Jill Greenberg Photos of The Manipulator Political Pornography?

Sometimes it really amazes me who is called a photographer and who isn’t. Photography takes on many many forms from journalist to fine artist and everything in between.  When one photographer is able to garner the spotlight of the news for political purposes, such as what Jill Greenberg has done this week with her photo shoot with John McCain, purposely misleading her client, has done harm to the profession of photography for all photographers.

Outside of that, for someone to manipulate an image to the extent that Jill Greenberg has done, takes photography out of the work and inserts something else.  One person put it on the news last night, what Jill Greeberg has done is political pornography, which is an insult to pornographers.  I was so disgusted by the images she posted on her website and that were shown on Fox News and CNN that I don’t know how anyone can call her a photographer.  In the end, at least the Atlantic Monthly has apologized for her representing their magazine, but they shouldn’t have to do that, a photographer should work in a professional manner, no matter what the subject.

The editor of The Atlantic Monthly said Monday he is sending a letter of apology to John McCain after a woman the magazine hired to photograph the Republican presidential nominee posted manipulated pictures from the photo shoot on her Web site. Photographer Jill Greenberg, who is vehemently anti-Republican and expressed glee that the photos would stir up conservative ire, took pictures of McCain for the cover of The Atlantic’s October issue.

Did anyone even notice that this woman is Canadian?  There seem to be so many non-U.S. citizens that seem to want to influence the election, and these are the tactics I guess are needed to do just what she has done, but she has done a true dis-service to all photographers at this point. If you look at it from a blogging perspective or google, she has accomplished exactly what she wanted… to create a fire storm of media attention (and bloggers, see Jill Greenberg Is Not Afraid To Dump All Her Clients At Once, Low blow, The Atlantic should have Googled Jill Greenberg before hiring her, and Fallout From Jill Greenberg’s McCain Images just to name a few) to her disgusting manipulations of the photography profession.

What new mountains of paper work will form from her stunt that will have to be signed, released, political backgrounds checked and so on.  Most photographers I have met would never behave in this manner at all, and I am glad she doesn’t represent me or any photographers that I know.  So that is my rant on the business of photography.  I have yet to find someone on either side of the political isle that is willing to defend her actions, I hope none arise.

3 thoughts on “Jill Greenberg Photos of The Manipulator Political Pornography?

  1. I’m shocked that a “photographer” would think doing something like this won’t have repercussions. While I agree that they are her pictures and she is entitled to do what she wants with them, I think this is extremely unprofessional. Remeber, she was only able to have that one-on-one access to McCain through the auspices of the Atlantic magazine.

    I wonder how that lawsuit they’re talking about will play out. Personally I would never manipulated a picture to that extent especially if I were hired to make a portrait. I suppose there are people who think free publicity is publicity. No difference between the good kind or the bad.

    Now if Jill Greenberg were on her own time and she saw a McCain at a rally or a public street, then I would say to her, “Knock yourself out.” But not in this instance.

    Who would ever agree to have a portrait session if they knew this was going to be the end result, much less a presidential candidate?

    Thanks for sharing this Scott. I’ll be discussing this with my students for sure.


  2. The funny thing is this photo of McCain is still up online but not on herb site. This means someone took the image and is posting it on their site with or without her permission. No one bothered to take it down. Jill Greenberg is a photographer and a business woman who shares a political view. She should be professional enough not to let her personal views get in the way. At least now potential customers will know where she stands and make their own biassed decision as to whether she is their photographer of choice. Of course as long as she stays working in Los Angeles she’ll be okay maybe even get more business.

    What comes around goes around, or is that the other way around?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s