sport photographer scumbags

You know what I’m talking about …

Every time we let the general sports photographer into our gyms, the photo chosen (out of hundreds) is a crotch shot.

I won’t link to this AP photo as I’m not wanting to send them even one visitor.

It happened at the Canadian Championships this year too. The local sports reporter working for us was terrific. Later the paper’s sports photographer rolled in, wandered the floor, and posted a crotch shot unrelated in any other way to the results of the meet. Or the text of the article.

There’s no debate on this topic. Photographers that deliberately choose photos that emphasize the genitals of girls and young women should be named, denounced and specifically disallowed ever to attend our competitions in future.

Feel free to name names in the comments if you know of a scumbag photographer you’d like to ban.


• NCAA photographer LuckySo-n-So defends his crotch shot pics on a photo forum.

Pornstars in powder: sexism and snow
… on the bigger issue of using sex to sell product

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coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

29 thoughts on “sport photographer scumbags”

  1. Not defending the photographers, but…

    Why do female gymnasts have to were bathing suites in the first place?

    They dont look good in my opinion, and there are plenty of alternatives.

    1. I’ve often wondered that too, nathan.

      Best are ‘bike shorts’ and leo.

      Or even bike shorts and sports bra.

      Today I watched some LIVE women’s beach volleyball. What they wear in the sand is simply absurd.

  2. Lucky So-n-So’s biggest problem is that his photos suck. I mean, no photographer is going to have a memory card full of winners, but if he’s choosing those to represent his best work, then I have to wonder why, because crotches aside–they’re terrible shots. Blurry feet, grainy, etc. So you have to wonder what motivated him to display those as a representation of his work.

  3. I totally agree, I can’t tell you how many rear end shots of Sacramone I saw floating out there in 2008. Rediculous, this is an amazing athlete, not amazing for a woman but amazing athlete period! You don’t see any media outlets releasing photo’s of Dirks crotch while he took a winning shot at the NBA finals…. do ya?


  4. As a photographer of gymnastics and other sports, I don’t understand how, if you have any familiarity with the sport, you even take a picture like this. Occasionally, you might mis-time a shot but I would delete it. Shots from behind happen all the time, particularly if you don’t have access to the floor, but I don’t keep those unless they are exceptional in some way. If you can’t see the gymnast’s face or her position or facial expression wouldn’t be considered flattering, who would want them, let alone post or publish them?

  5. As I understand it, the photographers sell the images using photo syndication companies like Getty Images/NewsCom and the publications/magazines purchase a license to use the image. The blame should also go to any publication that uses the photo on their magazine/website, because they paid the photographer for that particular photo.

  6. As a mom who takes hopeless photos at comps I always haunt the meet photographer’s site to preview the shots of my girls desperate to get a couple of nice, able to be framed and displayed on the wall prints. One WAG comp, the only photos they got of my then Level 1 daughter were all from the back during the extremely simple FX. And he was charging moonbeams for them. I sent him the Gymbox URL and told him to look and learn.

  7. I think the photographers may not be at fault as much as you’re implying. Several reasons:

    1) A straddle is a position used a lot in women’s gymnastics — including in a lot of very visually dramatic skills, such as a Tkatchev. I can’t really think of any angle from which a straddled skill could be photographed that wouldn’t look like either an ass shot or a crotch shot.
    Furthermore, a straddle or split done the way gymnasts do it is so far beyond the capabilities of most people that it will always be visually very stunning and attention grabbing for anybody who doesn’t spend all their time in gyms. I mean, if you want a picture that instantly makes an average person go “WOW!”, a split or striddled skill is pretty much guaranteed to do the trick, and the reason has nothing to do with sexualization of the athletes.

    2) At any given event, the photographer will probably take hundreds of pictures. Some of which will inevitably show a crotch or a wedgie. I think in many cases, the photographers simply turn in all their photos to an editor, and it’s the editors who decide what pictures get used.

    tl;dr: it’s not always the photographer’s fault if an image appears to sexualize the gymnast.

  8. that shot above is tasteless, completely agree.

    @laura Marcella – it was shown to emphasize a point. and to ignite discussion.

    however, my goddaughter is a sports photographer & covers all types of sports like running, athletics, ballet, gym & skating. she shows me some of her shots from time to time, including some of the fantastic shots (she keeps for her portfolio) as well as some of the shockers (midstack, caught by pure chance, funny manurisms in the background etc) before they are deleted off the camera.
    in any given day, she reckons she takes 2000+ shots if it is a full 8 hr day.
    at the end of the day, she uploads her memory card onto the website program & uploads them for people to purchase. she said she does spend some time deleting the shockers – however, some often get missed & are displayed when they shouldn’t. they are ususally the ones midfall off a beam, before tripping over on the soccer field etc..

    when her photos are for a media print company ie newspaper – she turns over 90% of the photos and what they chose to print is their decision.

