It was sadly bound to happen. A photographer taking photos of girls dressed up in sexy cosplay as fictitious characters from comics and games secretly taking lewd photos. Without the clients consent. Such is the case with well known cosplay photographer, Michael Benedict or as he goes by on social media, @michaelbenedictla.
The high-profile Southern-Californian photog, Benedict, admitted to to using a spy cam to film individuals using changing rooms in a studio without their consent. Pretty creepy. A photographer is expected to remain professional with his clients, this douchebag apparently did not.
This controversial situation was made public by a number of groups, including the Cosplay Photographer Alliance Events Page. After waiting for the information to be vetted, and Benedict having been confronted by multiple individuals, the photographer apparently admitted that he had indeed used a camera to film people using changing rooms without their consent. Its a gross invasion of privacy for individuals who trusted someone to be professional.
Benedict had this to say via a text message that was revealed:
Due to a request from from a source that is related to the case I was asked to remove this text message discussion .
At the moment Michael Benedict has been blackballed and the cosplay community has been alerted to him.
The conversation in question seems to show Benedict admitting to and apologizing for using a spy camera in order to film individuals in changing room. Approximately 300 videos were found on the camera that Benedict had allegedly recorded. Benedict goes on to state that he will be leaving the cosplay community and photography.
Michael Benedict has not yet addressed the situation publicly at the time of this writing. His Twitter at @MBenedictLA appears to have been deleted.
People, particularly these girls put a lot of time and effort into cosplaying. It’s not cheap and it takes a lot of confidence to be able to wear some of these costumes. Thanks, Benedict for being the asshole who now will have cosplayers second-guessing their creations and trust in other photographers.