A while ago, someone asked me why I post blogs about size acceptance, and other aspects of the fat community. Her words were “It’s not like you’re making a whole lot of friends, or like some woman will read them and fall in love with you”.
I’m happy in my relationship, and have all the friends I’d like.
I write many of these blogs to push the cause of size acceptance. I also write some of these blogs to point out some of the insanity that I’d observed as part of the more social part of the fat community. Much of it still exists, and my time away from it has caused me to regain what I consider to be a better perspective. There were many incidents that took place during the time that I was married to one of the more popular BBW paysite models, and when I partnered to run BBW/FA events in New Jersey.
This blog will recount one of the ones I remember well.
What jogged my memory was a link I had gotten from a mutual friend who blogs for size acceptance. According to my friend, the Huffington Post had done an online article about a photographer who was getting accolades for a photo project where he shot what most people consider to be morbidly obese women in the nude. I’m linking the article here, but please note the nudity warning:
As I read the article, and then linked to the photographer’s page, I cringed a little. It brought me back to a weekend several years ago at my New Jersey Bash.
I was called prior to my event by a mutual friend, who had asked if her friend, a photographer from Italy could attend the event, and possibly shoot some photos. Well, I’ve always tried to respect the privacy of our events for those who attended, so my initial reaction was to tell her no, for the reasons just noted. She then explained that he was making arrangements to shoot some of the web models,, and was attempting to pre-arrange doing so at the New Jersey Bash. After some discussion, and since he was shooting pics of willing subjects (and after discussion with my business partner), I said yes.
Fast forward a few weeks, and we’re at the event. In he comes, with a slew of photo & lighting equipment………not crap, but some of the best quality equipment that I’ve ever seen. I introduced myself, gave him the layout of the hotel, went over who he was shooting, and then he lowered the boom…………
He wanted to do a shoot with my wife.
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to answer for her, but I also wanted to protect the integrity of my wife’s website. I told him that he needed to speak directly to her, but I wanted some things in return, which included getting selections of his photos that could be used on her paysite, and that I wanted to be present at the photoshoot. He spoke with her, and promised that he would provide some content for her site, and would also send 8×10 photos to her from the shoot. She gave him our address, and signed a standard model release, and the time for the shoot was set. He did the same with the other girls who were shot that weekend.
That night, at the bar, I became a little more uncomfortable, as a few girls came to me because they felt he was pressuring them into doing a photo shoot with him. We had a little discussion, and he assured me that he wouldn’t bother any of the women again, as he had more than enough to do with the photo shoots he’d already set up. A few hours later, a paysite webmistress came over to me not because he was harrassing HER, but because he was all over her photographer, asking him if he ever f*%<ed this girl, or what was it like to have this pear shaped web model sit on his face. Evidently, he seemed a bit too familiar with these girls and wanted inside info, including contact information for them. She wasn’t having it, and I had to have another conversation with him that it made his project appear disingenuous to the women he was supposedly trying to show to the rest of the world as beautiful. I was pretty outraged by what I’d heard, and considered sending him packing, but my then wife convinced me that his intentions were sincere.
It wasn’t like I was paranoid, but my gut told me that something wasn’t right, and I had a few incidents to support how I felt. Despite my apprehension, my wife and I went on with his photo shoot, which took place in a stair well at the hotel. I must say that his work was extremely professional. He took great pains to get the right light, the right position, the right shot, sometimes 10 minutes would pass before a pic was taken. He’s an excellent photographer.
He gave us some contact info right before the end of the event, and promised that he’d be in touch to provide what he’d promised.
After the shoot, he’d posted in a forum that he was still working on his project, and when he indicated he needed more subjects, the webmaster I spoke with voiced some of her concerns, and was shut down by the moderators there, who obviously were unaware of what both of us had seen & heard. I also posted, and while I indicated that his work was on the up and up, suggested that the models THINK before they do something without having considered all aspects of what they do, and listen to the concerns raised by others.
Fast forward several months, and we heard nothing from him. I reached out and reminded him of what he promised, and never got the courtesy of a reply. When my soon to be ex contacted him however, it was a different story. He told her that he was immersed in the project, and that unfortunately he hadn’t been able to keep his promise of providing her site content, or the 8×10’s that he’d promised. Several months went by and my ex moved out of our home. Still nothing……..
About a year later, an envelope came in the mail from him. Inside was one (1) 8×10 photo. ONE. That was it. I called her to let her know it had finally arrived, and would drop it off to her. I asked if she had ever gotten content for her site as he’d promised (I never looked at her updates, even when we were together, and even when I personally shot them), and she told me no.
And now, he’s kind of famous in his own right. He’s all over the internet with this project, which he says “I was more interested in shooting these women for what they represent and not necessarily who they are in real life – to me they are human sculptures.”
But you only represent you as the photographer, and nothing else. And I think I know different, based on my experience. I have since spoken with other women who were the subjects of his shoots. Some have said he was wonderful, others not so much. What I saw and witnessed however causes me to want to show him how he is in real life.
So sir, why did you break your word? Why did you not provide shoot content as promised? Why did you not send more than one 8×10 pic as promised? Most important, why did you come to work, and then mix your work with pleasure, asking what it was like to have sex with several different paysite models, and badgering other girls about doing photo shoots?
My guess is, after his ship of fame has sailed, he’ll be fine, since he’ll have a few bucks made from his project. He also has a bunch of photo content that he can release if he’d like more cash, or get his rocks off in private. I just don’t want him viewed as some sort of crusader for fat women or size acceptance. In my eyes, he’s a one trick pony with a one track mind.
Update 7/24/13 – Someone I know seemed to dispute the validity of my comments today, and so as not to re-write fat history, I’ve decided to link my readers here to the threads that showed up in another forum several years ago, questioning his ethics, and asking why some of the models who had posed for him had not received their photo sets as promised. Let me give you the links:
In both of these threads, he was accused (by others, not me) of being less than honorable, particularly with regard to his candor about what ti was like to sex with some of the webmodels (yes, he was specific, though that wasn’t in the posts). Additionally, questions came up concerning his model release, which essentially gave him the rights to do virtually anything with those photos, including using them in advertising. The model release is listed below.
The reason I do this is because I don’t want MY credibility questioned the way I’m questioning this guy, though my guess is that it will be anyway.