A client comes to your studio asking for you to take shots of his or her child. You go through the motions…showing the client your portfolio, asking them what kind of shots would they like, etc etc.
That settled, you give them a time and a day to call again, you take the shots and everybody is happy.
Until one day, you get a letter from their relative, who says that after looking at the shots, he has decided to take up a child indecency case against you…..
This has actually happened, in case you are wondering if it is a “made-up” story.
Ok, that is one story.
The other thing is the theory propounded by so-called experts, that complains about the damage done to the individual accused, than the damage done by the abuse itself.
Here’s another facet of the same thing…..take the case of the now known paedophile Graham Ovenden. He cleverly took advantage of this theory over the years, with his photographs and paintings of children hanging in galleries and private art collections.
Even more than this, his works were actually revered.
It was as if those who looked at his pictures and found them sexually suggestive rather than innocent, they were the ones who were at fault, who had sex on their minds, who had minds like huge sewers that imagined filth, when there was only beauty to be seen.
That allowed Ovenden to shelter behind this liberal thinking for many decades, until someone decided that something had to be done before the lives of innocent children were marred forever.
Ovenden, 70 years old, has been convicted, receiving a suspended sentence, which has been appealed, for the reason of being too lenient…his crimes were serious….6 charges of indecency with a child and indecent assault to 3 other girls.
Where do we draw the line? Do we stop taking photographs of children, even if our own? How do we prove if we are unfortunate enough to be charged…how do we prove our work is innocent?
The answer is I do not know….I just do not want to be someone involved in such a dilemma.
But this is the thing…..why have we as a society become totally involved in seeing suspicion everywhere? An arab-looking man carrying a rucksack in a busy shopping mall is immediately under suspicion as a would-be terrorist…..a black man in a new sports car is immediately under suspicion as a car thief…..a couple who take photos of their own children bathing, are reported to the authorities….Where do we stop? Do we become more vigilant in life? Do we report everyone we see as suspicious to the Police? Why did we not do this, say, 50 years ago? What is the answer…..