Tuesday, 6 March 2007

SUNshine Girl logos

From Day One, an integral part of the Toronto Sun's daily SUNshine Girl feature was the photographer's photo above his or her photograph of the lass of the day.

Replacing the photographers' photos for more shameless plugs for Canoe.ca - something that is getting very tedious for readers day after day, page after page - is mindless meddling and and potentially dangerous.

Photographers' photos were there for more than ego or vanity. Over the years, more than a few Toronto women have called police or the Sun after being duped by men claiming to be SUNshine Girl photographers.

Sun management recognized the potential danger of fake Sun photographers long ago and made it clear to women that legitimate Sun photographers carry proper credentials.

The Sun also urged women wanting to be a SUNshine Girl to put faces to the names of Sun photographers, which is why using the photographers' photos was most beneficial.

Using the SUNshine Girl photographers' photos have helped minimize the potentially dangerous scenario created by women being duped, but incidents have been reported.

"You are right, they shouldn't pull the head shots," says a former Sun photo editor who remembers police being called in to investigate fake Sun photographers.

"We called the cops twice after the Sun received reports from girls (who were approached by Sun impostors)," he said. "I know we set one guy up in a sting."

Who knows how many women have been duped over the years.

In addition to the safety factor, highlighting the photographers' names and photos helped fans of the popular Sun feature recognize their individual styles.

We remember when readers would say "did you see the Hugh Wesley girl today?" or "how about that Stan Behal girl today?" And there were the frequent observations about those unique Norm Betts SUNshine Girl poses.

Reducing credits to a basic photo credit line at the bottom of the photographs is an insult to the photographers, a disservice to readers and a potential hazard to women interested in becoming SUNshine Girls.

The only people smiling about the lack of the head shots are impostors with cameras eager to misrepresent themselves as Toronto SUNshine Girl photographers.

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