Book Frustrations

Summer 9

First, a note of thanks to all who have passed on good wishes for my surgery this afternoon (and those, too, who had done so for round #1). It’s much appreciated, and having caring friends scattered across the country and world means a lot.

At least this afternoon I know what’s in store for me. I’ll have a good deal less anxiety going in. If all goes as before, a repaired second eye coming out.

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I’ve been following with a mix of humor and dismay a thread over on MM discussing my book. Leaving aside the few snide remarks regarding the subtitle (“fear mongering”) and a comment about “the non-affected image on the cover” (whatever that means), the comments reflect exactly the type of misinformation and confusion that I’d hoped the book would overcome. One thread contributor wrote, quoting first from the interview on Univers d’Artistes:

SH [i.e., me]: Virtually every photographer needs to worry who has ever photographed a nude including any erotic overtones or any explicit nudity (for example, where the pubic area is exposed). Even fashion and glamour photographers who use sexuality or erotic suggestiveness in their media photography, even of clothed models. You don’t need even to publish the photos. Just the taking of any subject images (as I call them) can bring you under the statute’s record-keeping requirements. Even if you are a hobbyist.

The bolded part is incorrect per everything I’ve read in these forums.

Either some of the replies to these blogs are from shills, or they indicate widespread confusion and paranoia.

If photographers do not even realize that the statute contains two regimes, one for record-keeping and the other for affixing notices to images, and that even though you may not have to affix the notices you nevertheless have to keep records, …. Well, imagine my own frustration.

So far, I’m resisting the temptation to jump into the fray and offer my own two cents on this thread. Or on any other.

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Summer, who I think has been my sole Vietnamese-American model. It’s my conclusion, although I think other photographers will agree, that certain ethnic groups have such a bias against nudity that one can only rarely find a model from within those groups — the Vietnamese or Hmong are among them.

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