Friday, April 24, 2009
Everything You Want to Know About 2257 But Are Afraid to Ask
As we seemingly move closer and closer to an Orwellian society, there are some things pretty girl shooters must know about the law lest we find ourselves, uhhh... at odds with it... at odds with the law, that is. Pretty girl shooters are already at odds with a number of segments of society.
Section 2257 of Title 18, United States Code (hereinafter referred to as 2257), is one of those things photographers need to know about and to comply with.
If you sometimes find yourself photographing a pretty girl sans clothing (only those 18 and over, of course) you should be aware of 2257 and, more importantly, you should be complying with 2257's Draconian rules and regulations assuming, that is, one of your life-goals is to remain out of federal prison.
What is 2257? Well, it's a law (supposedly) designed to protect children from child pornographers. I know. I know. You would never think to pornographically exploit a child. Personally, I believe you. Unfortunately, the U.S. Government doesn't share that same faith I have in your sense of right and wrong. And because of their lack of faith in your principles and moral grounding, 2257 requires that you maintain records proving that those who grace your viewfinders are, indeed, over the age of 18.
It doesn't matter if you're shooting Grannies in their birthday suits. The Feds, it seems, believe some of those Grannies might be kiddies in Granny disguises. And if you can't prove a Granny is a Granny you might find yourself getting your three-squares a day behind bars in Federal penitentiary.
There was a time when 2257 only applied to those producing actual pornography. What is pornography you ask with a nod and wink? Well, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once opined, "I know it when I see it." Actually, Justice Potter was referring to obscenity, i.e., pornography that is not constitutionally protected. But you get my drift.
Unfortunately for many photographers, that was then and this is now.
The Feds, by virtue of their newest iterations of 2257, have expanded what is and isn't pornography. According to the new and improved (sic) 2257, many of you who are shooting, as an example, art nudes, now are suddenly making your art in the dark and seedy realms of porn where, of course, all children are at risk of being ensnared by the demons, like you and I, who lurk there. (That last sentence was sarcasm, btw.)
As is often the case with many laws and regulations and statutes we must comply with, 2257 can be more than a little confusing. But there's good news! At least one photographer has put it all together in a way that lays bare (pun intended) 2257's compliance demands and gives you all the info you need, in an easily digestible way, to help you sleep easier knowing you can pursue your art while staying out of jail.
That photographer is Stephen Haynes and he's written a book titled, "A Photographers Guide to Section 2257: How to Photograph Nudes and Stay Out of Federal Prison."
Why do I believe Haynes' book does what I claim it does? I've read it, of course.
And so should you.
"A Photographers Guide to Section 2257" puts it all together in layman's terms. You don't need to be a doctor of Jurisprudence, aka a lawyer, to understand what 2257 means to you and your craft and how best to comply with it. It's the most thorough explanation of 2257 I've read--a handy-dandy reference-resource, if you will--as it applies to this thing we do (this pretty girl shooting, photography, thing) and its relationship with the law.
If you're a pretty girl shooter and you're smart, which I know many of you are both, you'll take the time to learn all you can about 2257 and how to steer clear of its severe penalties for non-compliance. One easy and economical way to do that is to purchase Hayne's comprehensive book.
If you're interested in getting your grubby hands on a copy of Haynes' important, exhaustively-researched, and well-written book, "A Photographers Guide to Section 2257: How to Photograph Nudes and Stay Out of Federal Prison," you can do so by CLICKING HERE.
The pretty girl at the top, with the tight muscles and nice chest puppies, is Katarina-- A former Russian circus trapeze artist turned American model, from a few years back.