Once upon a time, a starry-eyed hopeful met a man with long lens and a big portfolio, and it was bromance at first sight.
That was three months ago. Now it's a model vs. photographer battle to the bottom of the Internet.
If you, a prospective model-ogler, were to have swung by the site of doe-eyed brunet Jordan Selph yesterday, you'd have seen something amazing. Something appalling. Something so horribly, unspeakably, jaw-droppingly, eye-gogglingly awful that it was, in fact, wonderful.
Screenshot from JordanSelph.com
"I did it!
"I finally DID IT! I got so frustrated with my own life, lack of importance, and inability to be authentic, so I decided to vent and hurt someone who was REALLY good to me. My Photag (that is the industry word for “Professional Photographer”, just so you know). He did over 3600 pictures for me, and NEVER once charged me a dime. He believed in me, my ability, my career aspirations, and shared the dream I had. But boy did I screw him over!"
The site, adorned with bed-lolling nude shots of Selph, went on to claim (in multicolored fonts of refreshingly variable heights and sizes, though all in BOLD, as you can well imagine) that Selph had slandered his beneficent photog(tag?) on Facebook, claiming the shutterbug had scarpered with Selph's tax refund.
"I went on Facebook and blatantly lied about him. Told everyone I know that he STOLE my IRS Tax Refund from me, even though I have failed to simply call the IRS and inquire about the status of my return. … I just chose to be a small, mean, insignificant man, and lash out at SOMEONE. What I failed to do was tell the WHOLE story….so, I am dedicating this site to COMING CLEAN, and EXPOSING MYSELF to the world for who I REALLY am….nothing is off limits."
For his revenge, the unnamed photographer (who also appears to be the webmaster) promised to update the site throughout the day, adding the soon-to-be-hot-but-currently-empty pages: How I Screwed Over My Photographer, My Naked Existance [sic, oh it's all so sic], and ALL the photos I NEVER wanted you to see (XXX Rated).
A now-poignant Google cache of the site includes a forum entry in which Selph lauds his friend and photographer Jarrett Simonds. “My photographer is a great guy located here in the Brentwood area, Jarrett Simonds. He provides knowledge, that not only have I been looking for in a friend but as well as a partner.” That, however, was yesterday.
A quick perusal of Selph's Facebook fan page (and is there a sadder collection of words than "Jordan Selph, Public Figure, 65 Likes?" We think not. We very much think not) shows our protagonist dutifully pointing people to his website from Feb. 21. Back then it wasn't very content-rich, and in fact the thumbnail of the site on Facebook clearly says "Copyright Jarrett Simonds." He also uploaded 20 photos of himself with the notation they were copyright Jarrett Simonds, along with several other galleries of photos credited to different photographers. A quick Google search for Simonds reveals he's a photographer from the same area of Tennessee as Selph. On a hunch, a quick LinkedIn search turned up a computer tech also from Brentwood, Tenn., by that name, using the same photo as Simonds does on his Facebook page, and listing a past as a Ford model. A peek at his portfolio reveals a familiar Selphish someone, or did until...
Screenshot from JarrettSimonds.com
Bluehost, the site host, suspended it for unspecified reasons Tuesday. Being fair-minded and impartial, they also suspended Selph's site, perhaps thinking that both sides could use a little time-out.
Incidentally, both sites appear to be subsidiaries of TechnologyThatWorksToday.com, which, as of yesterday, no longer works. Whoever set it up thought ahead and purchased some privacy protection, so his name doesn’t turn up in a WhoIs search. Still, it’s not the world’s farthest stretch to imagine who owns that URL, and set up both websites.
We reached out on Facebook to both Selph and Simonds for comment but haven’t heard back.
Back on March 12, Selph posted on Simonds's Facebook page a poignant message. "My name is Jordan, and I was wondering if you think I could model? 3 months later...We have built a 'brand' that would've taken 2 years. Oh, and a friendship that makes me feel a thousand emotions at once. Love you brother ♥"
Now, less than a month later, nobody is smizing.
Photo via Mitko_Denev/Flickr