a pair and fight back ...

but let’s also be clear about the predatorial behavior, it is multilayered and similar with Weinstein and Richardson:

. Both Harvey and Terry employed young women assistants to lure their victims into compromising positions, even when the female assistants knew the men were sexually assaulting them

. Both the Board of Directors of the Weinstein Co and the magazine Editors who hire Terry knew of both Harvey’s and Terry’s assaultive behavior, respectively, yet looked the other way and continued to let it happen.
. But the Board Members and Editors will not be punished, despite their complicity.

... so yes, the abuse of power and lack of accountability ... like the banks and corporations that control our “democracy”
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Old 01-04-2018   #74
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It's deeper than that. Any famous person who had a session with Terry knew about his past. But that just made him 'edgy' and them cool to sit for a shoot with him.

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. Both the Board of Directors of the Weinstein Co and the magazine Editors who hire Terry knew of both Harvey’s and Terry’s assaultive behavior, respectively, yet looked the other way and continued to let it happen.
. But the Board Members and Editors will not be punished, despite their complicity.

... so yes, the abuse of power and lack of accountability ... like the banks and corporations that control our “democracy”
These people are just as complicit, as are the long list of other celebs that worked with him:

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..the 52-year-old former fashion industry star who's shot everyone from Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus to President Obama.
Any denial of not knowing is just like Meryl Streep's denial of not knowing about Weinstein's behaviour. They all know, they just don't care until it affects them.
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Old 01-04-2018   #75
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It's deeper than that. Any famous person who had a session with Terry knew about his past. But that just made him 'edgy' and them cool to sit for a shoot with him.

These people are just as complicit, as are the long list of other celebs that worked with him:

Any denial of not knowing is just like Meryl Streep's denial of not knowing about Weinstein's behaviour. They all know, they just don't care until it affects them.
Yeah, they all knew. I'm sure that Obama's people had uncle Terry checked out too.. even if Obama didn't know before.. he certainly knew before the portrait session. Anna Wintour knew and kept hiring him. The Weinstein thing just gathered too much public awareness and forced the "separation". My guess is, if it hadn't been for the Weinstein thing, uncle Terry would still be planning his attacks on unsuspecting women..most were unsuspecting of an attack??.. I think? His reputation was well known in the NYC Photo Community and modeling agencies. I'm sure some of these women knew of uncle Terry's rep and what they might be in for..

It occurs to me, that these women may have signed modeling releases. It will be interesting to see what they might have agreed to, in a signed and witnessed (by one of uncle Terry's assistants) legal document. No releases, big trouble for uncle Terry.
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Old 01-04-2018   #76
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Thomas Roma, Photographer and Professor, Accused of Sexual Misconduct



By COLIN MOYNIHANJAN. 3, 2018

nytimes.com | Jan. 3, 2018




In 1999, when Mozhan Marno was an 18-year-old sophomore at Barnard College, one of her professors began talking with her about having an affair. Inside his office one day, the professor, Thomas Roma, removed her coat, lifted her shirt and pulled down her pants, she said. He put his mouth on her breast and placed her hand on his penis, she added — behavior she described as consensual, overwhelming and “controlled and initiated by him from beginning to end.”

Afterward, Ms. Marno said, she heard that Mr. Roma — a prominent photographer who teaches at Columbia University — regularly pursued sexual relationships with students, and became uncomfortable when he made suggestive remarks after promising to act only as a mentor that semester. In January 2000, she made a written complaint to Columbia. But out of embarrassment, Ms. Marno said, she provided a watered-down account to the school’s investigative panel.

The panel determined that she and Mr. Roma were both complicit in the incident, she said, a decision that left her thinking Columbia “should be ashamed of itself” for not investigating Mr. Roma more thoroughly.

“Everybody talks about moving through the world through mentorship,” she said. “I never got close to a male professor ever again.”
Ms. Marno, now an actress with credits on “House of Cards” and “The Blacklist,” is one of five women who spoke on the record with The New York Times to describe sexual misconduct by Mr. Roma, the director of the photography program at Columbia’s School of the Arts and a documentary photographer whose work is owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and other museums. The Times also interviewed people with whom the women discussed Mr. Roma’s behavior at the time of those events or later.

The accusations depict behavior said to have occurred mostly in the 1990s and that followed a similar pattern: Mr. Roma started relationships with young women he taught at Columbia and at the School of Visual Arts, flattering and cajoling them, making sexual advances — and, one woman said, placing his penis in her mouth. He would also often remind them of his professional stature, the women said.

That stature carries considerable influence, beyond the usual power disparity between professor and student: In the field of photography, Mr. Roma could make a difference by providing letters of reference, recommendations for grants, and introductions to art dealers and collectors.


Mr. Roma, provided with details about the accounts of the women, declined to be interviewed. His lawyer told The Times that Mr. Roma disputes any suggestion that his behavior was ever coercive and that the professor had cooperated fully with Columbia’s inquiry into Ms. Marno’s complaint.

The lawyer, Douglas Jacobs, issued a statement saying that Mr. Roma was “shocked” by the accusations from the other four women.

“The statements they are making about his asserted misconduct are replete with inaccuracies and falsehoods,” Mr. Jacobs said. “All four have taken isolated, innocent incidents, none of them predatory, and have created fictitious versions of reality that are libelous and in the present political climate designed to damage his career and his personal life. Professor Roma’s sympathies then and now lie with those who have been mistreated in any way and he completely fails to understand why these women have chosen to create these complaints two decades after the alleged facts supposedly occurred.”

