What's a photographer's responsibility in commercial work?

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Daniela

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I've been reading a few things about a fashion ad controversy (and subsequent fallout) after using children and teddy bears in bondage gear, and was surprised to see that Gabriele Galimberti, the photographer, claims that he
"...was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same...[and] was only hired to lit (sic) the scene, and take the shots according to [his] signature style. As usual, the direction of the campaign and of the shooting are not on the hands of the photographer."

I have to say that to me that sounds like a cop-out.
He also makes it seem like the role of photographer is pretty insignificant in that context, and it made me wonder what the appeal would be for a well-known photographer to agree to do that. I'm guessing the money or potential future financial gains stemming from the "collaboration" are great, but I still find it hard to understand. In any case, the guy is now being threatened, he's losing jobs and the ads are being called "child pornography" by some, so whatever benefits he expected have gone out the door.

What are your thoughts?
 

cramej

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He knew what he was doing. Balenciaga is a dumpster fire to begin with and they figure controversy is free PR, but they were probably paying him $10k/day so he stuck with it. Couture brands are on another planet when it comes to common sense and relating to the civilized world. Sounds like a new kind of hitman defense...."I didn't orchestrate anything, they just hired me to shoot in my signature style."
 

awty

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Did he do anything illegal?
Were the girls or teddies in any physical danger?
Do you have any actual pictures or do we only have speculation?
Fashion has dressed children up as adults for a long time.
Some consider any pictures of children not consider wholesome to be exploration, some say that about some Sherly Temple movies.
Should art be Left up to the virtuous?
Someone should blow Twitter up.
 

Sirius Glass

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Children and teddy bear exploitation and bondage at over the line. The photographer should have said no and walked out.
 

cramej

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Not likely anything illegal, but it falls under the category of "just don't".
 

faberryman

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Have you seen the prices on the kids clothes? For example, a tee shirt is $225 and sneakers are $595. I didn't see any bondage bears on the website, so I am not sure how they ended up in the shoot.
 

nmp

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Have you seen the prices on the kids clothes? For example, a tee shirt is $225 and sneakers are $595. I didn't see any bondage bears on the website, so I am not sure how they ended up in the shoot.

I am sure they scrubbed them out of existence after the backlash. What the hell is a "plush bear bag" anyway?
 

Pieter12

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I've been reading a few things about a fashion ad controversy (and subsequent fallout) after using children and teddy bears in bondage gear, and was surprised to see that Gabriele Galimberti, the photographer, claims that he


I have to say that to me that sounds like a cop-out.
He also makes it seem like the role of photographer is pretty insignificant in that context, and it made me wonder what the appeal would be for a well-known photographer to agree to do that. I'm guessing the money or potential future financial gains stemming from the "collaboration" are great, but I still find it hard to understand. In any case, the guy is now being threatened, he's losing jobs and the ads are being called "child pornography" by some, so whatever benefits he expected have gone out the door.

What are your thoughts?

He was hired for his style, and I am sure he was paid quite well. It Is not unusual for a client to dictate props, models or anything else for the shoot. It is up to the photographer to decline to make a shot that he or she deems offensive or harmful. He would probably never work for that client or a slew of others as a consequence, but it looks like he’s losing work because he went along with the client’s requests anyway. I wonder if there was an agency involved or if he was hired directlly.

From what I’ve see, it is only the teddy bears who are adorned in bondage attire, not the children. Little girls regularly deform and mar their dolls, taking off their heads and appendages. This really isn’t that much different. The children involved in the shoot and even seeing the ads most probably don’t have a clue as to what the bondage gear is about, anyway.

Part of this whole blow-up is social media, making a mountain out of a molehill. There was way more real controversy in the Calvin Klein TV and print ads with young Brooke Shields shot by Avedon.
 

momus

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The only responsibility a commercial photographer has is to make sure the client's check doesn't bounce.
 

nmp

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He was hired for his style, and I am sure he was paid quite well. It Is not unusual for a client to dictate props, models or anything else for the shoot. It is up to the photographer to decline to make a shot that he or she deems offensive or harmful. He would probably never work for that client or a slew of others as a consequence, but it looks like he’s losing work because he went along with the client’s requests anyway. I wonder if there was an agency involved or if he was hired directlly.

From what I’ve see, it is only the teddy bears who are adorned in bondage attire, not the children. Little girls regularly deform and mar their dolls, taking off their heads and appendages. This really isn’t that much different. The children involved in the shoot and even seeing the ads most probably don’t have a clue as to what the bondage gear is about, anyway.

