Picture Perfect

So? What do you think of my yearbook photo?
So? What do you think of my yearbook photo?
This just in!!! A Kardashian tried to avoid the paparazzi. Well, not really. We all know that would never happen. But, one of the people stupid enough to marry into that train wreck of a family did try and beat some paparazzi up because he wanted to be left alone. He’ll be divorced before the final I DO echoes off the back wall of the imported sound system.Since he’ll soon be a trivia answer only people with less of a life than me will ever no, I won’t waste any more time on him here.

Okay, let’s move on to something slightly more scandalous. Urban Outfitters is being sued for using a hot, unfortunately underage, girl as their T-shirt model. The teen’s parents went to great length to keep her identity out of the press by calling her “Minor Child Plaintiff” in the lawsuit. Of course, what good is that for an aspiring starlet? First the story and then the real world.

The parents of a teenage fashion model have sued a photographer in federal court in Manhattan and named Urban Outfitters Inc. as one of several codefendants over a photo that they say is salacious and that was used on T-shirts sold by the Philadelphia retailer.

Neither the 16-year-old California girl nor her parents were identified in the suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs noted that she has worked for major corporations in Paris, New York, and elsewhere, was “well-known” in the modeling industry, and was represented by two prestigious agencies.

No photos were publicly filed with the lawsuit, which seeks millions of dollars in damages.

The images were taken by professional photographer Jason Lee Parry around March 2010 as part of a magazine shoot sanctioned by the model’s parents, the suit said.

Urban Outfitters did not respond to a request for comment.

Parry, based in Los Angeles, said that he owned the photos and that his work was published 11/2 years ago with the permission of the model’s parents, and with no complaints despite the images’ having appeared widely since then.

“Because Urban Outfitters put it on a T-shirt,” Parry, 32, said Friday, “they want to sue for it.”

It was not known whether Urban – or anyone else – was still selling the shirts.

In one shot the plaintiffs labeled offensive, the model was sitting on a motorcycle with her legs spread open. The girl was 15, the suit said, yet Parry had her posed “in a blatantly salacious manner with her legs spread, without a bra, revealing portions of her breasts.”

They also accuse Parry of posing her with beer.

Parry said he did not choreograph the bike pose: “The reason she set her legs up on the motorcycle is because the pipes were hot.”

In the lawsuit, the parents said that when they and their daughter’s agent, Ford Models, saw the photo after the shoot, they did not want it published and “never wanted to see such an image again.”

Several images later made their way onto T-shirts, including some sold at Urban Outfitters stores and website, and others through Brandy & Melville, N.Y. Inc., which owns boutiques in Europe and America, the suit said. California apparel distributor Blood Is the New Black also is a defendant.

The suit accuses them of failing to ensure that selling the apparel would not infringe on anyone’s “right of publicity or privacy.”

The suit also raises issues of intellectual property rights.

The minor in question is named Hailey Clausen and her publicist wants you to know that the horribly offensive, dear God put some clothes on that poor kid (she might be naked, click to make sure), T-shirt in question can be found by clicking the link I just provided.

Also, as the photographer noted, no one complained when those shots were used for print ads. But, hey, anyone can sue and most usually do.

Oh well, let’s move on to a happier photography story. Most photographers, short of kiddie porn, will snap any pic you want as long as you’ve got the cash. So, it’s kind of refreshing to read about a woman in Pennsylvania who was supposed to take High School photos but refunded a bunch of money after finding out some of the girls made the Sopranos look like choir boys.

An Indiana County photographer has decided not to shoot senior pictures for a group of high school girls she saw bullying and harassing other students online.

“I don’t want to photograph them, I don’t want them to be a part of my business image and I don’t want them on my blog,” Jennifer McKendrick told Channel 4 Action News’ Ashlie Hardway.

McKendrick said she saw four high school seniors bullying other kids on an anonymous Facebook page that went beyond just name-calling.

“It was beyond ‘your clothes are ugly’ or ‘you don’t have any brand clothes’ or ‘you are ugly, your hair is not right.’ It was vicious. It was talking about sexuality,” McKendrick said.

She told Hardway that she was supposed to take the girls’ senior portraits.

Instead of taking their pictures, McKendrick took screen shots of the online comments and sent them to her clients’ parents, saying she saw their children’s behavior on the Internet and was canceling their sessions and refunding their $200 deposits.

“I got a couple responses that said ‘thank you for letting them know,’ that they were unaware what was going on and that they would take care of it,” said McKendrick.

McKendrick blogged about the situation and said she wouldn’t photograph anyone who behaves that way toward others.

She said the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I knew about it and it was going to be difficult for me to spend the time during the session to try and take these beautiful images of them knowing that they said such ugly things,” said McKendrick.

Below is an example of a letter that McKendrick sent to parents:

“I am writing to cancel your shoot scheduled _________ due to some recent events brought to my attention. After stumbling upon a Facebook page called (name removed), I witnessed mean and cruel behavior coming from _______. I am returning your depositing of $212.00 and I’m afraid will need to find another photographer for your daughters senior photos. I want to protect the image of my business and the mean and hurtful things she has said on there is not the type of client I want to represent my business. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and I hope you understand my reasons for doing so. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this matter any further.”

No wonder the Kardashians never go to Pennsylvania.

while I’m not 100% comfortable with someone like this making moral choices, I have to admire her integrity. She didn’t say “Your rotten spawn from Hell will never be immortalized on film!”, she simply said she was unwilling to participate in any actions involving social miscreants with no future.

Yeah, after thinking about it, I’m fine with that.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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