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I have removed all my photos of kids, teens and young adult models from my Facebook page. The only two albums are New Orleans scenery photos and an album for my Taekwondo school. Why? Because I have been punished for the sins of others.

Not long after starting to do portrait photography I discovered that many of the  young adult female models had jealous, possessive boyfriends or husbands. This brought a lot of drama not only into their relationships, but also to the photo sessions. In private chats or messages with the young ladies I heard tale upon tale about how awful the male partner was. How he didn't want the girl to model and how he thought I was a pervert for taking photos of females (it doesn't matter that they were always fully clothed). I saw several marriages dissolve and other relationships break up. I was even threatened with violence by several male partners.

I always had a rule that no model would ever have to take a photo he/she didn't want to take or was uncomfortable with in any way. I now added another rule...No Drama!

I then started taking children's portraits, thinking that the kids had no drama to bring into my life, and if any of them threatened me I could probably take them in a fight, LOL.  It started off good and I was making contacts and having a lot of fun. I was even hired to shoot pageants for an entire year. Moms were lining up for me to take photos of their kids, both for pageant head shots as well as special projects I was doing. I became friends with many, and some even consider me a close as family. They said I would be the only photographer they would have take their child's photos.

Then the drama hit. This time it was not the models, it was the moms. Some pageant moms are every bit as eccentric as you've heard or seen on TV. And some are even worst, they praise you, flock to you, and take advantage of you while at the same time spreading false rumors about you; namely that you are a pervert for taking photos of children. Sounds familiar, right?

So I left the pageant photography business and started focusing on sports photography. My daughter goes to an all girls high school and I would take photos at her school's sporting events.  Since I do free-lance photography for NOLA.com (news website)  I started getting recognized by local schools and clubs. I expanded to taking photos at other high school and club sporting events. I was having a great time and meeting some wonderful people whom I have great respect for.

Being the father of three, and an instructor in the sport of Taekwondo, I know what it takes to not only raise a child today, but to also help him/her achieve success in school and athletics. I saw this with many of the young athletes I was photographing. It gave me great respect for them and their parents.

Oh, one thing I didn't mention about me, I'm very friendly. I love meeting people and getting to know them and their background. I'm sort of a history buff too so it interest me how the New Orleans community has evolved and what direction young parents and students see it going. I love talking sports with the parents and the kids. But this has also had a negative effect.

Enter the drama again. Because I seem to equate "client = friend" and my clients don't see it that way, my intentions have once again been questioned. I can't seem to escape this stigma. Why? All I can say is that I'm being punished for the sins of others.

I understand that people want to protect their loved ones. We've all heard of adult males sexually assaulting children, kidnapping, or even killing them. As a parent I was cautious of this too and was protective of my children, but I never accused anyone I knew of being a pedophile or criminal. It seems that my gender, my age, my profession, my friendliness is seen as a suspicious profile. I've asked another photographer if he has had any similar experiences, and he said "yes".  So we must suffer the consequences of those who came before us and committed sins against children, teens, and young adults. Or…we may just choose to leave the profession we love  just to avoid the drama and false accusations that are not needed in our lives.
  • Listening to: radio
  • Watching: time fly by
  • Playing: like I know what I'm doing
  • Eating: king cake
  • Drinking: coffee
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:iconstrengthinweakness:
StrengthInWeakness Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
I am so sorry to here that Greg! I have been out of touch with you way to long and have been thinking of you meaning to shoot you and e-mail. Alas the busy bug has seemed to bit me. lol Again so sorry to hear this happen and I hope it doesn't discourage you to the point you want to throw in the towel. I have been running in to drama myself with other models and it drives you crazy. I have thought of just going to landscape since it doesn't talk back to you. Stay focused in Christ!

We need to catch up over e-mail!
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:iconkatty10:
Katty10 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
I know all too well what it's like having a jealous/protective partner. Very unfortunate for the girls as well as you.

You'll be pleased to know that Kaz had no issue with me disappearing for a day with you while visiting New Orleans :)

It does suck that your life has to be negatively affected because of other people's issues.
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:iconkicks02:
Kicks02 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
Kaz was great. I liked him a lot even beyond how he let you have your freedom and fun. he was just a nice, fun guy.
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:iconkatty10:
Katty10 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
and still is :)
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:iconstefmixo:
stefmixo Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011  Professional Photographer
As a (newly independent) pro photographer, I can only fully agree with you. I established myself in 2009 and started portrait with women glamour/lingerie and it's still my main field (I offer many other services but they keep asking weddings or glamour, nothing else...don't know why).
All this to say that I'm still almost unknown, only a few clients here and there, but I'm already starting to feel these kind of pressure from male partners. (no kid's photos yet, so no problems here)
I already lost a good willing model (became friend too) and I start hearing the same kind of tales as you do .... I'm really over-careful with what I say/do/ask to my models, but still ... I think there's nothing we can do against their jealousy/lies.
I'm with you on this one ! :thumbsup:
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:icontrippy4u:
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
All I can say is wow. Sorry you've had this experience. Be careful with the landscapes, Mother Nature may start accusing you too of objectionable photos. This is how bad things have gotten.
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:iconkicks02:
Kicks02 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
LOL.. you just made my day!
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:icontrippy4u:
Trippy4U Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
:lol: :highfive:
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:iconstratman50th:
stratman50th Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011   Photographer
Too bad Greg. Eventually those who want their photos taken will have no one to do it. Sad state of affairs we're all in now.
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:iconkicks02:
Kicks02 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
Yep. You be careful too when you start photographing your daughter at her activities.
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:iconkiyka:
Kiyka Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
That's so sad. ): VERY unfair that you should have to go through anything like that. You're a great guy. xx
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:iconkicks02:
Kicks02 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2011
Thanks sweetheart. I'm so glad you don't object to me being nice to you.
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March 4, 2011
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