Ladies – and I guess in this day and age gents too – not everybody with a camera is your friend. Especially at Carnival time. Don’t get caught up with the heady combination of sun shining, music playing and alcohol flowing to let go of the little security codes we all follow in our normal lives. Yes, you may be looking beautiful and yes, you may be getting lots of attention but none of this changes the fact that there are some disreputable people waiting to seize the opportunity that your half naked body and relaxed guard presents. Let me share with you an experience I had. A few carnivals ago I had to rescue a friend of mine who was being photographed by a man. She preened and posed and thought nothing of the fact that he was asking her for increasingly sexy shots. She didn’t realise that the man was working for an adult website – it said so on his photo id. What was amazing – and a bit sad – was that in the time it took for me to pull her away and explain this, half a dozen other women had taken over and were eagerly lifting up their legs and bending over to be photographed. Listen. All photographers and filmographers are required by law to carry professional ID for the Carnival. If they don’t, they not official – either the film is for personal i.e. home use or they were denied permission. Interestingly enough, when I’d called several authorities to ask about the company they expressed surprise that they had been granted a license in the first place. They’d promised an investigation and had offered the suggestion that the application for the license had perhaps been made under a different company name. Whether this is true or not the fact remains that the authorities can only do so much and commonsense must be on high at ALL times on BOTH days. When I posted on another blog about women “skinning up” and flashing their breasts for carnival I was blasted by a commenter and accused of lying. As much as we would like to believe so, I am not. The photographic libraries of all the local media houses – and I’m not just talking about Punch the Love Paper here but Express, Guardian etc – are full of images that could be classified as pornographic. I have a number of friends who are photographers who show me pictures they’ve taken over the season and it always makes me feel very ashamed to be a woman. As one photographer told me, from the moment some women see a camera they’re willing to do anything to have their photo taken. I have seen enough photos of vaginas and breasts to know that this is true. Professionalism dictates that these photos cannot be used – but they have to be stored. I would feel very uncomfortable at the thought that somewhere there is a photo of my private parts stored in a library vault, even if it was never used. But this only applies to local photographers. International press could do whatever the hell they want. Do not forget the Darlene Beddoe case a few years back where her face was lifted from a carnival website and put on someone else’s naked body for an adult website. If they could do this without her permission, think how much more they could do with a photo you’ve willing posed for.
Here is a link to an interesting article.