Statement on Sexual Misconduct

Please read this statement in full before contacting me about it. — P.W.C.

A few months ago, a former model (@shitmodelmgmt on Instagram) began compiling a list of, in her words, “people in the fashion industry that I SUGGEST models avoid, because I have been told that they have acted sexually inappropriate to models [emphasis in original].”

[ADDENDUM (5 March 2018): the author of the list has decided to take it down after receiving death threats against herself and her family.]

A list of names followed; names with an asterisk next to them had been sent to the administrator on three or more separate occasions. Nick Sabatalo’s name is on that list, with an asterisk.

I debated for some time what to do about the profile I wrote on him last September. I admit I initially had slight misgivings about the list. As the administrator explained, sexually inappropriate behavior encompassed everything from pressuring models into nude shoots to making advances to rape. Still, inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior. This statement should not be construed as a suggestion that I know exactly what Sabatalo may or may not have done. Rather, it’s two things. At this point, it’s mostly an explanation of why I left the profile standing. I briefly considered removing it from the site, but I rejected that as self-serving and disrespectful. I fully own up to what I wrote. Sabatalo was, as I said in the acknowledgments, very kind and generous towards me. All of that is true; I didn’t write that because I thought I had to.

The operative phrase, however, is “towards me.” As the blacklist administrator said in an interview, “everyone has a different experience [with persons accused of misconduct]. They’re like, ‘Oh my god, that is my friend. I go hiking with him every weekend. He would never do that.’ It’s like, I’m so happy that he hasn’t assaulted you, but clearly he did someone to else.” I leave the profile mostly standing with a link to this note, because doing otherwise would be to pretend that I always knew of the allegations against Sabatalo and that I had never supported him. This is obviously not true. I admit fully that until now, I had supported a problematic person. I do not intend to do so again.

If allegations are made against any other past subjects, I will leave their profiles standing with a link to this post. I consider this somewhat akin to what some art museums have been quietly doing to plaques for paintings by or of problematic individuals: mentioning below a Founding Father’s portrait, for example, that he may have said some very nice and eloquent things about liberty, but was also an unrepentant slaveholder. I intend to leave the profile standing entirely as a record of something I wrote that I think is well-written, while also making it clear that I no longer support the individual about whom it was written.

This post should also be understood as a general statement on sexual misconduct. It is an enormous problem in the fashion industry and I applaud all who are working to end it and to break the silence surrounding it.

I’ve turned off comments, but if you still have questions or something you’d like to say, you can email profilesinphotography [at] gmail [dot] com. I will keep all correspondence completely confidential, regardless of its subject matter.

Peter W. Coulson, Editor-in-Chief

4 March 2018

As I said before: I will not respond to any emails whose authors did not read the full statement

[There used to be a link here to the list, but as I said before the author of the list took t down after receiving death threats against herself and her family. I have an archived version saved. I won’t post it here; email me if you want a copy.]

National resources for sexual assault survivors: https://www.rainn.org/national-resources-sexual-assault-survivors-and-their-loved-ones

The National Sexual Assault Hotline Telephone Hotline is 800.656.4673. More information on it can be found here.

What to do if you’ve been sexually harassed: http://www.feminist.org/911/harasswhatdo.html

A list of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) field offices: https://www.eeoc.gov/field/

The Next Few Months

I had to briefly deactivate our IG page again just because I was going to France and wanted to spend as little time as possible dicking around on my phone. But we’re back. I have three important announcements:

(1) The actual profiles will return (!), probably sometime in mid-February. I’ve got a list of about five or six people I’m going to get in touch with very soon. And you can always recommend people I might have overlooked by emailing profilesinphotography at gmail dot com or DMing @profilesinphotography.

(2) Profiles will no longer be published at strict intervals. Instead of every other Tuesday, I’m going to pick out a series of publication dates in advance and post those dates somewhere on the site.

(3) As I kind of hinted at last month, there will be a zine, probably sometime in late spring. The call for submissions will be put out around the same time as the next profile. (I’d like to get it printed before mid-May, partly because it would be cool for it to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the site but mainly because I want to print it for free on the color copier at school.)

If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments or through Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

State of the Site, (Almost) 3 Months In

It’s been almost three months since I made Profiles in Photography public. Monday is the official three-month anniversary, but on Tuesday I’m publishing our next profile and I prefer to give meta posts a few days to breathe. What follows is a very loosely organized collection of some stuff related to the site itself that I thought you might want to know about.