Four of the five women attended the School of Visual Arts around the same time; some were friends there and have stayed close. Joyce Kaye, a spokeswoman for S.V.A., said the school “does not have a record of any complaints against Mr. Roma” when he taught there in the 1980s and ‘90s.

Suzanne Goldberg, Columbia’s executive vice president for university life, said in response to the accusations against Mr. Roma: “It is our standard practice to investigate whenever we receive a report that a faculty member may have sexually harassed a student.”
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Ms. Goldberg said that university policy forbids faculty members from having sexual relationships with students they oversee. Columbia, like many schools, has been trying to navigate ongoing campus debates about how best to handle student allegations of sexual misconduct. Ms. Goldberg said Columbia “looks differently at these matters today than 20 years ago” when Ms. Marno filed her complaint. “Our policies on faculty conduct have been strengthened accordingly in recent years,” she said. This year, William V. Harris, a professor of Greco-Roman history, retired after accusations that he had harassed three students.

Mr. Roma, whose best known work includes black-and-white images of worshipers in African-American churches and portraits of people at the Brooklyn criminal courthouse, has received two Guggenheim fellowships and had solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography. He is married to a daughter of Lee Friedlander, a giant in the world of documentary photography, and has published 15 monographs with introductions by writers like Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Norman Mailer. His teaching career includes stints at Fordham, Cooper Union and Yale, according to his website.

The five women described Mr. Roma as a charming and charismatic teacher who cultivated a streetwise persona and emphasized perseverance, sacrifice and dedication to craft. The women, as well as some former students who posted anonymously online about Mr. Roma’s teaching, said that he could be an unsparing critic, but also had the ability to instill confidence and inspire.

One of the women, Ash Thayer, a filmmaker and artist in Los Angeles, said she studied with Mr. Roma in the mid-1990s at S.V.A., then in the graduate program at Columbia, where she was also his teaching assistant. In 1999, Ms. Thayer said, she was working in Mr. Roma’s office at Columbia shortly after a mutual friend, the photographer Raghubir Singh, had died. Ms. Thayer said that she was sitting at a desk when Mr. Roma asked her to turn around. His penis was erect, she said, and he moved toward her. She repeatedly said “no,” but Mr. Roma placed his penis in her mouth before she pushed him away and left, Ms. Thayer said, estimating that the encounter lasted perhaps 30 seconds.

“I froze,” she said. “He committed oral rape against me.”

Allison Ward, a student at S.V.A. in the mid-1990s, said she had several sexual encounters with Mr. Roma. One occurred in a classroom, she said, recalling that she “was mortified and embarrassed but went along with it.” Ms. Ward said that she had wanted to please Mr. Roma and gain his acceptance, adding “he was the first person in my life who had connected my passion for photography with a path forward.” Mr. Roma did not force any contact, she said, but had been “predatory” and had “crossed a line” by seeking a sexual relationship.

“He was coercive and would keep trying,” she said. “He was a little relentless.”

Another S.V.A. student in the mid-90s, Angela Cappetta, said that after repeated requests she allowed Mr. Roma to photograph her in her apartment. There, she said, Mr. Roma asked to touch her breast and put her hand on his crotch. “I thought I’d have to go along with it or it would be detrimental,” she said. She drew the line when he asked to have sex, she added.

On campus, Mr. Roma often surrounded himself with a coterie of male and female students who would sort his negatives and act as teaching assistants, the five women said, adding that Mr. Roma would regularly invite students on outings or to gatherings at his house in Park Slope.

In 1997, Ilana Rein, a graduate student at S.V.A., said that Mr. Roma, who was then her thesis adviser, invited her to a backyard gathering. He asked her into his photo studio, then bluntly stated that he needed something from her and placed her hand on his crotch, Ms. Rein said. Taken aback, she did not object, but soon began feeling ill, removed her hand and left.

“I was blindsided because I thought we were going to look at photographs,” Ms. Rein, now a filmmaker in Los Angeles, said. “This is someone who I trusted.”

Some of the former students stayed in touch with Mr. Roma after these encounters, saying that they were intimidated, sought his help or wanted to believe that his behavior had been out of character. But, some added, Mr. Roma could be dismissive or even cruel to those who had rebuffed him.

Ms. Rein said that during a trip to Coney Island with students after her encounter with Mr. Roma, he repeatedly singled her out for mockery, while others laughed. “There was a kind of violence to it,” she said. “He had such a vise grip on us back then.”

Ms. Thayer said she blocked out memories of the office incident and, after graduating, remained in sporadic touch with Mr. Roma, exchanging emails and sometimes asking for recommendations or advice. In 2014, she said, she met Mr. Roma in Brooklyn and let him know that a book of her photographs was about to be published. He told her he might be able to help her get a teaching job at Columbia, Ms. Thayer said, but then implied that he would expect intimate contact in return. She has not seen or spoken with Mr. Roma since.

“I just kept wanting him to be the mentor that he was supposed to be,” Ms. Thayer said. “But I realized that there was not going to be a time when he was not inappropriate with me and asking for a sexual relationship.”

© 2018 The New York Times Company
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/a...isconduct.html

I always thought Roma was weird..

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