Sharpshooter photographer fired over naked Vail skier pic
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” The photographer who took the now world-famous photos of a pantless skier dangling from a Blue Sky Basin lift in Vail, Colorado is officially fired from his job, the company said.
Marty Odom, who was an employee of the on-mountain photography company, SharpShooter Imaging, was let go on Tuesday for “not abiding by the code of conduct” of the company, said Dick Roy, chief financial officer of SharpShooters.
An unidentified skier, while trying to upload on Skyline Express Lift (Chair 37), 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 Web sites shortly afterward, and Odom was suspended by SharpShooters as a result while the company investigated the incident.
Odom originally said he was off-the-clock at the time and took the photos with his own camera. However, SharpShooters announced 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.
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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, 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 Web site 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 had already removed the photos from its Web site in response to protests that the skier was very traumatized by the accident and the ensuing attention.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.