Fire porn shooters draw fire in Detroit

The headline of the Deadline Detroit article by Alan Stamm reads, “Detroit Fire Porn Tourists Ignite Irritation.” Back-to-back posts on the Detroit Firehouse Facebook page say, “Getting reports of Photographers blowing red lights for fires” and “Please stay out of the fire companies (sic) way.” One fire photographer early Sunday tweeted that some people are getting suspicious of buffs — “Firefighter in SW Detroit just confronted me and other photographers saying that we are the problem and buffs are starting the fires.”

Fire buffs who attended the historically busy July 4th holiday in Detroit are having an image problem. Stamm’s article cites a number of tweets showing buffs posing in front of fires and talking about being a “good morning” because there were fires. The article begins this way:

The traveling hunters shoot with cameras and capture trophies that show fiery destruction. Detroit is a destination, particularly on and around July 4 — a dramatically busy time for the city’s hard-pressed fire department.

Participants call it “buffing,” though some prefer the descriptions photojournalist or freelance photographer to disassociate themselves from fire buffs who don’t sell photos. Their websites are aglow with red, orange and smoky images, which are offered to Firehouse Magazine, Fire Engineering, Fire Service News and 1st Responder News.

Read entire article by Alan Stamm

As a fire porn purveyor or end user (not mentioned in the article) it would be easy to be defensive and fire back at anyone criticizing people exercising the First Amendment rights that protect such photography. But if what is being written really bothers you, it’s probably a lot smarter to first look inward and ask yourself some questions. Are you being a good guest? Are you representing your hobby or career well? Are you writing things about someone else’s tragedy or unfortunate situation that shows little concern for the victims?

Also, before you get upset about what has been written remember this: The same freedoms being celebrated over the weekend that allow us to take pictures and video of firefighters in action also lets some of the locals call us a bunch of jerks.

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