Part of this whole blow-up is social media, making a mountain out of a molehill. There was way more real controversy in the Calvin Klein TV and print ads with young Brooke Shields shot by Avedon.

Blaming social media on social media. The pictures also appeared on social media.

So it's OK to feature children as long as they don't understand what it is?
 

Chuck_P

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It's an adult-themed teddy bear placed in a child's hands........you have to ask why?
 

nmp

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What what is? Does a child know what a Barbie doll represents?

The children involved in the shoot and even seeing the ads most probably don’t have a clue as to what the bondage gear is about, anyway.


What what is is "bondage gear" as you put it. No harm if they don't know?
 

Pieter12

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What what is is "bondage gear" as you put it. No harm if they don't know?

That’s right. It is only offensive to adults who may object. Children are not the intended audience anyway—it appears the advertiser wanted to stir up some controversy for the sake of publicity. Much worse would be a child with a toy weapon, something that is actively marketed to children every day.

Don’t take it as me approving of the ad. I find it in poor taste. As is much of today’s fashion advertising.
 

awty

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Read this:

That’s right. It is only offensive to adults who may object. Children are not the intended audience anyway—it appears the advertiser wanted to stir up some controversy for the sake of publicity. Much worse would be a child with a toy weapon, something that is actively marketed to children every day.

Don’t take it as me approving of the ad. I find it in poor taste. As is much of today’s fashion advertising.

I don't think it's even original, pretty sure I've seen similar before.
Fashion is about being noticed, like owning a M6.
All those children living in abject poverty and world gets worked up over a stuffed doll.
 

Pieter12

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I don't think it's even original, pretty sure I've seen similar before.
Fashion is about being noticed, like owning a M6.
All those children living in abject poverty and world gets worked up over a stuffed doll.

The children in the ad most probably got paid well. Who knows about the children who may have made the teddy bear?
 

Rrrgcy

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According to NyPost reporting of today, he said they were Balenciaga employees’ kids, first using mannequins and his shots were sent out from his camera to a computer then to HQ. And, “When they say OK, we simply replaced the mannequin with a real kid.” “When they saw those bags, everybody was telling them they were punk. Nobody ever mentioned BDSM,” he said. “I can recognize if we are going too far or not, but in that occasion I trust them and I didn’t see anything so wrong.”

The only two images available are unimagined. Excepting the children centered who dangle the furries, which is objectionable (oh and those parents are idiots and worse), the shots of these plain rooms are strewn with crudely categorized unimaginatively oversupplied assembled products and a peripheral touch of kid Lego big block toys and sundry kid room crap. Both kids’ shoes look way oversize; I’d also fear the one might stumble on the bed and fall out that window. Where were the parents? Oh yeah - there smiling. Great legacy.

Q. Anyone see any style or art whatsoever? What‘s his style?

My opinion is his responsibility was to object negotiate decline and at worst walk. I thought pro photographers see!

Nirvana pool baby anyone (though now resolved)?
 
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Daniela

Daniela

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Part of this whole blow-up is social media, making a mountain out of a molehill. There was way more real controversy in the Calvin Klein TV and print ads with young Brooke Shields shot by Avedon.
There's certainly an element of seemingly mass outrage in social media and lightning-speed apologies from brands that renders it all artificial and meaningless. I'm not sure how a balance can be achieved, but I still think it's an important conversation to have.
 
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Don Heisz

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It's a farce. If that's exploitation and "abuse", this is worse:
1670759353969.png


What would a kid think of a teddy bear wearing a dog harness? Nothing.
What does a kid think you should do with a gun? Shoot someone in the face.
 

guangong

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The last I heard was that the B. was suing the advertising agency for promoting this campaign. Finger pointing at everybody by everybody.
 
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I've been reading a few things about a fashion ad controversy (and subsequent fallout) after using children and teddy bears in bondage gear, and was surprised to see that Gabriele Galimberti, the photographer, claims that he


I have to say that to me that sounds like a cop-out.
He also makes it seem like the role of photographer is pretty insignificant in that context, and it made me wonder what the appeal would be for a well-known photographer to agree to do that. I'm guessing the money or potential future financial gains stemming from the "collaboration" are great, but I still find it hard to understand. In any case, the guy is now being threatened, he's losing jobs and the ads are being called "child pornography" by some, so whatever benefits he expected have gone out the door.

What are your thoughts?

A professional photographer there's only one responsibility and that is: "make the customer happy!"
 
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