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A creative blog on The Whole 9

The Photography Blog is written by members of The Whole 9 Creative Photography Circle. For a short “bio” on today’s contributor, scroll down to the bottom of the blog. Enjoy! – Mike Hayward, editor

When People Rip Their Clothes Off For The Camera

by Mike Hayward

“There is a known phenomena where people seem to rip their clothes off when you point a camera at them. Seems to have happened to Rielle. I don’t think the photographer is to blame.”

So says Rob Haggart in his online blog at  Here’s the illustration he used to make his point:

[photo courtesy GQ Magazine]

The subject of a Gentleman’s (cough) Quarterly spread (if you’ll excuse the use of that word) is/was Rielle Hunter (seen as photographed above from that same GQ article)  the notorious paramour of the politician Johnny Reid Edwards from North Carolina. A great deal has recently been said about the manner in which Ms. Hunter was depicted in that article, specifically about her manner of dress (or undress, if you prefer).

While she claimed to have “cried for two hours” upon seeing the images, Ms. Hunter told Barbara Walters that she essentially “went with the flow” at the photo shoot, trusting photographer Mark Seliger (according to Walters’ report) “to capture classy photos for the shoot.”

I’d like to rant on about Ms. Hunter and her “classy” ideals and the hearsay that the first three words she spoke to John Edwards were “God you’re hot!” I’m shocked(!), shocked(!) I tell you, to the more telling rumors about her being in bed with Edwards that same first night and – despite the fact that she was performing services as a videographer – not for a photo shoot.

BUT HERE’S THE POINT (“Too late!” someone cries)…

Actually, it’s a question I’d like you to answer for me.  Does the photographer have a responsibility to his or her subjects to portray them in the nicest way? Or do you believe that a professional photographer is pre-suggestive to the desires of the people who are signing the paycheck?  In a recent interview with Chris “Hardball” Matthews,  GQ article writer Lisa DePaulo defended the nature of the photographs with the comment “This is GQ, not Newsweek,” for cryin’ out loud!

If you were the photographer on this shoot (instead of Mark Seliger), how would you have posed the lovely Ms. Hunter?  Comment now  -  and remember: don’t hold back.  We’re all friends here.

  1. You have hit on a sordid subject that is near and dear to my heart…and that is the fact that women can be mean bitches just out for a buck and for themselves. Why this woman needs to continue parading her poor behavior, even poorer judgment, lack of professional ethics, and complete disregard for her daughter (first and foremost), the father of her daughter secondly and the wife of her daughter’s father, is a mystery to me. There’s only one answer that I can figure out and that is that she is f@#$ing loony tunes. Which explains the absolutely ridiculous photos that are accompanying this horrific story.

    For her daughter’s sake, I only hope that the dolls in this picture did not go home with her. To have something in your childhood so tainted with a lack of integrity and blatant greed (both for money and for fame) would be a sad thing indeed.

    That said, do I think a photographer is pre-suggestive to the desires of the people signing the paycheck. Hell yes! Very few people doing a job in this day and age are allowed creative freedom. Who is accountable for this sleeze disguised as journalism? Everyone…from the publisher to the editor to the writer to the subject to the photographer. It’s a rancid story that only stinks more the longer it lingers and the more people that it draws in.

  2. We’re still on watch for photographer Mark Seliger’s weigh-in on this story and hope to add that perspective tomorrow.

    Thanks, Lisa, for bringing up the daughter. Keeping the story in focus, GQ certainly had to have made arrangements with Ms. Hunter to have her daughter included in the photo shoot. The sleezebags would tell her how it would add a nice, warm and fuzzy element to the story.

    A slight amendment to the blog where we referred “to the more telling rumors about her [Ms. Hunter] being in bed with Edwards that same first night and – despite the fact that she was performing services as a videographer – not for a photo shoot.” Waitaminute! Stop the presses! There WAS a sex tape involved in this sex scandal, wasn’t there?!? How ironic if the next eight words out of Hunter’s mouth (after “God, you’re hot!”) were “I’d love to videotape us in bed tonight!”

  3. If she’s “mature” enough to have an affair then she can’t claim naivety with a photographer. Hellooooo… reminds me of some girls in High School who’d take one sip of alcohol so they could “do whatever” and not claim responsibility for their actions.

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