  9. “it was shown to emphasize a point. and to ignite discussion.”

    I don’t think a photo of a crotch shot was necessary for either. Also as far as literally igniting discussion, Coach Rick doesn’t especially care for discussion anyway. He says things like, people don’t read the comments or advise folks to skip reading the comments from time to time.

  10. I hate to break this to some of you but if a shot comes out clear it gets posted. That is how most photogs do it.

    Not everyone is a perv. That shot was probably released because it was clear.

  11. I can see how there might be a reason for awareness and caution on the part of photographers and the media that use the pictures, but as Geoffrey Taucer said, taking a photo of a (female) gymnast’s crotch is almost unavoidable if you are going to take great pictures on floor, beam, bars. Good on you for giving some time to the subject, but I think the original post is too alarmist.

  12. Shergymrag, I fail to see how you felt this was a good opportunity to bash Coach Rick for this post and not reading others. Coach Rick does read the comments and does his best to address comments that mean something to him.

    Geoffery Taucer, I agree with your second comment. Much like writing an article for a paper, the editors have the control. If they think it will sell more, they will include it in their media.

    Coach Rick, I read all of the comments posted in response to Lucky so-n-so’s posted photographs and was not surprised to see most people defending his “work”. As photographers they seem to forget about the subject all together and look at the photograph from a professional sense. They seem focus on the subject, exposure, clarity and grain in the photograph rather than the person.

    As a HP gymnastics coach, photographs like this seem to hit home a little more than the average joe probably because it is personal. When our athletes are posted in these positions we become defensive to say the least. I would like to think that if it was their 14 yo daughter being photographed in that way they might see it in a different light.

  13. I have a small facebook group for our Gym team – nothing special, just a place for team parents to converse and share pictures. I have it as a private group, requiring approval to join, and sure enough, a sketchy character out of the UK requested access. I visited his profile and saw picture after picture of very young girls in leos and dance costumes, and many had been zoomed in to get an even closer view of the crotch area. The trolls are out there – no need to feed them so overtly. Lucky so-n-so should have used discretion and edited himself – just because you take the picture doesn’t mean anyone else wants to see it.

  14. “Shergymrag, I fail to see how you felt this was a good opportunity to bash Coach Rick for this post and not reading others. Coach Rick does read the comments and does his best to address comments that mean something to him.”

    Should I bash him for this post on some other post?

    And I never said he doesn’t read the comments. I said he acts like comments are not important sometimes. The reason I said that is because another poster tried to say that using the pic was a way to “ignite discussion.”

    1. Just to summarize my opinion on comments for Sher:

      discussions are best held on forums, not blogs
      … If you disagree with one of my posts, link to it from a new thread on a forum, and bash away. The architecture of a forum is better suited to discussions

      • blog comments are best limited to pointing out ERRORS in the original post. And ADDITIONAL links. I much appreciate those comments.

      • on this blog fewer than 5% of readers ever see any comments

      • personally I never read comments on any sites other than my own. I read all of those closely.

  15. “Just to summarize my opinion on comments for Sher:”

    You’re not summarizing them for ME. I already knew your opinion on comments. You’ve talked about it a couple of times before this.

  16. So let’s talk about Rhythmic gymnastics. If you’re not allowed to take photos while the girls are in any kind of split position, it’s nearly impossible to post pictures of this impressing sport.
    And in gymnastics – Yes, there are some shots that shouldn’t be posted, but a picture is not always bad just because it’s a “crotchshot” (what imho is a really stupid name). It’s about the sport an d the way to present it as good as possible to the world (which includes more than the usa – in some countries gymnastics isn’t as popular as in the states. Impressing photos could help to push our sport.

  17. As a Gymnastics photographer I make it a point to delete anything that I would not want posted of my daughter. Feel free to visit our site. We shoot Region 1 and 2 currently and venture in to Colorado on occasion. Please consider us for any meets you have. We do invitationals, State and Regional competitions.

  18. Seriously, I do see what you are saying. But seeing a crotch on a gymnast is just par for the course. It’s kind of like nude “art”. You can look at it two different ways. I think perhaps your mind works as perverted as some and maybe more so or you wouldn’t “see” the crotch so much.

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