Johannes Hirn, the former Boston University journalism student who shot a photo essay about one of the Boston bombing suspects, has removed the images from a PhotoShelter website and is referring licensing requests to Barcroft Media.
The images, comprising a 2010 photo essay called â€œWill Box for Passport,â€ feature the so-called â€œblack hatâ€ Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The story is about Tsarnaevâ€™s bid to become an Olympic boxer, and shows him training in a mixed martial arts gym in Boston.
The story was published in 2010 in a graduate student magazine of Boston Universityâ€™s College of Communication, where Hirn was a student. Hirn shot the story as a final assignment for a photojournalism course he took while at BU, according to an NPPA report.
Tsarnaev was killed in a shoot-out with police. After he was identified, news outlets found Hirnâ€™s photo essay. Reporters used Hirnâ€™s photo captions to profile Tsarnaev. A number of media outlets have also copied and distributed Hirnâ€™s photos without permission before he removed them from the Photoshelter site.
â€œWe have seen multiple outlets lift screenshots of the images, but the hi res images are not accessible through PhotoShelter without direct permission from the photographer,â€ Andrew Fingerman of Photoshelter told PDN just before Hirn took the pictures off the site.
Hirn announced that Barcroft Mediaâ€“a UK-based licenser of editorial contentâ€“is the exclusive distributor of the images. He also announced, â€œI am not available for interview or comment.â€