Hurricane Sandy and Bad Decisions

If you live on the East Coast like me, you were probably exposed to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. Luckily, Maryland was not hit as bad as initially predicted although OceanCity took a pretty nasty beating. Still, what my little state experienced was nothing compared to the horror New   Jersey and New York experienced. You can see photos of some of the devastation across these two states here.

Initially, the only unfortunate photography accident I had heard of related to Hurricane Sandy was the story of a photographer/MUA named Lauren Abraham who went outside to take pictures in the storm and was electrocuted and burned to death by a hanging wire.

But then… this story featured on Yahoo.com was shared in a modeling group I am apart of on Facebook.

What an unfortunate accident indeed.

I know some will say that I’m no one to really talk about this sort of thing…After all the urban decay shoots I have done….like this one, and this one, and this one……and of course this one…. But I still cannot help but shake my head.

There’s a difference between decay and devastation though. My good photographer friend Jim O’Connor recently was featured in Kultur Magazine and said in his bio that there is a sort of beauty in decay and that his urban decay photography centered around his philosophy that in the decay of one type of beauty, another emerges. One life ends and another begins, that there is a sort of reincarnation in urban decay. I agree. In all those pictures with crumbling buildings being overgrown with vines or being reclaimed by nature, though one life ended, another was just beginning.

But in devastation, that reincarnation is not present. There is only the pain of loss—a pain that turns into anger when some girl stands in front of it just trying to look sexy. I don’t blame those who are outraged and insulted over this photo shoot, especially since the idea itself was so poorly shot. The photos look like snapshots from an average point and shoot camera, with a regular built in flash, not a professional photo shoot. I honestly question why she did a shoot that was so below her caliber of work. I mean, seriously, this chick apparently used to be a playboy model!

On the flipside, some people have taken a humorous response to the situation and the model and her unfortunate decision to shoot in the devastation from Sandy was turned into a meme, with a Portuguese Facebook page dedicated to spreading the meme which, at the time of me typing this has almost 5,500 fans.

But the moral of this situation, is very clear: certain things are not appropriate at certain times, and if it seems like a bad idea it probably IS a bad idea. Shooting in the Devastation of Sandy was all around probably neither safe nor tasteful. But most importantly, if someone can find a reason to turn your bad idea into a joke, they will do it.

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