ABOUT PRONOUNS

Just to clear things up: I often refer to myself as “we” when I’m talking about the site. This is entirely a stylistic choice (the “editorial we,” if you never wrote for your high-school newspaper). I am the sole admin/editor/writer/social-media manager/etc.

SOME ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank you. Thank you all for reading the profiles, following us, liking us, and for everything else. If there were a practical way of individually thanking every single person who had read the site, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I would also like to extend a personal thank-you to everyone we’ve profiled so far: Patrick Joust, Vincent Tullo, Jacob Morel, Natalie Christensen, Cody Cobb, and Chase Hart. There are also five people who’ll be profiled in the future (three whom I’ve already interviewed, two whom I’m going to interview soon) but whose names are under embargo — I see you, and thank you. You are all very kind, hardworking, and generous; thank you for taking the time to either meet with me or answer my interview questions. This site would not exist without you.

A ROUGH TIMELINE

I can’t remember when I first came up with the idea for the site, but I’m pretty sure I first told somebody about it on 22 April 2017, created the WordPress site on 24 April, and registered the domain name on 27 April. The site went live on 14 May, though I had put the finishing touches on it some time before then, and I published the first profile the evening of 23 May.

STATISTICS

All of these are current as of 12 p.m. on 9 August 2017 and will probably be slightly different by the time you read this.

  • Since the site was created, we’ve received a total of 1,058 views from 485 unique visitors from 37 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Our top country by far is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and France.
  • We’ve consistently gotten at least 100 unique visitors per month; our worst-performing month was June and our best-performing one was May. (July saw the most total views but fewer unique visitors.)
  • Our top referrer* was Facebook, followed by Instagram, followed by Tumblr in a distant third.
  • We’ve got 202 Instagram followers, but only 27 likes on our Facebook page and even fewer Twitter followers. (Which, again, makes sense, since Instagram is a visual medium and all our profiles are about photographers…but please don’t hesitate to like our page or follow us on Twitter.)

*How people got to the site. For example, if you came to this post by clicking on a Facebook link, Facebook would be the referrer, but if you typed “profilesinphotography.com” into the URL bar, WordPress would count that as a referral from a search engine.

All of those numbers are nice to see. Obviously, some of you have a much wider online following than we do, and stats like ours would probably distress you, but 485 unique viewers is still 485 more than three months ago. 202 Instagram followers is still 202 more than three months ago. 37 countries is still 37 more than three months ago. In any creative pursuit, comparing yourself to others is an easy shortcut to depression, burnout, and hopelessness. I’ve been particularly bad about this in the past; I still am, but I’m trying really fucking hard to only compare myself to, well, myself.

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or grievances, please email me at profilesinphotography [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also contact me through the site’s official FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages.

 

Welcome.

Hi. My name’s Peter, and this is my website, Profiles in Photography. I created it to combine my love of writing and of photography in a way that went beyond the traditional photo-blog model, so instead of just writing about photography, Profiles in Photography will do something a little different. Every other week, we’ll publish an interview-based profile of one of the best photographers working today.

And this is a really exciting time for photography. Some would argue that social media have cheapened it; we beg to differ. Sites like Instagram have made it easy for folks doing great work to put themselves out there and get the recognition they deserve, and Profiles in Photography is in and of this “Instagram generation.” Without social media and the Internet, we wouldn’t be able to easily find good photographers since we aren’t really ingratiated into the traditional art world, and without folks to write about, we wouldn’t exist. (And we’re always on the lookout. Don’t hesitate to send us an email if there’s someone you like whose work you think we should check out.)

That being said, don’t send us your own work, because there are two different ways to do specifically that. All year round, you can get featured on our Instagram if you follow @profilesinphotography, tag us in your pictures, and use the hashtag #PIPfeatures. And every December, we run a super-dope portfolio contest whose winners get profiled on our site. (UPDATE [20 July 2017])the portfolio contest may or may not happen. We’ll have a better idea of whether or not it’s feasible around mid-November.)

As for our content itself, above all, we want the articles to be good. Our promise to ourselves is that we’ll only publish writing that we’d read ourselves, and our promise to you is that our output will be consistently excellent.

Our first profile will be of Patrick Joust and out very soon. Stay tuned!