Photo company sorry for naked Vail skier pic
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” SharpShooter Imaging, an on-mountain photography company, issued an apology Thursday for a photo taken by one of it’s photographers of a half-naked skier hanging from a Vail chairlift.
The photo, taken by photographer Marty Odom on New Year’s Day, caught an unidentified skier exposed and hanging by his pants while trying to board the Skyline Express Lift (Chair 37). The photo was published in the Vail Daily, across the Internet, and was the subject of talk and news shows across the world.
“SharpShooter Imaging deeply regrets any embarrassment the unauthorized taking and subsequent release of this photograph may have caused to the guest involved, and all other guests and employees of Vail Resort,” said a SharpShooters press release.
“It is our strict company policy to respect the privacy of all resort guests at every resort we represent. The employee who breached company policy while on duty, by his unauthorized release of this image, has been suspended while the incident is investigated.”
The skier was unhurt, and Vail Resorts said it is looking into the incident.
Odom, who said he was not working at the time and used his own camera, has been suspended from his job until further notice. However, SharpShooters spokesperson David Peri said that Odom was indeed on-the-clock, in uniform and using a company camera at the time.
“He had punched in, and everyone in the locker room had seen him,” Peri said. “We’ve presented the evidence to him, and he’s since apologized and admitted he was on the clock that day.”
Odom did not return calls to his cell phone on Thursday night.
SharpShooters said it did not come forth with the information when the incident first happened because they were initially lied to about when the photo was taken and have been investigating the incident.
The Wheatridge-based photography company, which stations photographers at the top of lifts to snap photos, said it wants to “ensure this does not happen again” and makes protecting mountain guests a top priority.
“That is why we’re so chagrined at this,” Peri said. “Our reputation is the most important thing that we own. This is just the dishonest efforts of one individual to do what was unethical to begin with. He had no right to appropriate, give them away, or trade them for any reason whatsoever.”
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.