I was called on by an editor of some popular “rag sheet” that you find at the checkout counters in the supermarkets. They wanted to do a story about frog legs and asked if I had any in stock since I shoot a lot of food. I didn’t but living here in South Florida at that time provided no problem .
A local fish market had a supplier who hunted frogs in the Everglades, big ones too and that afternoon I got some of the best. I prepared them myself, some I had to eat of course…and photographed them as well. Setting up the film..(ah the good old film days when I wasn’t in front of the computer all day for every thing I now do, when I dropped off my film, met with colleagues while we waited the 3 hours or so to process film, and over lunch talked about work, life , a good old human experience ( prior digital slavery to the computer) .. excuse me I digress… anyway, the editor selected this and a verticle shot as well to see how it would lay out.
I asked about the story but they were vague, she was simply the photo editor doing her research etc… about a month later I ‘m in a local super market and I spot my shot very nicely reproduced with all appropriate bylines, and paid for of course, under the headline.. ” Scientists have found why the French make such great lovers” semi quoted here, the story goes on..because they eat Frog legs and frogs have been found to feed on flies, the aphrodisiac ones that they pass on in their meat. Since the French are known to eat them…when they do…VOILA..cum eere ma cheri!!!
Now I may be French and on occasion do eat a couple of them, but I always thought it was my je ne sait qua …that upheld our reputation
Now a couple of months go by and I am at the photo show in NYC at Javits. I go to a local market and there in another newspaper I see the same shot again, this time…” Man sues famous restaurant in France over a heart attack, when his dinner of frogs legs gets up and dances in his plate.” wow…both Fred Astair and Kermit must have rolled over on this one!
Both stories in separate papers used this image, created in my kitchen, by me, supplied from the Everglades. Now, I know about freedom of the press and artistic license but this was absolute parody or should have been.
They say pictures often lie… really?
Great story, Matthew.
The story is obviously over the top, but there’s no lie in the picture. It says it’s a picture of frog’s legs and it is. If it said it was shrimp, that would be a lie. If it didn’t credit, that would be a lie.