Photographer warns of fake photo shoot targeting teen girls - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Photographer warns of fake photo shoot targeting teen girls

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

An industry professional in the picture-taking business wants everyone who uses Facebook to be aware that an unknown person is trying to lure young ladies with a pitch that he will pay them to do a photo shoot.

But according to well-known Columbus photographer, John Pyle, all signs point to this being a completely fake enterprise.

Pyle has a studio on Broadway and he does a lot of shoots for high school seniors. 

It recently came to his attention that someone using the name Rhonda Howard has been active on Facebook trying to convince young girls to agree to have their picture taken with promises of money. 

Usually, money changes hands in the other direction.

But what concerns Pyle the most is that this person is using him as a reference, yet he's never heard of them before.

"They claim to work at a local photography studio and then they promise them, I believe the quote is 'top dollar.' They're going to pay them to be able to photograph them," said Pyle, "now that I've brought some attention to it online, I'm having some people come out and say they were contacted last month, or a few weeks ago, or as recently as this past week by this person."

One woman commented on Facebook:

"This person messaged me and told me they would pay me $2000 for a half nude. Very scary! I don't know who this is."

Pyle said the main photo that 'Rhonda Howard' is using to represent his or herself is an obvious fake.

"It looks like one of the images on their cover page is the back of the camera of a celebrity photo shoot- Kendall Jenner- one of the Kardashians, and I also saw on the Facebook photography group that the images have easily been traced back to a Google search that they've pulled."

It's not the first time Pyle has seen something like this attempted on Facebook. He can only guess about what this anonymous person's motive could be.

"Maybe it's someone just trying to see how far somebody can go, maybe they're trying to see if someone will actually send them inappropriate pictures, or money, or whatever.  Social media is a double-edged sword. It's great for promoting yourself and marketing yourself, but someone can literally be whoever they want to be on social media and hide behind a keyboard or a screen.  When somebody does that and uses somebody else's name, it can be dangerous."

Pyle cautions the public to do research before having their picture taken. A real photographer will generally have an official web site with publicly listed phone numbers that you can call with questions.

WTVM attempted to contact the person in charge of the Rhonda Howard page on Facebook. We wanted a response to the accusations, but we did not get an answer.  We were first alerted to this issue by The Neighborhood Watchers group on Facebook.

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