Photographer in Vampire Weekend “Contra” scandal seems to be in hiding

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Contra girl for Vampire Weekend Album

Vampire Weekend fans may recall that, back in July, yellow-polo-shirt-wearing Contra cover model Ann Kirsten Kennis filed suit against the band for the unauthorized use of her photo (a Polaroid shot in 1983) on the cover of the band's second album. The band maintains that the photo was purchased legitimately. Kennis thinks they should have perceived that the man who sold it to them was a shyster.  

Which brings us to the increasingly poor decisions of Tod Brody, the photographer in question.  

The man responsible for this whole stink has turned into the Julian Assange of unauthorized photography sales to indie bands. He's gone into hiding, probably surreptitiously visiting galleries while he looks over his shoulder (or eating ramen noodles in a boarding house that he never leaves — who knows?) So now Kennis and the band have taken a novel approach to tracking him down, according to the Photo District News' blog:

… The court has approved a joint request from Kennis, Vampire Weekend, and the band's record label to serve papers on Brody via e-mail and the U.S. mail. (Normally, court papers have to be served in person.) The court approved the alternate delivery on November 18. Court records show that a summons was issued to Brody on November 24. The court says it will consider Brody in receipt of the papers 10 days from that date.

That sets Brady up for a default judgment if he doesn't respond to the claims against him by early 2011.

Kennis most likely will be compensated by way of a generous settlement, and the band will garner more publicity as this curious story develops, which isn't a bad thing. I have a feeling that the cover photo of Vampire Weekend's next album won't be the result of a shady purchase from a raincoat-wearing photographer on the street.