Since I began Gloomth in 2007 so many men have tried to use my label or my work to their sexual advantage. Whether by claiming false involvement with us, pretending to know me, or using some negligible association to me/Gloomth in an attempt to lure and prey on our models and friends. This is degrading to my efforts as a professional (this is my JOB after all, and you wouldn’t pull this shit at your workplace), patronizing to our models/friends (they aren’t dumb, they know what you’re doing), and frankly exhausting. There’s a reason I do nearly all of our shoots myself now.
All of our models know that they can run any weird messages from dudes claiming to be photographers I’ve worked with or “friends” of mine by me- since 99% of the time these messages are bullshit. I’ve had to post repeated “we don’t have a talent scout” announcements after a total stranger in another country claimed to work for me (he doesn’t) to solicit photos from girls. Every week I block accounts that post sexual or dehumanizing comments on our social media posts. This kind of stuff just keeps happening and it’s pretty infuriating to be forced to deal with it repeatedly.
My work has never ever been about your dick.
Our roots are in “riot grrrl” culture and we do not take kindly to dudes invading our space for their personal sexual benefit. My goal is to create a safe space at our photoshoots and events (and in our online communities). Our audience deserves an escape from the “real world” and all the gross stuff that goes on there. No one wants to feel creeped on or objectified, and I know I can’t control the outside world but I can lay down some ground rules for our little Universe to better support our community and make sure our people are comfortable.
So here’s our Creep Policy:
-Slash-and-Burn social media rule. I will instantly delete/block any account that posts sexualizing, hateful, or simply rude comments on our posts (no second chances, no excuses). If you can’t say something nice (or at least not dehumanizing) don’t say anything at all. The internet doesn’t exist as a buffet of women for you to make uncomfortable advances at.
-If any model tells me someone has messaged/emailed them claiming to know me (or in some way claiming involvement with Gloomth) and creeped them out I will block that person from our profiles without hesitation or clarification (and black list them from events/shoots). I don’t care if you “meant well” or are “being nice”- your intentions don’t matter, your behavior does. I value the models’ evaluation of your behavior above yours for obvious reasons.
-I only vouch for four male photographers officially. At this time I am only comfortable vouching for individuals I have worked with repeatedly and recently, who I am still in active contact with.
-If any guest or model claims an individual at one of our live events is making them uncomfortable that individual will be removed from the event and banned from future ones. If you can’t sit through a Tea Party without being creepy that’s on you, go home and practice in the mirror or something.
-If you message a model claiming false involvement with Gloomth or myself I will not be chill about it. This old shrew is fresh out of patience.
I’m tired of calling out this type of garbage behavior to be met with the same tired parade of “I was just being nice” excuses (hi, I wasn’t born yesterday). I’m not interested in wasting energy tolerating this stuff- no more benefit of the doubt, no more excuses- either treat us with respect or fuck off. The reality is these creepers (and their worthless “follows” and “likes”) don’t pay my bills and my work isn’t improved by courting their interest. I’d rather have 10 follows from legitimate people than 10k from wankers.
Our friends/fans deserve to feel safe when in our world and if I can do any small thing to increase that I will. I don’t expect creeps to read this post but I think it’s important to let our audience and models know where we firmly stand on these issues.