Vail photographer fired after shot of pants-less skier
Aspen, CO Colorado
VAIL ” The photographer who took the now world famous photos of a pants-less skier dangling from a Blue Sky Basin lift at Vail has been fired.
Marty Odom, who was an employee of the on-mountain photography company, SharpShooter Imaging, was let go on Tuesday for not abiding by the company’s code of conduct, said Dick Roy, chief financial officer of SharpShooters.
The unidentified skier, while trying to upload on Sky line Express Lift, fell through the seat and ended up hanging in mid-air with his pants down for about seven minutes. Odom happened to be nearby and snapped away with his camera.
The photos appeared in the Vail Daily and on websites shortly afterward, and Odom was suspended by Sharp Shooters as a result while the company investigated the incident.
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Odom originally said he was off the clock at the time and took the photos with his own camera. However, SharpShooters said last week that Odom was indeed working, in uniform and using a company camera at the time. Odom has not returned calls since the announcement.
Meanwhile, the photos have gotten worldwide attention across the Internet, newspapers and television stations. Readers and viewers have said they found the images newsworthy and priceless, while others found them in bad taste.
Earlier this week SharpShooters sent letters to media outlets, threatening a lawsuit if the photos did not stop appearing in publications. The Vail Daily, as well as The Smoking Gun website, which published two of Odom’s photos along with several others, received the letters.
The letter said that the images are the copyrighted works of SharpShooters, and threatened a lawsuit if the website did not “cease and desist and otherwise discontinue” use of the images.
The Smoking Gun posted a cheeky response to the letter, alongside one of the photos of the dangling skier. The Vail Daily removed the photos from its website in response to protests that the skier was very traumatized by the accident and the ensuing attention.
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