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Photographer Stirs Drama By Refusing To Delete Nude Photos Of Former Client Upon Her Request


All of us have made decisions in the past which over time we’ve come to regret.

In some cases, we’ve so regretted a past decision, that we’ll go out of our way to cover up any evidence that we once made that decision.

Such was the case with a client of Redditor throwaway4638294637, who made a call to request deleting all work from a previous collaboration of theirs.

But while the original poster (OP) was sensitive to his former client’s situation, pride in his work made him hesitant to oblige her request.

Questioning if he was in the wrong for doing so, the  OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for refusing to delete nude photos from a photoshoot?”

The OP shared how a former client recently contacted him asking for him to delete a past collaboration, and explained why he was hesitant to do so.

“I’m (30s, M[ale]) a photographer and periodically do art nude photoshoots.”

“A few years ago I shot with a woman (20s, F[emale]) I met on a photography site who expressed interest in getting some nude photos taken.”

“I did the photoshoot for free in exchange for using some anonymous photos in my portfolios.”

“Fast forward, I recently got messages from the woman asking me to take down the photos and delete my local copies too.”

“I think it’s because she started working in a relatively conservative field and worries about how other people might think of it.”

“I was happy to take the photos offline but refused to delete the offline copies in my hard drive.”

“Nobody is going to see them other than me, and I put hard work into the photos so I don’t want to lose them.”

“She even offered to pay me in exchange for deleting them, but I said no.”

“I think she is getting quite stressed out over the photos, but we had an agreement and I don’t want to lose my art work.”

“My offline copies are not going to harm her in any way.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

The Reddit community was fairly divided on whether or not the OP was the a**hole, though just about everyone agreed that the right thing for him to do was delete the photographs.

Fellow photographers, as well as a few others, understood why he was less than willing to oblige the former model’s request, even though they urged to delete the pictures.

“As a fellow photographer I completely understand not wanting to delete hard work.”

“Not wanting to forget the memories of editing, handling, and arguing with yourself about everything under the sun to make a photo look perfect.”

“However, as stated you are the ONLY one to see them now.”

“If this was a scenic or nice outdoors engagement shoot I can get behind saying ‘no, I like them, they aren’t a danger to anyone etc’.”

“However nude photos are a very specific type of photo shooting.”

“They are meant to be handled with care and sensitivity of the client.”

“You may be attached to the work you put in, but you are sacrificing your dignity and the client comfortability.”

“At the end of the day, that photo is not worth your credibility, dignity, and so on.”

“Also it can probably get you into a legal battle.”

“I’m not sure the contract wording you used and so on what she can go after.”

“End all be all, delete it and remember that the client comes before your wants and needs as that photo is a symbol of your hard work, but it’s also a piece of THEIR life.”

“That’s how I handle my photographs at least.”

“You can choose what to do but I guarantee YTA in the eyes of the general public.”

“This also can absolutely ruin your business if the client decides to go public with things saying how creepy it is that you kept the photos for yourself.”

“While someone such as myself understands it’s due to the work and pride put into said photos, others are absolutely going to label you as a pervert and most likely you will have very few clients left that feel comfortable with you if any.”-magicnoodleman

“I’m a photographer and honestly I’d take them down.”

“This persons career is at stake and willing to pay you.”- OverPot

“Presumably you have many thousands of photographs saved from over the years.”

“Are these so incredibly special that they need to be saved, even though it causes the subject of them deep distress that they exist?”

“It would be the decent thing to delete them.”-Wintery1

Others, however, felt that there should have been no doubt in the mind of the OP as to what to do, and found him to be fairly clearly the a**hole for not taking deleting the photos.


“You can’t use them in your portfolio and she offered to pay for them so why are you holding onto them?”

“It sounds extremely creepy.”

“I model too and I’m friends with many photographers.”

“None of them would keep a picture of me if I asked them not to.”

“And let me tell you, the models usually know each other.”

“We have groups, we try and look after one another.”

“When a photographer pulls crap like that, we tell each other and none of us would be willing to work with them.”- Etranger-

“YTA for many reasons, but the one I’m going to focus on is your belief that your offline copies aren’t able to do her harm.”

“For one, that they exist are already giving her some anxiety.”

She knows that these photos exist and will always, ALWAYS, be out there.”

“Think about that.”

“Second, they are digital images which are just files on a computer.”

“There are any number of circumstances under which they may get into the wrong person’s hands.”

“Now she has to rely on you and your good judgement to secure them in an ever-increasingly difficult world of cybersecurity.”

“Those files only represent a liability if you can’t use them for anything.”

“Why would you want to keep them?”

“Seriously, why would you want to keep nude images of a person that only you can view?”

“Some have said that it’s moot because the pics were already put online.”

“OP said they were posted anonymously, which to me means she is not identifiable from the ones he posted, but I could be wrong.”

“I also assume OP took many pictures, as photographers do, that didn’t make the cut and were never released.”

“Therefore, OP likely has copies that are identifiable or embarrassing or whatever.”

“OP might also have them stored with additional personally identifiable information such as her name, file/folder name or other digital record of who she is and which images are of her.”

“So, unless the only images OP is talking about are anonymized and unidentifiable as her, I think my points still stand.”- _jackhoffman_


“My partner also does TFP nude shoots and he has had women approach him before asking him to delete their old photos because their lives have changed and they no longer want the pics to exist, and he always deletes them no questions asked.”

“Not deleting them isn’t doing you any favors and creates a bad name.”

“If you’re adamant about never having to delete photos you’ll have to set up contracts and pay for your models.”

“You win nothing by not deleting them, all you do is holding her emotionally hostage.”-_Litheen_

“I’d say N-T-A but you refused to delete them even after she offered to pay.”


“This is clearly important to her.”

“She isn’t being rude to you or making any demands, she’s offering to pay you literally to just delete a couple photos.”-LSTFND


“If you can’t use them then you aren’t losing out on anything.”- murphy2345678


“As a model, this is why I REFUSE to shoot full nudes.”

“And I’ve been offered $2k+ to do artistic (not p*rn) nude shoots before.”

“I’ve yet to find a photographer I trust on that level, and you are EXACTLY why.”

“You’ve had them on your portfolio for years.”

“She is respectfully asking you to DELETE THEM because she is no longer comfortable with them existing.”

“I’d honestly be MORE uncomfortable with you keeping them offline but on your hard drive, it would really make me doubt your intentions for the initial shoot.”

“She offered to pay you.”

“You’ve gotten whatever value you possibly could have out of them already.”

“Give this poor woman some peace of mind and just f*cking delete them already.”

Artists are always protective of their work.

But when this particular project involves someone else, in a very vulnerable position, the OP might want to consider whether it is, in fact, as important as he thinks not to delete these photographs.

Particularly as this model was desperate enough to pay him to destroy them.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.