blee blu by PAGE Magazine January 19, 2021
Toxic photography is a stain on the industry. Toxic photographers who hold their power over young, aspiring models engage in a deeply twisted act that warrants retribution cancel culture provides.
Photographers hold power through the service or product they, as artists, provide. Over the past several years, through an affirmative movement known as #MeToo, photographers have been exposed for their misconduct.
A history of inappropriate behavior and those who have taken advantage of their positions have succumbed to social media justice and cancel culture.
An industry that has always had this cloud over it has met cancel culture in hashtag fashion. Male fashion photographers have been too thirsty and the people and social media companies have then spoken. The toxic photography will not stand.
Most of these photographers have thus faded to black, or have retreated into the bushes like Homer Simpson for cover.
The screenshots of conversations between some photographers then became public by the accusers of the misconduct. This opened Pandora’s box of ugly behavior by photographers who have made advances while working.
Many artists were accused of misconduct, on photoshoots and beyond by models, and they include Marcus Hyde, Blee Blu, Chuck, Mark Del Mars, Timur Emek.
These photographers have been the millennials involved in the recent exposure of explicit advancements over direct messaging on Instagram.
Among the millennial class of photographers, Marcus Hyde, who famously worked with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, was a prime example of how not to conduct your business no matter the type of content you produce.
Hyde, like some of the other photographers, slid in DMs of models. These women were interested in growing portfolios with notable young photographers. Not dealing with toxic photographers using their power to exploit them.
Hyde sought to get nude images from the model inquiring about a potential shoot or dish out $2000 for a photo session. Timur Emek took it further in the messages suggesting “some fun” as part of the shoot under “[his] rules,” alluding to sexual acts.
Working with celebrities doesn’t afford toxic photographers the right to manipulate and take advantage of vulnerable models.
Whatever considerable clout these artists possess through their social media followings, it shouldn’t allow for sexual privilege over up-and-coming models.
Photography OGs, like, Terry Richardson, Mari Testino, and Bruce Weber have also been accused of such actions of hyper-masculinity. Even though their careers happened well before the digital era, they have garnered notoriety beyond social media.
As photographers, they were relevant figures at publications, like Vogue and some of the finest high-fashion brands. But their power of course did not warrant toxic masculinity in their photography.
The world has since evolved in the digital era, and the internet emboldened cancel culture protagonists, the models, and associates who have worked with these artists in prior have come forth in efforts to protect future talent.
Terry Richardson’s explicit photographs got him famous. But, the authorities investigated him and he thus endured litigation for sexual misconduct on set. His reputation could not survive the #MeToo movement and cancel culture.
If you’re planning on taking your photography seriously, consider your conduct at all corners. Be mindful of your business dealings and reputation as precious pieces to your growth and advancement as an artist and creative.
You should not have ulterior motives. Also, you don’t want people thinking you do. And essentially, a problem within the intimacy of working on set, especially as the photographer and conductor of the collaboration, could wreck the whole project.
Don’t be a toxic photographer. One, be a good person. And two, don’t use power to exploit people.