Newcastle amateur portrait photographer, Allan Todd Cameron, has been found guilty of 14 sexual abuse charges against nine aspiring young models.
Cameron committed nine counts of indecent assault and five counts of sexual intercourse without consent, while being found not guilty of 10 other similar charges. Cameron remains out on bail, with a sentence hearing scheduled for September.
The 56-year-old amateur photographer ran a glamour photography business, Primeval Edge, out of his backyard studio, where he committed many of the offences between 2011 and 2017. He offered photography services to aspiring models through Facebook, and often persuaded them to strip naked for ‘artistic photos’ despite it not being discussed prior to meeting. The high-profile case was widely covered after three women went to police in October 2017, prompting more complainants to come forward.
Inside Imaging won’t go into the details of the degrading acts committed by Cameron, but Judge Tim Gartelmann found the victims were ‘genuine’, and one ‘visibly recoiled’ when recounting Cameron touching her. Another victim admitted to being naïve and thought Cameron’s abuse was normal behaviour, before realising he was ‘pushing the boundaries’.
The denials by Cameron, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, were deemed implausible and containing many inconsistencies. Additionally, Cameron misled police during a search of his studio.
‘In many cases he took explicit photos of complainants, often close-ups of their genitalia, yet he was either unwilling or unable to explain why – or if he did, the explanation was implausible,’ Judge Gartelmann said.
The case serves an example of how professional photography can be exploited to commit criminal acts. An individual can quite easily pose as a professional photographer by purchasing pro-looking gear and launching a website or social media. To vulnerable young people aspiring for a career in modelling, this may be enough to determine the photographer is credible.
While aspiring models should never expect to have criminal acts committed against them when attending a shoot, it’s always worth vetting a photographer by asking for client testimonies.