Photographer Jeff Rojas is admitting to issues brought up by PRO EDU’s Gary Winchester.
We’ve worked with photographer Jeff Rojas a number of times in the past. Very recently, we deleted all 21 blog posts promoting anything in regards to sales with him, short interviews, and sections of larger features he’s been involved in. When we had him on Inside the Photographer’s Mind with Adorama a while back, we were cautioned about working with him. And we’ve heard enough from a large body of women and prominent people in the photo industry to dissolve our relationship with him. So, why write this post? Well, you should probably know what’s going on.
It was brought to our attention that Rojas wrote about a “carefree lifestyle” that involves people not feeling safe around him. From my seat as an Editor in Chief I can say that lots of folks caution about working with him in the way that they do with a number of other photographers. Rojas has made statements like the below a few times.
This was shared with us, and the team here at the Phoblographer were scratching their heads to wonder what was going on. But it was later on that we discovered Gary Winchester’s update. Gary is one of the heads of PRO EDU, formerly RGG. They’ve worked with Rojas a number of times. Like us, he’s heard about it and decided to craft the below status about making a stand. Rojas responded in the comments explaining that he was very sorry and that things like this won’t ever happen again. Again, we’ve heard about it a number of times and most of the industry just chooses to stop working with him and move on: it’s just simpler. The video that we did with him for Adorama was removed a long time ago.
Jeff’s response went as follows:
Hey folks, I’m coming forward as the SECOND person who is being acknowledged in this post (not the first).
Let me begin by expressing how remorseful, humiliated, and humbled that I am for upsetting anyone with poor choices in my past. I cannot speak on behalf of anyone affected by my words or my actions, but I’ve been made aware that I’ve offended a few people along the way. I don’t wish to silence any voices. In fact, I’m incredibly appreciative that these women have had the courage to call me out on my poor behavior. Thank you for standing up and presenting me with ways to be a better human being.
Even though I haven’t been made aware of these specific circumstances or allegations, bar one situation, what I have been informed of is that these allegations are based on having made several women feel uncomfortable and are not based on accusations of rape, sexual abuse, or violence. I state this not to minimize the situation, but to address it with full transparency.
I will own my faults. I lived a carefree lifestyle; I was open on social media last November when I admitted to straying in my marriage. I made poor choices I cannot take back. I find it essential to be accountable for all of my actions.
I’ve spoken several times with the ProEdu owners, who’ve been kind enough to let me voice my disposition, and we both agreed this was the best course of action.
Moving forward, I will take these circumstances to heart and do my best to grow from them. These allegations have me thinking and reconsidering many of the interactions I’ve had on dates and parties over the years. It’s helped me understand that even though I may have felt the other party was mutually engaged, I should have double-checked and verified their disposition of the situation and certainly will moving forward.
I apologize profusely to those I’ve offended. Please know I will continue to strive to be better. Again, thank you to these women for bravely coming forward and helping me learn to be a better man, and hopefully, one day, an amazing father and husband.
Lastly, if you’re reading this and feel as though I’ve wronged you in ANY way, please feel free to message me. I’d appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation, apologize firsthand, and learn from my mistakes.
We stand with women. We’ve published many feminist pieces, and work that champions all the underrepresented folks out there. A few folks who work very closely with us have also come forward about Jeff Rojas. As a precautionary measure, and as we’ve done with Jason Lanier, we’re washing our hands of him.