This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.
This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.

Modelling company responds to criticism after cemetery shoot

A MODELLING company has responded to public criticism after it staged a Halloween-themed photo shoot at a cemetery.

Photos published on social media this week, some of which have since been deleted, showed the R7 models laying on top of graves at South Rockhampton Cemetery, which some residents said was unacceptable.

Runway7 Boutique owner Lynda Ninness, who runs R7 models, said they did not mean any disrespect when they did the shoot last weekend.

This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.
This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.

“There was not one ounce of disrespect, we had a group of about seven or eight girls plus their parents and not one person objected to what we did there that whole time,” Ms Ninness said.

“All the people involved were quite fine with what we did, how it was approached and how the whole thing went down.”

Ms Ninness said the Rockhampton cemetery was often used for photography and commercial photo shoots.

This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.
This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.

“(The photographer) has done these photo shoots before and other photographers do this all the time in Rocky,” she said.

“The images have been used for advertising and school events that has been taken by other photographers.

“Many of the photos that has been taken at the cemetery has been published and it was in the same position we took our photos.”

Ms Ninness said the graves were more than 120-years-old and were not regularly visited.

When contacted by The Observer following the public backlash, Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said cemeteries were a special place for the community and were to be respected.

“I’d just like to remind everyone that our cemeteries are special places to our community. Please be respectful if you visit,” Cr Strelow said.

When The Observer asked Rockhampton Regional Council if it had a policy which related to the use of cemeteries, the council directed us to information on its website.

On the council’s website under cemeteries, residents are advised not to stand or lean on any of the memorials.

This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.
This photo was posted on @runway7agency_ Instagram page.

“Please do not stand or lean on any of the memorials. If you wish to clean, repair or install a memorial, please contact the cemeteries office for advice and assistance,” the website said.

Ms Ninness said the incident had been blown out of proportion.

“For the whole day it was girls dressed up in Halloween costumes having a themed photo shoot in a place where it is regularly done,” she said.

“That’s all it was, it was nothing more than that.”